Christian resources for South African teachers
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Christian resources for South African teachers
A semi-regular dose of ideas/articles/videos to make the Gospel fresh, interesting and relevant for teens.
Curated by Andrew van Zyl
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$1.7 Million Templeton Prize Awarded to L’Arche Disability Ministry Founder, Jean Vanier

$1.7 Million Templeton Prize Awarded to L’Arche Disability Ministry Founder, Jean Vanier | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

11 March 2015

Jean Vanier, who in 1964 founded the first L’Arche community for people with and without intellectual disabilities, has been awarded the Templeton Prize, valued at $1.7 million.

The prize, one of the world’s largest, is given annually to a living individual who “has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works,” the Templeton Foundation said.

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The Real War on Christianity

The Real War on Christianity | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

12 March 2015

In the Middle East, the Islamic State is crucifying Christians and demolishing ancient churches. Why is this being met with silence from the halls of Congress to Sunday sermons?

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Atheists Used to Take the Idea of God Seriously. That’s Why They Mattered.

Atheists Used to Take the Idea of God Seriously. That’s Why They Mattered. | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Nick Spencer begins his spirited history of atheism with a fairy tale. Once upon a time, people lived in ignorant superstition. Then some clever folks used special weapons called “science” to show that the monsters had never really existed. Spencer’s point, of course, is that this received wisdom is naive nonsense—it gets the history of science and the nature of religious belief wrong, setting up an opposition between reason and faith that the church fathers would have found rather puzzling.

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On TV, How Dark Is Too Dark?

On TV, How Dark Is Too Dark? | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

May 2014

If it's true that we crave stories where good triumphs over evil, then why are so many people watching Game of Thrones? In this sweeping fantasy with high production values and rich source material, that doesn't happen, and I hate to break it to you if you're behind in the books, but it looks like it never will.

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How We Forgot the Holiness of God

How We Forgot the Holiness of God | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

"His presence is like plutonium. Nothing can live when God comes near. If God came to earth, both the righteous and unrighteous would perish. We would all die!"

Initially Amir's metaphor struck me as strange. I'd heard God described as father, master, king, warrior, judge . . . but plutonium? Yet as I recounted God's interactions with the ancient Israelites, I wondered if Amir was onto something.

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Marriage in the Age of 'Conscious Uncoupling'

Marriage in the Age of 'Conscious Uncoupling' | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Five things Gwyneth Paltrow's announcement gets wrong about relationships.


I'm mindful that Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin are, in fact, real people who are in distress and working hard to be loving parents. I am also certain that whether you're a millionaire actress married to a rock star or my neighbor down the block in the Chicago suburbs, I can't begin to know what's going on inside your marriage.

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Haverford Hoops!

Haverford Hoops! | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

"You know those stories about a wise coach who inspires a group of plucky overachievers to overcome the odds and win state, or whatever? This is not one of those stories."


In the early 1990s, a team from a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania embarked on a harrowing streak, bringing pain and joy—and bonding a group of men together forever

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Biblical Illiteracy and the Knowledge of God (Part 1) by Toby Jennings

Biblical Illiteracy and the Knowledge of God (Part 1) by Toby Jennings | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Dr. Toby Jennings expresses his concerns regarding biblical illiteracy and the affect it has on the knowledge of God.

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My Phone is My Fig Leaf

My Phone is My Fig Leaf | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They knew that the world was now watching them. Judging them by obscene standards of creativity, fitness, intelligence, wit, beauty, attractiveness, and wealth. They knew that there were opinions to be shared, people to build up, and people to be torn down, Youtube videos to be made viral and critiqued by any measure of preference or whimsy.

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Faith for the Post-Christian Heart: A Conversation with Francis Spufford

Faith for the Post-Christian Heart: A Conversation with Francis Spufford | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

For the UK writer, Christianity must first make sense in the realm of lived experience.


"I want the center of the argument pulled back toward agnosticism, so that it's possible to say that atheism and faith are both necessarily leaps into the dark. I'm not saying we're stuck with fideism—you just make your choice, and you know nothing. I'm saying knowledge can't take you all the way on either side."

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Kay Warren: A Year of Grieving Dangerously

Kay Warren: A Year of Grieving Dangerously | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

About two weeks ago, Kay Warren's anger boiled over. The co-founder of Saddleback church wrote on Facebook, "As the one-year anniversary of Matthew's death approaches, I have been shocked by some subtle and not-so-subtle comments indicating that perhaps I should be ready to 'move on.' … I have to tell you – the old Rick and Kay are gone. They're never coming back. We will never be the same again."

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Is Valentine's Day a Lose-Lose Holiday?: The single and dating come together to try to redeem the commercialized extravaganza.

