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. . . learning from each other
W-E-B Issue 152 ~ September 07
Every 3 or 4 weeks ISSN 471-0323

News this time...


Dr. E. Stanley Jones said: "Christianity is the only religion that dares ask its followers to accept suffering as a gift from God, because it is the only religion that dares say God too has suffered."

"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today" - Native American Proverb


The Art and Soul of Cinema
Tony Watkins
ISBN 978-1-904753-15-5

A thought-provoking cartoon* of two missionaries (Mish and Meedja - geddit?) shows them walking through a street, one saying, "I give up! I just can't find a way to reach these people."
Around them are shops and stalls selling comics, and people reading them.

In the same way, most people in most cultures spend a considerable part of their leisure time in the world of story - films (cinema and TV) and books. Using culture as a way in to the Gospel therefore seems almost essential. In this new book, culturewatch guru Tony Watkins, of, writes about cinema with great insight and clarity. He divides his writing into three 'reels'. The first explains how worldview inevitably shapes films and their obvious or implied messages. His second explains how films communicate - the methods that film-makers use to tell a story. And the third reel helps us understand and interpret what films are actually saying. Although other books (e.g. Hollywood Worldviews) may have covered some of this material, no one else has drawn it all into one volume.

Should you read it? If you are a web writer or blogger, yes. If you are a preacher, yes. If you ever talk to work-mates or friends about TV or film, yes. That really means everyone, right?

Damaris are very generously offering 25 per cent off this book to Bulletin readers. To get it, go to:
select 'b u y n o w', and enter the code word Nebbelling at the final payment stage.
You can read a sample chapter by clicking on the 'more info' link first. Note, you need to register as a Damaris member to use the shop, but this only takes seconds.

The book is also widely available, for instance from all national branches of Amazon.

*permission to reproduce cartoon available from - the cartoon training people


Sorry, there was a typo in our recommendation of 'Internet Evangelism in the 21st Century'. It is a 6Mb PDF download, and not 60Mb as stated last issue. If that put you off, download it now!

For more book recommendations, including several no-pay e-book downloads:


Evan Almighty - A quiz. Culture-watcher Dave Buckna's latest:


AN UPSIDE-DOWN WORLD: "Distinguishing between home and mission field no longer makes sense," says Christopher J H Wright. "The language of home and mission field is still used by many churches and agencies, but it fundamentally misrepresents reality."

FACING THE CHALLENGE: UK-based offer a range of biblical and contextual training courses:
Our world is changing very fast, we have to understand it to reach it.

Facing the Challenge is involved in bringing Mike Frost (Vice Principal at the Baptist College of New South Wales) to speak at several locations in the Southampton area of England. There is also a possibility of an Evangelical Alliance meeting in London:
Mike's insights into reaching our world are helpful, and tie in with the Upside Down World article. ChristianityWorks offer a range of series of his MP3 talks. "I used them with a group over the past few months, and they stirred a lot of thought and discussion," says Facing the Challenge's Dave Couchman:

HARRY POTTER. With Christian opinion on the Potter books and films ranging across a wide spectrum - from warm-hearted approval of a well-told story with spiritual parallels, to rejection as dark and harmful propaganda, ATS has found a balance in their new Harry Potter tract:


TEMPTATION: Safeguard Against Workplace Temptations, a summary by Nancy C. Anderson, adapted from her book Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome:

AN OLDER WISER EX-GAY MOVEMENT - the 30-year-old ministry now offers realistic hope:

USING IT: Why pastors need to embrace technology:

SORROW BUT NO REGRETS: "My life in the troubled, redemptive church":

ATHLETES in Action have produced an outreach site based on sports testimonies:

'KATE MODERN' LAUNCHES: In an interesting cross-over, social networking site Bebo are offering a video soap opera:,39029694,49290712,00.htm

It is, inevitably, also a product placement advertising vehicle. But it's also a compelling professionally-acted story, and one which viewers can interact with, even suggesting the way the storyline should develop.

HAND-CRANKED MP3 PLAYER: Following in the footsteps of the Bayliss hand-cranked radio comes the Eco Media Player - a hand-cranked MP3 and video player which is also an FM radio and photoviewer. It will charge mobile phones, and can itself be charged up from a USB port. Great if you do not have easy access to mains electricity.


