“I did not come to condemn” Stickers – Now Avaliable!

A lot of you guys have been asking about getting hold of the “I did not come to condemn….” stickers that we featured on the site recently.

I am pleased to announce that they are now avaliable at www.jesuspropaganda.com.

– James

Writers! Be Confident

Fountain Pen

“There is a conversation about God going on in popular culture that the church is not engaged in and is often unaware of.”

The above quote comes from a book called A Matrix of Meaning and is part of a call to Christians to start promoting work within [what Christians would call] the secular industry.

I have been thinking about this a lot recently, due to an essay I had to write on the engagement of Christians within popular culture and would like to share a little bit of what I have been thinking about with you.

I love reading. It does not really matter what it is that I am reading, so long as I am reading something. However I have always struggled to read christian fiction, possibly because I have an underlying belief that if christian fiction cannot make it into mainstream bookstores, it must be terrible.

I have made a mistake

I am beginning to believe that the trouble stems not from the fiction, but where the fiction is being aimed at. Maybe the reason why we do not see a large amount of christian fiction is because its aimed at the christian market within christian sellers.

Can Christians not write meaningful fiction that can be enjoyed by all? of course! I was very amazed to find a copy of ‘The Shack’, [for those that do not know, this is a recent book written by William Young, about a man’s encounter with God] in my local bookstore, which shows that such fiction can be aimed at the mass market.

Often we see everyone outside of church as just people we either need to avoid or evangelise till they become one of us. We could however choose to see them as people on a journey, just like us, searching for something bigger who might just find something worthwhile in something a christian has written.

What I am trying to do is encourage writers to be confident in their abilities to write. Enter competitions, get your friends to read your work, push boundaries and knock on doors.

It does not matter what we write, whether it be film scripts, poetry, fiction, comics, songs or whatever we should believe that God can break down any walls and allow his message to be read in all spheres of culture, not just our own christian culture. We need to start aiming bigger for the sake of others.

“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD  in the land of the living.” – Psalm 27

Lets start showing the goodness of God to the world through the creativity he has given us.

– Russell

THE MANGA JESUS

From the maker of the Manga bible, comes a new manga series based on the life and works of Jesus!

It is very difficult to find Christian comic books, even harder to find ones which are actually of any substance or of high standard. As a dedicated follower of the comic industry I am continuously disappointed, not by the lack of Christian comics, but by the poor quality in script and artwork that current Christian Comics are known by.

It was, with some excitement, that I stumbled across the Manga Jesus. Siku [the writer and artist], is a known comic book artist, I have seen some of the work he has produced for 2000AD and its very good. When he produced the Manga Bible, which has become very popular, I wondered if it was going to be just another poor attempt to bring comics into the Christian market, It wasn’t!

The first time I met Siku was at the Bristol International Comic Expo in 2007 [then later at the Christian Rescource exhibition in Esher the same year]. To see him promoting his work at a national Convention filled me, not only with great hope, but awe as well. Here is someone who has brought his passion for Jesus and comics together to form a great tool for evangelism and enjoyment.

This latest venture, the Manga Jesus is absolutely superb and I recommend everyone buy a copy, not just for personal use [as I have], but also as something that can be given away to others who do not know Christ and maybe want to get to know him more! Not to take away from the word of God, but as a way to lead those of a visual nature into the word, and better understand the God we serve.

 

If you would like to find out more about Siku or the manga bible, please click here

Thanks for reading

-Russell

Lifehouse’s Everything Skit

This drama is best known as “Lifehouse’s Everything Skit” and was originally performed at the 2006 Smokey Mountain Winterfest in Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville TN, by Mission Baltimore.

When I first saw this video, a minute or so in I was bored and thinking, “I thought people said this was powerful?! It looks to me like another ‘namby-pamby’ Christian dance…” But as it continued I started to feel moved, and by the end my eyes had filled with tears.

I think the dance really depicts the struggle we face in life, to battle our way through sin and suffering and stay close to God. Though it may seem corny, we can’t escape the awesome truth that God is all powerful and can free us from anything getting in the way of our relationship with Him. Praise the Lord!

– Serena

New Generation Bible Project

I have, I would say, a very keen eye for design, and so when I see some really amazing Christian design work, I absolutely LOVE IT!

Whilst at Soul Survivor this year I was walking around the warehouse with all the shops and stands, and came upon a stand for an organization called New Generation. They had these pile of AMAZING looking bibles, and instantly I asked the guy if they were for sale. They were white and blue with an AMAZING design of the face of Jesus on the cover, inside there were fantastically written, easy to read testimonies, and information about giving your life to Christ. I found out that they were 5 for £10, working out to £2 each! I snapped 5 up straight away!

