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 ~

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Resurrection: Perhaps it's not what you want

One of the central doctrines of Christianity is resurrection. I don't think many people spend much time thinking about it. In a way it's the ultimate placebo. A way to avoid thinking about the reality and finality of death. Do people really believe it? Or is it something they try in vain to convince themselves of? Is it a belief propped up by fear?

I want to explore some aspects of resurrection itself as a concept. For example, how would it even work?

Is the biblical idea of resurrection even something you want?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Did you ever wonder why God is a "he"?

God's gender

Did you ever wonder why God is a "he"?

I mean, we know how to determine the sex of almost all animals in the animal kingdom. We know how it works. We know why it is that way. That part all makes sense. If you're not sure, ask your parents.

Some living things don't reproduce sexually (bacteria, for example). We don't refer to those as 'he' or 'she'. It simply doesn't make sense to do so.

And then you realise God reckons he is male. That's weird. I have so many questions.

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Unbelievable" - A new book by former Christadelphian Rob J Hyndman

A journey from faith via evidence. Why a university professor gave up religion and became an unbeliever. 
Rob J Hyndman is Professor of Statistics at Monash University, Australia. He was a Christadelphian for nearly 30 years, and was well-known as a writer and Bible teacher within the Christadelphian community. He gave up Christianity when he no longer thought that there was sufficient evidence to support belief in the Bible. 
This is a personal memoir describing Rob's journey of deconversion. Until recently, he was regularly speaking at church conferences internationally, and his books are still used in Bible classes and Sunday Schools around the world. He even helped establish an innovative new church, which became a model for similar churches in other countries. Eventually he came to the view that he was mistaken, and that there was little or no evidence that the Bible was inspired or that God exists. 
In this book, he reflects on how he was fooled, and why he changed his mind. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, you will be led to reflect on the nature of faith and evidence, and how they interact.

More details including where to buy the book are available on the author's website.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why so many religions?

This question used to come up fairly often in Christadelphian public lecture titles. Perhaps it still does. And the standard Christadelphian answer is that the other religions were led astray and they're all wrong but Christadelphians discovered the truth, the only truth, and lucky for you dear friends, we are here to tell you all about it.

I wonder how the other religions would answer the question? My guess is that it would sound much the same.

But there is another answer. One that you probably won't hear from a Christadelphian. The fact that there are so many religions makes perfect sense if they are all man-made. If no holy book was ever divinely inspired, then we are just seeing the same human phenomenon repeat itself in different ways. This is not a new concept. Most believers already accept that all other religions are mistaken. Why not apply that same skepticism to their own beliefs too? Why should someone like me believe that all of the other religions are false, but this one over here (that looks indistinguishable from the others in almost every respect) is totally true?