One Web Day is a secular focus on 22 September, to 'celebrate online life':

They are encouraging people to submit videos, photos and articles tagged with 'onewebday'. That's a easy way to be part of it.


Photo-sharing sites are a further way of using social networking as a means to draw people to our websites, says Pastor Ralph Wilson:


- non-techies look away now

MOVIE FONTS: download the fonts used for different films:

SOFTWARE AND GAMES - nopay stuff:

ANOTHER NEW BROWSER - yet another to check your site in - Maxthon:

SITEMAPS - why your site needs one:

BOOK REVIEWS: The Design of Sites - "all in one guide about web design:

MORE BOOKS: list of recommended books on NetDummy:

GOOGLE: Advanced search now allows lookup of files according when they were added to Google. And Google Earth files too:

IMAGING FR.WARE SOFTWARE - morphing and image editor good for retouching:

VIDEO: Next release version of its Flash Player 9 will support the H.264
standard. How to use button to control movie clip:

SCREEN READERS: unlike most screen readers for visually disabled users (which have the disadvantages of only being usable on the computer they are installed on, and tending to slow it down), Satogo is a web-based reader in Beta, so you can use it anywhere. For a quick trial, enter 'demo' in the password field. Needs IE5+.
There is a wide range of other screen readers and screen magnifiers available too.


Not so many if you are a magazine editor, looking for articles for a December issue. Evangelist Rusty Wright's latest ready-to-use outreach article (conditions:
"The Christmas Story: Does it Still Matter? Christmas often means time with family, hectic shopping, parties, cards and gifts. But what about the first Christmas? Why is the original story the baby in a manger, shepherds, wise men, angels important, if at all? The answer may surprise you. (Short magazine article - scroll to page 6 of the PDF document.)"


Parisians are using the web to meet their neighbors. Just as most Parisians are too cool to visit the Eiffel Tower, most of us ignore the possibilities for friendships immediately outside our front door.

French social networking website Peuplade aims to bridge that small but often insurmountable gap by putting neighbors in touch with each other. It also wants you to meet people different from your usual crowd.

"In life today we get to meet people in a very specific situation and social background. You meet people from your school, from your family or from your work," said Jérémie Chouraqui, a lawyer and one of the founders of Peuplade. "With Peuplade you will meet people that you will usually not get to meet in cities: people with different ages and social backgrounds, but they all live in the same neighbourhood."

The site is effectively a neighborhood notice-board which started life in Paris's 17th arrondisement and is now spreading to the rest of the city. It carries a variety of information on upcoming events, but visitors can also make contact and meet up with people who live within a two-minute walk.

Peuplade aims to "change the way we make friends and the sort of people we make friends with - when you sign up you leave your prejudices at the door":


Dr Bob Utley writes, "I am a retired Professor of Hermeneutics who is committed to the authority and inspiration of the Bible and have just put my verse-by-verse Bible commentaries online. I want to be a blessing to the body of Christ world-wide. These historical-grammatical Bible studies focus on the intent of the original inspired author. Currently, it has over 6,000 pages of written commentary as well as over 300 audio lessons covering the whole New Testament. I will be adding over 500 more video lessons this summer."


If you are going to the September Web Ministry Conference, do please say 'hi' to Tony your editor - I'm also available for consultation on any web-ev issue.

For details of more conferences, including a March 2008 journalism and communication conference in the Bahamas (well, someone has to do it):


Ready-made content can add value to your website. You can add the content of this newsletter, or a summary, using an easy insert code:

We have many other free articles too (that page also includes a link to Rusty Wright's article resource, which we strongly recommend):


- a Christian had thought of that, and made a bridge strategy page about it...

1. Here's an interesting online clock, which draws in a range of 'real-time ticker' statistics. It's actually part of a larger site promoting New Age 'spiritual awareness'. So obviously we're putting a health warning on that, but at the same time commending a non-Christian use of the bridge strategy approach which we could emulate.

2. The death of Luciano Pavarotti prompted me to do what I had intended for a while - find out what the words of 'Nessun Dorma' actually mean, since I am not familiar with the opera Turandot. And hey, it contains some ready-made redemptive analagies just waiting to be used in any website, magazine, blog, etc:

3. The Fallacy Files are an interesting approach to logical thought. Something like this would mesh very well with an apologetic approach to make people think through their inconsistent assumptions:


Shadow hand puppetry as good as you'll ever see, anywhere:

graphic by
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