Category: Jody Bennett

What type of father is God?

HAVE YOU HEARD people say ‘I like the Jesus of the New Testament (NT) but I don’t like the angry God of the Old Testament (OT)?’

According to Christianity, Jesus is God in human form. Jesus told His followers that if they had seen Him they had seen God.

Sometimes it seems to me though that we think they are two different types of gods: that the OT God is a stern, strict Victorian father who takes the strap to his children if they do wrong, whereas we imagine Jesus as a modern, fun parent who gives us lots of hugs and positive reinforcement.

 

But are either of these really the picture the Bible portrays?      

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Why does “bad” feel so good?

ISN’T it strange that we display bumper stickers that say things like “Bad to the Bone”, “10% nice, 90% naughty” and have skulls on them, but it wouldn’t be considered nearly so cool to have a sticker that said “Good guy”, “Noble and honest” or “I love my spouse”?

Good is “wicked” or “sick” and icons of evil, like demons, devils, witches and the grim reaper are put on our T-shirts and backpacks.Continue reading

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Jesus in Jeans 2 – The fancy banquet

 – a modern rendering of the parable in Matthew 22:1-14

There was a tycoon who threw a party at a swanky restaurant. He issued an invitation in the local press that “whomsoever” wanted to come was invited. The only proviso was that they had to be dressed properly in the dinner jacket that he provided. His Son had gone out and, at much cost to himself, bought enough jackets to provide for all possible attendees.

Well, the poor beggar man was only too pleased to exchange his raggedy coat for the fancy dinner jacket and go into the party. He was overflowing with gratitude and couldn’t believe his good fortune.Continue reading

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Are you suffering through Christmas?

Published Christmas 2018

Most people are familiar with the basics of the Christmas story and the manger scene of baby Jesus in the hay; however, they might think ‘well so what? Even if that is the historical basis for Christmas, it is irrelevant to me now in the 21st century.’

Christmas, to most Aussies, has come to mean presents, food and maybe some time off.

For some, though, it is not even a festive holiday but a hard time. Christmas may bring with it unnecessary debt, unwanted expectations, demanding social engagements and painful memories of family members who are no longer with us or relationships that have broken down.

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Zach and Lily

Written for the children’s page

Hey Lily, are you on Insta?

No I’m reading on my phone.

What are you reading?

The Bible.

The Bible! Why would you read that? It is so full of rules! Doesn’t it tell you not to swear, to obey your parents and never to smoke or drink or have fun? I wouldn’t read a book that bossed me around so much!

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Yin Yang

The Eastern symbol of Yin Yang, with its equal swirls of black and white, has become ubiquitous on clothing brands, computer games and in popular culture generally. This idea of a balance between good and evil, of an eternal struggle between the two, is played out in comics and TV shows, and is very appealing. We can identify that tug of war in the world around us and we feel the struggle within ourselves.

The concept of equal but opposing forces in an epic duel has even crept into Christian thinking. However, Biblical Christianity teaches a far different and more encouraging power balance than that good causes and is dependent upon evil, just holding its own in the struggle.

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What are we waiting for?

Published Christmas 2019

“I just can’t wait to open my presents!” Isn’t that the cry of kids (and some adults!) at Christmas? The anticipation of seeing secret wrapped presents under the tree is often even more exciting than actually finding out what is inside them! We wait with expectation, for weeks, to find out what we will get and to taste the delicious food we specially prepare.

Waiting is hard. Not for Christmas morning, maybe. But life is full of other waiting times; we wait for a diagnosis, for true love, to recover from an illness, to stop hurting, to have children, to get work or to retire.Continue reading

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Trauma cleaning

I am reading a fascinating book at the moment about someone whose job it is to “trauma clean” – she is the cleaner who goes in after a murder, suicide or bad tenant; the person whom the council gets to clean up for hoarders and wash down former methadone labs.

What an interesting, disgusting, daunting and slightly terrifying job!Continue reading

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Imagine a world without theft

Can you imagine a world in which there was no theft? I find it is almost impossible to do. Imagine not needing locks on doors, or cars? No security guards in stores, no pick pocketing or phone scams. We wouldn’t need safety deposit boxes or passwords because no one would steal online either.

If everything was paid for, stores wouldn’t have to pad their prices and the cost of everything would be lower. Insurance companies would lose a lot of work. If no one stole from the tax man, the government would have lots more money to make improvements on infrastructure and amenities.

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The most destructive man to ever live

(Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

I recently learnt about the life of American chemical engineer Thomas Midgley, a mild-mannered inventor, who only lived 55 years and whom I had never heard of before, but whose impact was one of world-wide destruction and death. He has been dubbed the most destructive single organism on Earth!¹

Midgley was instrumental in the invention both of leaded gasoline and CFCs, two of the worst inventions ever, which continue to have untold human and environmental impacts.Continue reading

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