Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.
~ Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791 ~

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's all about fear, power and control

What sort of personality do you have? Are you confident, extroverted, and unafraid of conflict? Or are you shy, introverted and try to avoid conflict? Or perhaps somewhere in-between?

I have long hypothesized that your personality type is the single biggest influence on how successful you will be as a Christadelphian. So much so that many Christadelphians seem to fit into a couple of distinct stereotypes, not unlike the ones I mentioned above.What do I mean by "successful" ? In my opinion, the most successful Christadelphians are those who are self-confident, perhaps even a little arrogant, and can throw their weight around and get others to do things for them. These people are often on committees and sometimes enjoy celebrity status within a wider group. Perhaps this is true of any community, but it is certainly true of Christadelphians. Christadelphian ecclesias are the perfect "small ponds" for these "big fish" to thrive in.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Journey

Imagine you’re about to set off on a journey. The destination is fixed. You suspect that it takes a long time to get there, but you have no idea how long. There are many, many roads which lead to the destination. Some roads are dangerous, some have great views, some are cold and dark. All roads themselves split into even more roads, all of which still lead to the destination.

You have a choice of cars to drive.
You must choose a car, and you may only choose one car.

Let’s have a look at a few of the cars...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

More questions for all Christadelphians

Several months ago I posted an article with questions to ask the ABs.

I thought I'd follow up with some more questions. I cannot reconcile these with the Bible.
I'd be interested to know if you can, and if so, what mental gymnastics do you have to do to get there?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Why is eternal life desirable?

Why is eternal life desirable?
Don't get me wrong - I think a "really long" life would be great, but that's not what the Bible is offering.

When I think back to people's "vision of the kingdom" and their ideas about what eternal life might be like (which were nothing more than guesses, let's be honest), it seems pretty clear that people are generally pretty short-sighted on this topic. They speak of creating another universe and being like angels in it. Great, but what about after you've worked on your 300th universe...? what then?

And on what basis do you conclude that you'll even be doing any of those things? The Bible doesn't mention it. In fact the Bible mentions so few details about this apparently valuable prize it is offering, that one begins to suspect that the Bible's writers didn't have a clue about it either. If no one knows what you're supposed to be looking forward to, why look forward to it?

To put it another way, if you're selling a product and yet you don't know any details about the product and cannot adequately describe nor demonstrate it, why would I buy it? Why would anyone but the most gullible buy it?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Do you actually seek the truth about reality?

Christadelphians often make truth claims about reality. In fact they refer to their beliefs and even their community as "the truth". But how many Christadelphians actually do the work required to establish whether or not their beliefs are in fact true? How many Christadelphians are what we might call "active truth seekers"?

It's one thing to think that your beliefs are true. In fact all religious people believe this. It's another thing entirely to actually question the foundations of those beliefs and discover for yourself whether your beliefs are verifiably true. If you do not take this second step, your belief is blind. It is nothing but mere assertion without basis. You may as well believe in unicorns and fairies.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see."
Hebrews 11:1 (NET)

Does truth matter to you? How convinced are you? How deeply have you questioned your faith?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Is the world really getting worse?

Christadelphians often talk about living in the "last days" and it seems to be almost an unquestioned assumption that the world is continually getting worse than ever before.

There are obvious problems to that assumption, not least the fact that crime rates have been falling since the 1970's and continue to fall. Christadelphians will cherrypick whatever data they want to paint their own picture of the world.

Here's an excellent video that offers another perspective...


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Don't pray for me

I've recently had a few well-meaning Christadelphians offer to pray for me, in the hope that I might magically believe despite the continuing lack of evidence for their claims.

I appreciate the sentiment, but I think the efforts are misguided. Let me explain why...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

World Events and Bible Prophecy

It seems that many Christadelphians have been making claims recently along the lines of major events happening in the world being an indicator that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled and that Jesus will thus return to earth soon. Those of you who are familiar with Christadelphian history (and also Christian history) will know that this is certainly not the first time they have made such claims, and I doubt it will be the last. In fact, the founder of the Christadelphians, John Thomas, made a claim of this nature over 100 years ago. Needless to say, Jesus did not return.

Rather than look at specific world events or Bible prophecy in detail, I thought it would be more interesting and more educational to point out what is usually missed when Christadelphians enthusiastically announce the modern day fulfilment of this or that obscure Bible verse.

My aim, as always, is not to ridicule Christadelphians but to educate and provide some tools to help you decide for yourself whether any particular prophecy has actually been fulfilled.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ask the ABs: Questions to ask about the Bible

A curious mind is a sign of intelligence. One of the keys to discovering truth is to ask questions. Questioning anything will lead you closer to its truth, so long as you are honest and prepared to challenge your biases.

It takes real courage, but I encourage you to follow the evidence, wherever it leads.
If you never ask questions, you will never find the answers.

Never be afraid of doubt. Doubts about your faith are a sign that something is out of place. Something does not fit. By seeking to correct it you should arrive at a more robust world view. There is no harm in asking questions. What you find out may well lead you to a greater understanding.

