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Three important differences between Flatter and Encouragement – Part 2

Three important differences between Flatter and Encouragement—Part 2 (for part 1 please visit our web site) Flattery builds pride; encouragement builds strength. Often flattery begins with the phrase “You are so…”. Granted, that doesn’t automatically define a statement as flattery, but when what follows is a thick syrup of meaningless praise, it’s a pretty good indicator. Since the flatterer is driven by…

Three important differences between Flattery and Encouragement – part 1

Three important differences between flattery and encouragement – Part 1 There’s a fine line between words that flatter and words that encourage—so fine, in fact, that the words used might be identical. “You are so beautiful” could qualify as rank fawning; it could also, given the right circumstances, tone of voice, and context of relationship, serve as a genuine statement of appreciation,…

4 Secular Myths about Religion (And why they’re Potentially Dangerous) – Part 3

4 Secular Myths About Religion … (And Why They’re Potentially Dangerous) – Part 3    Myth #4  – Religion is Against the Public Good,  It needs to be kept out of the public square. This view has been popularised by ‘New Atheist’ thinkers like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. It re-appeared last year in MSM articles about the SSM postal survey. Fairfax…

4 Secular Myths about Religion (And Why They’re Potentially Dangerous) – Part 2

4 Secular Myths About Religion … (And Why They’re Potentially Dangerous) – Part 2 (last week in part one we examined the myth that ‘all religions are essentially the same ‘as well as the myth that ‘religion is merely a private belief that does not impact a person’s outward behaviour (see website for details)  3)  Religion is Inherently ‘Irrational’ and Belief Driven…

4 Secular Myths about Religion … (and why they are dangerous) – Part 1

4 Secular Myths About Religion … (And Why They’re Potentially Dangerous) – Part 1 An increasing number of overtly secular people believe in myths: myths about religion – and about how religion works. Unfortunately, many of these secular people are vocal in the public square, driving important discussions around the role of religion in society. As far as they’re concerned, religion’s place in society –…

Are there many ways to God?

Are There Many Ways to God? We live in a society that embraces diversity—different ethnicities, music, TV shows, fashion, food, and the freedom of various lifestyle choices. In such as cultural environment it is considered arrogant to say there is only one way to God. If pluralism is the view that there are many ways to God, what do we make of…

Tools, Technology and Attention

Tools, Technology and Attention In 1976, at the dawn of the computer age, the Canadian philosopher George Grant wrote an essay entitled: “The Computer Does Not Impose On Us The Ways It Should Be Used”. The title was a quotation of a claim made by someone seeking to calm anxieties about this unfamiliar new technology. Yet Grant went on to argue that…

How to talk to strangers – Part 3

How to talk to strangers – part 3 (Part 1 & 2 are on our web site) Bring it back to Jesus It’s tricky in an initial conversation, but try to discern whether your new acquaintance is a Christian or not. In a church setting this topic arises more naturally than if you’re meeting in a park or a school’s parents night,…

How to talk to strangers – Part 2

How to talk to strangers – part 2  The art of conversation Now that we’ve dealt with the principles, let’s talk about practicalities. Make the most of small talk Small talk can be boring, but it’s a necessary step in the relationship-building process. It helps the other person feel more comfortable with you, and it gradually opens the doors that lead to…

How to talk to strangers – Part 1

How to talk to strangers – Part 1 Karen Beilharz is a Sydney-based writer, editor and comics creator best known for her work on ‘Kinds of Blue: An anthology of short comics about depression’ and ‘Eternal Life’, a science fiction graphic novel with Paul Wong-Pan. (Find more of her work at hivemindedness.com.) She is a former editor of ‘The Briefing’ and attends…