Wessel's blog

On Science, Part 1

Petri Dishes
Read time: 10 minutes

Everyday, all across the Internet, debates rage between two particular camps: those who support "science" and those who support "Christianity". These debates can be painful to witness: the one camp speaks with lofty arrogance, and the other with amazing ignorance. This article is the first in a short series that I am going to publish that will briefly look at the topic of science. Read more …

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Governments and Secularism

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
Read time: 7 minutes

The notion of "separation of church and state" is popular in our contemporary world. How this looks can vary dramatically from country to country. In the USA, there is a tension of keeping religion and state separate, but also fiercely defending religious liberty. In France, with their concept of laïcité1, the break is much more severe: the state is always favoured and personal beliefs are personal and should only be shared with like-minded people in private2. The principle of separation of church and state raises interesting questions when we shift our focus from religion to worldviews. Read more …

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It is Time to Stop Talking about Religion

Religious Pluralism
Read time: 5 minutes

In the second half of the 18th century, Enlightenment thinkers such as David Hume and Voltaire believed that they were living in the "twilight of Christianity". They looked forward to a time—perhaps the following century—when religion had made way for rational secular thought. A hundred years later, however, this had not yet happened. Read more …

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An Introduction to Molinism

Natural, middle and free knowledge illustrated in relation to the divine creative decree
Read time: 1 minute

Last year a friend of mine, together with some of her friends, started a group with the purpose of having theological discussions. The idea was to model it on L'Abri, where no questions or topics were off limits and honest, sincere discussions are encouraged. Read more …

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You, Christian

Statue of Jesus carrying the cross
Read time: 5 minutes

You, Christian,

You, follower of the true and living Christ, you need to remember that we are strangers and foreigners and aliens in this world. This world is hostile towards us. This is the natural order of things. This is what our Lord warned us about. And this means that we need to accept a few things. Read more …

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The Destruction of the Jewish Temple and the End of Animal Sacrifice

A cow and her calf
Read time: 5 minutes

In the year A.D. 70, less than 40 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, Jerusalem was conquered by the Romans and utterly destroyed—even the magnificent Jewish Temple therein. This was a final and decisive act: unlike with the destruction of the first temple by the Babylonians in 587 B.C., there were no prophecies promising restoration. And two thousand years later, a new temple seems exceedingly unlikely as different factions vie for control over the Temple Mount. Read more …

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Arguing Abortion: Pick your Battlefield

Pregnant woman with scan picture
Read time: 6 minutes

Being a contentious topic, talking about abortion can be difficult. There are two general sides: "pro-life" and "pro-choice". These two often approach the topic from fundamentally different perspectives. This can make it difficult to have a meaningful and persuasive discussion. Instead, emotions get charged which can make the discussion even more difficult.

In this article I intend to describe one way in which to keep the discussion focussed and, hopefully, fruitful. Read more …

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The Need in Belgium (and Europe)

The Flag of Belgium
Read time: 7 minutes

Shortly before I left for Belgium, Guillaume Bignon wrote a tweet in which he quoted a "French [Roman] Catholic analytical philosopher", who had said to him in an email,

"As you know, in France, atheism isn't something you argue for, it's taken to be obvious."

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A Personal Update

Read time: 1 minute

I am currently in Belgium. My work has sent me here to train up a team in my product area. The whole thing happened in a relatively short time and making the arrangements to get here on such short notice was quite stressful.

Shortly before I left for Belgium, my dad got sick, and shortly after I arrived here he passed away. My stay here has now been halved and I'll return to South Africa shortly. By God's grace I did have an opportunity to say goodbye to him before I left, as did other family members who normally would not have been near enough. Read more …

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The Beggar and the Caveman Christian

Beggar
Read time: 6 minutes

In his poem The Beggar, Tatamkhulu Afrika, a devout Muslim, writes of one day going into the city for his day's business. On his way he encounters a beggar who, naturally, asks him for money. The narrator has no time for this distraction and brushes off the annoyance. Read more …

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Apologists who are Unkind

Read time: 13 minutes

The Christian is (or, rather, should be) a completely strange and alien being in the world. They must banish the impulses in which the world indulges. Perhaps one of the starkest things which we can do is, as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded, to "love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). This does not always happen, but nevertheless, this is the command which has been given us.

So what does this love look like? How does this dictate how we should treat other people? What place is there for anger and being snide, if any? Read more …

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