If there are difficult questions burning in your mind, but you are afraid to ask them, then those are exactly the questions you must ask. Would you rather a difficult truth, or a comforting lie?

Below are some of my own questions, including some from when I was still a Christadelphian, and seeking a better understanding of the truth. You may find these thought-provoking. If you have questions of your own, I urge you to seek out the answers. If anyone tells you not to question, or even criticizes you for questioning, then ask them what they are afraid of. If they don't know the answers, look elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why would a good God allow children to starve to death?

This is going to be short. It may make you feel uncomfortable. That's the point. It should make you think.

Would you allow your children to starve to death?

If your answer is no, then congratulations - you are more moral than God.

So then is it right to thank God for putting food on your table, while millions of people starve every day?

And when you offer a prayer of thanks for that food, are you not really saying: "Thank you God for choosing me, over them" ?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Can your life have meaning without God?

The British Humanist Association have put out a great clip about how we derive meaning and purpose in our lives, once again brilliantly narrated by Stephen Fry.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Bible Unearthed - Documentary Series

"The Bible Unearthed" is an excellent 4-part documentary series on the historicity of the Old Testament. It will give you a modern perspective on what Archaeology can tell us about the Bible.

I did have links to videos on YouTube here but unfortunately the videos have been taken down.
If anyone knows where to find this series online, let me know and I'll update the info here.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Why Evolution Is True

Here is an excellent talk given by Professor Jerry Coyne, who is a professor of biology. He has also written a book by the same title and that is referred to in the video.

Jerry Coyne also compares the theory of evolution with the theory of atoms and the germ theory of disease, saying that the evidence for all of these is strong enough that they are all considered as facts within the scientific community. If you accept that diseases are caused by germs (viruses and bacteria), and if you accept that all matter consists of atoms, and yet you do not accept evolution, then your position is inconsistent and likely to be dishonest.

Please watch the video. It will teach you some things about evolution, even if you already accept evolution.




Thursday, July 3, 2014

The destruction of Tyre - what Ezekiel got wrong.

NOTE: This article has been updated on 15 Jan 2015.

In Ezekiel 26:7, the prophet Ezekiel apparently predicts Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of the ancient city of Tyre. Many Christadelphians point to this prophecy as evidence that the Bible must be divinely inspired.

As an aside, I never hear Christadelphians pointing to the Ezekiel 29 or 30 as examples of fulfilled prophecy. I have challenged several Christadelphians directly over that one, only 1 has attempted an answer (which I will post an article on in due course). You can read about that prophecy here.

As for the prophecy regarding Tyre, was the prophecy actually fulfilled? Let's take a closer look...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How do you know you're right?

Christadelphians believe they have THE TRUTH. For a minority religion that very few people in the world have even heard of, that's a very bold claim. Not only do they claim to have the truth, they claim that compared to all of the world's more popular religions (and also compared to the many people who are not religious) they are the ONLY ones who have the truth. Their small numbers do not bother them, for they will happily point to quotations such as Matthew 22:14 "many are called, but few are chosen". Ironically, pretty much every other Christian denomination also points to these same quotations as evidence that they are the chosen ones.

So with much intrigue, and a quite puzzled expression on my face, I want to know how this works.

I'm putting the call out to any Christadelphians who may be reading this, to please explain to me how you know you're right.

To make things easier, for the purposes of this post, let's assume that the Bible really is the word of God. All Christian denominations have differing and often contradictory beliefs. They cannot all be right. Either all but one are wrong, or they are all wrong.

Christadelphians, how do you know that you have the truth?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A universe not made for us

Carl Sagan explains religion.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Do you ACTUALLY believe in God?

This short video will challenge whether you actually believe in God, rather than just claim you do.

If you are sincere and honest about your faith, I urge you to try this test. You do not need to tell anyone the results. It will tell you something important about your belief in God. The test is in the form of a thought experiment. You do not need to do anything. You only need to spend some time thinking about it.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Evolution: The fossil record

Here is a must-see video if you want some good background on what the fossil record really says in relation to evolution.

From the video description:
"The crux of the argument made by proponents of Intelligent Design is that the theory of evolution is in serious trouble. They claim that the evidence for evolution is weak, the gaps in the theory are huge, and that these flaws should be taught to students. In this brilliant synthesis of scientific data and theory, Occidental College geologist, paleontologist, and evolutionary theorist Dr. Donald Prothero will present the best evidence we have that evolution happened, why Darwins theory still matters, and what the real controversies are in evolutionary biology."

Friday, May 30, 2014

Evidence for Common Descent: How we know we are apes.

Did we descend from apes? Are we related to all other animals?

Let's have a look at what I think is one of the best pieces of evidence supporting evolution: Our DNA.

Who lied to Adam and Eve?

What really happened in the garden of Eden? I was always taught that the serpent told the "first lie".

But what does the Bible say? The answer might shock you...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Evolution: Common misconceptions

When creationists discuss evolution, they invariably misrepresent it and thus they mislead their audience, who are often not scientifically literate themselves. I want to highlight some of the more common misconceptions creationists have regarding evolution. The point of this article is not to ridicule, but to educate.

