There is a growing trend of students having a mentor to support them in their studies. Simon explores going further and surrounding ourselves with a whole team of people to help see us through. While a mentor would have a place in this team, there is a need for others too.
We all bring baggage with us when we approach Scripture. It might be personality quirks like introversion and self-reliance, or culturally conditioned philosophical concepts like individualism. These things act as static that we must try and tune out. When we do, we are better placed to hear what Scripture teaches on community.
In this book, Becket Cook tells the reader what it was like to be immersed in the gay lifestyle on the US West Coast, and how the world looks from that perspective: “I wanted everyone to be free to be who they were with wild abandon and without shame, completely comfortable in their own skin.”
It is often quite strange to look back over my life and see where God has brought me, sometimes with my full awareness, at other times organising events in the background. It would be great to say that my journey has been straight forward and pain-free, but that wouldn’t be honest or accurate.
Our so-called “connected lifestyles” have often failed to help us encounter other people in truly satisfying ways: being a virtual friend or subscribing to a newsfeed is no guarantee of closeness to another human being. We need to find meaningful community that is realistic in today’s world.
Jonathan explores five reasons why, over time, he has come to appreciate the value of singleness. While being honest about the struggles he's had on this journey, he shows why singleness is not second best, and indeed why it offers some distinct advantages over married life.
Covenant Eyes is a popular provider of internet accountability software. It has recently launched its new Screen Accountability software, where Artificial Intelligence is used to detect pornographic images. I have used Covenant Eyes for several years, so when they launched this change I was interested to see how it worked.
Our pastor recently preached a Sunday morning sermon on marriage and the family. He prayed for “our marriages and families” at the end and then added the line, “and we also pray for those who are single.” He might just as well have said, “and Gary too”, since I was the only single person there!
In an increasingly busy and individualistic world, and in a church culture which seems to promote nuclear family relationships over singleness, it can be challenging to build meaningful friendships within the church, especially for a childless person to build relationships with nuclear families. And yet Jesus calls for radical community centred around Himself and the gospel.