Is Valentine's Day a Lose-Lose Holiday?: The single and dating come together to try to redeem the commercialized extravaganza. | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Our idealism is born out of a healthy desire to honor the relationship we're in by God's grace. It expresses itself in terribly awkward ways, like boxes of waxy chocolates, botched dinner reservations or overly bounteous bouquets of red roses. But I suspect that what they (the women) really want is an attempt, however lame, to honor them and show them affection.


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I have a friend who...believes science disproves faith | Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

I have a friend who...believes science disproves faith | Menlo Park Presbyterian Church | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Has the rise of modern science shown that faith is really

irrational? Writer and speaker John Ortberg shows that this is not the case.

Andrew van Zyl's insight:

I love John Ortberg's books and then discovered his sermons. He is one of those preachers I would more than happy to take my friends along to listen to. His preaching is intelligent, interesting and fresh, and he has a uniqe ability to communicate in a jargon-free manner. If you have students who are asking some of the Big Questions around Christianity then you may be interested in the rest of this series as well.

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What Does God Think of Entertainment? I John Ortberg

What Does God Think of Entertainment? I John Ortberg | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

OrAre churches more interested in entertaining people and drawing crowds than in actually doing the work of worship? Last Sunday in our weekend service, I posed just this question to Justin Bieber, who was guest leading a worship set after Siegfried and Roy made an actual lion lie down with an actual lamb to launch our new series: "What Happens in Shalom Stays in Shalom."

Okay, we didn't really do that. But the demands of cranking out services and sermons are intense. We are trying to edify people who already attend our churches as well as reach people who don't attend any church. The sheer pressure of doing that week after week can keep us from stepping back to ask what we are really trying to achieve.

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▶ Christianity in China: Crosses to bear - YouTube

Published on Nov 11, 2014
The atheist Communist Party is faced with the growing popularity of religion.

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Seeing Jesus Through Doubting Eyes

Seeing Jesus Through Doubting Eyes | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

20 May 2014

Unfollowers focuses on "the people who got it wrong" in the Gospels and invites us to see these familiar stories in a new light. When we see ourselves in their stories we are able to better understand their reaction to Jesus. We also begin to see ourselves more accurately.

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▶ Finding Shakespeare by C.S. Lewis Doodle

A Christmas gift to you to go under your tree from C.S. Lewis doodle.

Andrew van Zyl's insight:

CS Lewis died in the Sixties, but he is still one of the clearest and insightful "apologists" for the Christian faith. This illustrated version of one of his essays works brilliantly (methinks). If you are discussing the existence of God and the basis of Christianity you may want to use this and also take a look at the other "doodles" here.

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Why I Didn’t Skip Church …

Why I Didn’t Skip Church … | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Not long ago I was spending a weekend at the coast. When Saturday came I started thinking about church the next day. Showing up seemed like the right thing to do, but there was another part of me that just wanted to spend a quiet morning on the balcony, watching the waves, and enjoying the presence of the Lord with a cup of coffee.

But going to church seemed like the right thing to do

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There's More to Love Than 'True Love'

There's More to Love Than 'True Love' | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

A host of recent movies and television shows tell a new story: Romance is not the only kind of love that makes life worth living. Disney's much-loved animated movie Frozen shows us that while romance is all well and good, sisterly love is the kind of love that will cast out fear. All the characters expect that the purest form of love is "true love's kiss.” Instead, Frozen mirrors John 15:13 (ESV): "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."


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Food Is the New Sex (Part 1)

Food Is the New Sex (Part 1) | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Among the new emerging adults, these attitudes have reversed: now sex between consenting adults is self-evidently a matter of personal preference, while choices about food are not.

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And God Said It Was Good

And God Said It Was Good | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Not every man can call himself a Master Educator. I can. Of course, the designation may have expired by now, and the title seems a bit ostentatious for so tiny a field of expertise, but according to the outdoor ethics program, Leave No Trace (LNT), the title is mine.

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Is an Online Church Really a Church?

Is an Online Church Really a Church? | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Come on—it's 2014.Every church should have an online presence. Your church people and your community are there, so you should be as well. But that is different than referring to something that happens via your website as a "church." Can an online gathering of Christians be classified as a church? Let's think through this by asking five questions.

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Central African Churches Pledge Action Against Christians Who Don't Pursue Peace

Central African Churches Pledge Action Against Christians Who Don't Pursue Peace | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

Evangelical alliance challenges militias that 'distort' Jesus' teachings and 'discredit' his followers.

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Hungry for Outrage: Indignation is the discourse du jour on the Internet. We can do better.

Hungry for Outrage: Indignation is the discourse du jour on the Internet. We can do better. | Christian resources for South African teachers | Scoop.it

From mayors' sex scandals to pastors' oddball comments to judges' incoherent rulings, we are reminded 24/7 of the extent of human folly. If anything, a nonstop news cycle gives us nonstop proof that sin pervades every person and institution. In the words of G. K. Chesterton, original sin "is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved"—and tweeted, we might add. There is no shortage of reasons to be outraged.

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