New Generation is a great organisation which exists to help students to share the gospel with their friends. With this project they are trying to get as many students as possible to step out and share the gift of a bible with their friends. You can read more about the project on the New Generation Website, and if you are interested in buying some bibles (which I think are FANTASTIC) you can visit the New Generation webshop.

I really love stuff like this, because the design is SO good that it draws you in. I’d really love to see more stuff like this in circulation, its cool, its relevant, and its appealing. Fantastic.

– James

Modern Art and the Death of a Culture…..


For those of you who want to read some art history with a christian perspective, read ‘Modern Art and the Death of a Culture’ by H.R Rookmaaker. It’s a pretty well known book and has been around for a while but I only found it a few months ago. I’ve been slow getting through it but it’s a great book for understanding the place Christian art is at currently, and how we’ve got here.

As the blurb on the back says…

‘… Dr. Rookmaaker builds up a message for our times which may be devastating, but is also profoundly helpful and positive. He sees above all the tremendous potential and relevance of Christian attitudes, to man, to society, to freedom, to the whole of reality, as the basis for a way ahead in the future.’

If you wanna purchase it you can click here.

– Miriam

Desiring God

One of the great privileges of being a Christian in this age is to be able to have access to some of the best preaching happening today over the internet. Today I would like to point you over to the website of John Piper: a preacher, author, poet and thinker who has deeply impacted my own life. A good place to start (especially as this is a Christian arts blog!) is perhaps with one of his stories.

The Donkey, the Stallion, and the Strategy of the Hills

In this simple story told on Palm Sunday to his congregation, we are reminded as the King reminds his own servants:

Though arrogance and rage assail
Conspiracy will not prevail.
In death recall unerringly
That you will always reign with me

It’s a beautiful tale – if you can listen to the audio rather than simply reading then you are treated to hear the passion that Piper puts into all of his sermons, and the deep heart-knowledge he has of the glory of God. The preaching right across this site is very powerful and very varied in subject – covering huge issues such as biblical authority or God’s salvation plan, and also very earthy issues like spiritual depression in the Psalms, or struggles with anxiety, pride or envy. He also does a fantastic series of biographies of wonderful lives lived for God in the past, and what lessons we can take from them.

Finally, this is a poem that almost leads me to cry each time I hear it – a look at the consequence of Jesus’ birth for the Innkeeper who gave him somewhere to stay. What a costly birth Jesus’ was – please listen to this and be humbled:

 – Stephen

You Just Lost One……

I came across Blair Wingo on the Internet by accident about a year ago, she is a fantastic poet. The above video is the first poem that I saw her give and it is powerful. It’s so refreshing to see a christian of high calibre not only stand up openly in unwavering faith, but who is also willing to challenge church thinking across the board. I have seen many of her other poems and have found my self changed for the better. if you want to see more of her work or that of the organisation she works for [P4CM] please click here

enjoy

-Russell

Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ

“I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.”

-J. Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor - a humble, obedient and inspiring servant of Jesus

James Hudson Taylor, the British doctor, pioneer missionary and founder of the China Inland Mission (today OMF International) sets an inspiring model for modern day Christians “in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). It is likely that what God accomplished through his life in sowing seeds across China (both personally in through the organisation he founded) is a major factor in the revival seen in China today. From a personal perspective, he is quite possibly the person who has most inspired me outside of the Bible.

This biography is beautifully written, and feels neither over-long nor superficial. Roger Steer (the author) shows real discernment in picking out important parts from Taylor’s life, and you go from reading of his conversion experience, through his early explorations in depending on God for finances (this bit really challenged me to do the same!), to his time over in China. It follows Taylor through fierce persecution, the heartbreak of losing his first wife to illness, the excitement as the mission flourished, many amazing moves of God, and finally a tender treatment of Taylor’s final years and death that will leave the reader in reverence of the Lord who can show men how to use a life so beautifully.

Read this book. Be challenged and inspired by it. Ask God what it means for your own life. You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/J-Hudson-Taylor-Missionary-Stories/dp/1850784086 or direct from OMF (http://www.omf.org/uk). To give you an idea of how important I believe this book is, I ordered 28 copies of it to distribute to people at university. For as you finish reading and think upon the short life God has given you, it is not with self-despair, but with a renewed recognition of just how much God can do with a life which is truly surrendered to Him. I’ll leave you with this quote by Taylor – ask yourself whether you can be one of those he talks of:

“All God’s giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them.”

Beautiful Graffiti Video

This video is a collaboration between the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, graffiti artists Camer1 & Fasm, DJ and graffiti artist DJ Promote, and spoken word artist Tavis Brunson.

Being a fan of graffiti and street art I think that the painting is amazing and that the video is beautifully put together

For more information please see the BGEA news article.