Author Archives: Ashley Thompson

When Christian media sucks

Hillsong United performing at Hillsong Conference in Sydney earlier this year. Photo by Ashley Thompson.

Google suggestions don’t lie. So if popular opinion is calling out Christian movies and music as the “enemy of quality”, “intellectually vacant” and “disconnected from reality” what value does it hold in a world already full of hopeless content? Ashley Thompson explores. Christians in media are stuck between a rock and a hard place—damned if they do, damned if they ...

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Porn kills love: The corrupting influence of sexual images

Experts confirm that hardcore pornography is the biggest source of information about sex for young people. Ashley Thompson explores how its entrenchment in mainstream society has warped sexual expectations—leaking lies into the hearts and minds of our youth. It’s not like you have to go looking for pornography, today it comes looking for you. In 2011, the University of New ...

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Correcting the trade imbalance

Hugh Jackman with Ethiopian coffee farmer, Dukale.

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but fair trade documentaries The True Cost and Dukale’s Dream show the economic future of the developing world is far from hopeless. Ashley Thompson writes. “Fair trade is a citizen’s response to correcting the social injustice in the international trading system that is largely dysfunctional,” says Safia Minney—founder and CEO of ...

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Friendship found among the bargains

Community Care Op Sop volunteer, Anne Dodd.

On the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, church op shops are bridging the gap between congregations and the community. Ashley Thompson speaks with volunteers from the Mudgeeraba and Mooloolaba Uniting Church op shops. If you find yourself browsing through the eclectic treasure of Mudgeeraba Uniting Church Community Care Op Shop on a weekday morning around ten, it’s likely you’ll be invited into ...

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Five faith Facebook faux pas

Facebook banner: sad face and unlike button. Graphic by Ashleigh Pesu.

Just because you can say something, doesn’t mean you should. Heaven knows not all Christians use Facebook appropriately—a sad and missed opportunity considering the potential impact. Here are five tips to keep you on the straight and narrow. Inspiration overload I’m so glad you are inspired by five million quotes from “Anonymous” laid over city backdrops and Bible verses placed ...

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Rachel Held Evans: Busting myths about millennials

Rachel Held Evans. Photo was supplied.

A millennial’s reasons for staying, leaving and returning to church are as rich and complex as the generation itself. Ashley Thompson speaks with New York Times best-selling author Rachel Held Evans about why Generation Y isn’t as shallow as you might think. A self-described introvert and “doubt-filled believer” from the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, Rachel Held Evans writes with ...

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Dump your junk, officer

Central region police chaplain Rev Glenn Louttit and Senior Constable Tracy Graham. Photo by Queensland Police.

Investigating robberies, assault, homicide and rape; police officers have heavy burdens to carry. Ashley Thompson speaks with Rev Glenn Louttit about being a listening ear to Queensland’s finest. “Police officers deal with trauma all the time but they become conditioned to it as time goes by,” says central region police chaplain Rev Glenn Louttit. “If the truth be known they ...

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Royal sense and sensibility

Princesses Margaret (left) and Elizabeth (right). Photo by Ecosse Films.

Scornfully reviewed as royal watcher sugar akin to William and Kate: The Movie, the recently released Mother’s Day drawcard A Royal Night Out is fictitious fun with subtle observations on the social phenomenon of birth order, Ashley Thompson writes. “I’m P2, no one cares what I do!” exclaims the younger and only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret Windsor. Elizabeth ...

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Connecting congregation and community

Rev Peter Lockhart (M) with Kate Brazier (R) and Lwanda Kahongo (L) at St Lucia Uniting Church. Photo by Ashley Thompson.

St Lucia Uniting Church minster Rev Peter Lockhart speaks with Ashley Thompson about the Uniting Church’s place in the crowded ministry of university chaplaincy. A mere five minute drive from the University of Queensland’s main campus, St Lucia Uniting Church is perfectly situated to minister to nearly 1200 young adults residing in Uniting Church–affiliated colleges: Emmanuel, Grace, Kings, Cromwell and ...

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Faith in a Netflix economy

Netflix eating Blockbuster. Graphic by Ashleigh Pesu.

The way we are consuming products—including church—is rapidly changing. Ashley Thompson asks, what does this mean for our communities of faith? A mere decade ago, Blockbuster dominated Friday night entertainment. Now as on-demand internet streaming provider Netflix launches in the Australian market, the “Be Kind, Rewind” era is officially over. Kodak, Nokia, Borders: Blockbuster is in good company among a ...

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