Since you are reading this, you are obviously interested in the subject, and I commend you on your bravery for looking beyond creationist material and hopefully attempting to weigh up the evidence for yourself.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Do you really want to live forever?

Christadelphians and indeed all Christians look forward to some form of afterlife where they hope they will live forever. The idea has fascinated humans since the dawn of human existence. Ever wanting to escape our own death, humans have invented countless myths and legends about life beyond the grave.

The Bible, particularly the New Testament, also follows this pattern, promising eternal life to those who follow Jesus, and worship God. This eternal life is described in blissful terms, highlighting the human desire for something better than the life we experience now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Creating God in your own image...

A scientific study published in the PNAS scientific journal in 2009 has raised interesting questions about one's belief in God, in particular how one determines what God thinks:
"For many religious people, the popular question “What would Jesus do?” is essentially the same as “What would I do?” That’s the message from an intriguing and controversial new study by Nicholas Epley from the University of Chicago. Through a combination of surveys, psychological manipulation and brain-scanning, he has found that when religious Americans try to infer the will of God, they mainly draw on their own personal beliefs."
Click here to read the rest of this article.

There is a link to the actual study itself at the end of that article, or you can find it HERE.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dear believer...

This video was created for religion in general (not by me), but many aspects apply equally to Christadelphianism.

It's very interesting and thought-provoking...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Have your say: Why do you believe?

I was raised as a Christadelphian and was taught to fear God from a young age. I was taught religion at an age when I did not have the faculties to reason whether or not it was true. My knowledge of the world was tainted. I simply inherited the beliefs of my parents and teachers, who had each inherited their beliefs from their parents and teachers before them.

I lived in a bubble, an alternate universe, allegedly created by a supreme deity who loved everyone, but who was always just, and always watching. In my bubble, all of the "facts" I was taught pointed to the truth of the bible. I had so much evidence, or so I thought, in the form of fulfilled prophecy, detailed history, incredible consistency despite many authors writing over hundreds, possibly thousands, of years. Not one verse in the bible contradicted any other. I had a copy of the very words of God, and he had chosen ME out of all the billions of people on earth, many of whom were much less fortunate. It was great for me, but it sucked for them...

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Creation vs Evolution: An introduction

Creationists say a lot of things about evolution. As a former creationist myself I know that sometimes it can seem like evolution is so unbelievable and so obviously wrong that anyone who "believes in it" must have some other motive, or something they are hiding. Surely no intelligent person would accept evolution, right?

If you have ever had thoughts like this, then it is far more likely that your understanding and comprehension of evolution is deficient, than that the vast majority of the world's scientists know less about the world we live in than you. Just consider for a moment whether your understanding of what evolution claims, is actually just a straw-man of your own making, built for the purpose of being easily knocked down...

Let's be honest. You cannot truly disprove evolution unless you fully understand it. And you will not fully understand it until you learn about it from those who do understand it. So let's get started...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Problems with the BASF: Foundation Clause

The BASF is the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith, and is the statement of faith of the Christadelphians in what is known as the Central Fellowship (which I believe is the current majority).

You can find the full statement of faith here.

This post examines issues with the Foundation Clause...

Did Moses write the Pentateuch?

The common belief among Christadelphians is that the first 5 books of the bible, commonly known as the Pentateuch, were originally written by Moses. Several lines of evidence point to this not being the case.

The Salem Witchcraft Trials - Evidence Against The Resurrection of Jesus

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, most of them women.

We have vastly more and better quality evidence for witchcraft in these cases, than we have for the resurrection of Jesus. Yet we are rightly sceptical of whether any magic or witchcraft actually happened in Salem, and so in order to be consistent we must also be sceptical of whether any resurrection took place in the case of Jesus. The below video explains The Salem Witchcraft Argument in greater detail...

Countering the Kalam Cosmological Argument

The Kalam Cosmological Argument is a variation of the cosmological argument that argues for the existence of God as the cause of the universe. [Source]

Below is a series of articles (with YouTube videos linked within) that aims to debunk the Kalam Cosmological Argument piece by piece.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Living without religion

I just came across an interesting website with an inspirational video on living without religion.

Check it out here: www.livingwithoutreligion.org

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The psychology of belief

Millions of people believe in some form of deity who created the universe, including the earth and humankind, and then proceeded to reveal to humans its purpose, including some grand plan for human salvation. There are many variations and incompatible ideas across many different religions, yet the proponents of each one believe that their religion is the one true religion, implying that all others must be false.

How can this be? How do we determine who is right? Surely they can't all be wrong, can they?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Failed Prophecy: Ezekiel's prophecy against Egypt

In Ezekiel 29 and 30, Ezekiel prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar would invade and defeat Egypt, and that the victory would be so great that Egypt would become uninhabited for a period of 40 years.

Let's explore further...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Universe - "finely tuned" for life?

Here's a great video on the apparent "fine tuning" of the universe for life. Enjoy :)