The End of the Richwood Informal Settlement: Part 1, Introduction

Children enjoying bread and soup on a sunny winters day
Read time: 7 minutes

The Richwood informal settlement is no more. The hair suspending Damocle's sword has snapped and brought it down on a small impoverished community, cutting off the people from their land like a scythe through the tall spring grasses.

I realised when searching through my archives that I have never before written about Richwood here before, even though I had wanted to do so. While my friends and family know about it well, some readers here may not be aware of what I have been doing at Richwood. In this article I am therefore going to be giving a background to this story. [node:read-more:link]

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Humanists' Crusade Against "Faith Schools" Opens Exciting Opportunities for Christians

School
Read time: 7 minutes

The British Humanist Association (BHA) wages, amongst others, an ongoing campaign against "faith schools". Last week they achieved a significant milestone: these schools are now no longer permitted to teach creationism as science.

I think this opens exciting opportunities for Christians. [node:read-more:link]

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Quote 06/14

Read time: 1 minute

Man is obviously made to think. It is his whole dignity and his whole merit; and his whole duty is to think as he ought. Now, the order of thought is to begin with self, and with its Author and its end.

Blaise Pascal, Pensées 146

How Do You Define "Faith"?

Read time: 33 minutes

This article describes an informal survey which was conducted to see if and how the definition of the word "faith" has changed over time. The survey is non-exhaustive and spans 14 dictionaries (including different editions) and 250 years. The impetus for this survey was continued disagreement between especially Christian theists and atheists on the former group's use of the word. The latter group generally insists that to have faith means to abandon all reason and logic. The former group contests that they are able to have faith exactly because of reason and logic. This article concludes that the "negative" view of faith developed gradually over time and was probably driven by growing apostasy and eventual anti-theism. However, the application of the word remains broad and a narrower, more precise term is available for the latter camp to use. [node:read-more:link]

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Farcical Pharisees and Silly Sabbaths

Keep Calm and Remember the Sabbath
Read time: 8 minutes

In the gospels, Jesus often gets into trouble with the Jewish leaders (Pharisees) for doing good deeds on the Sabbath. The purpose of telling these stories were to show that the Jewish leaders, at that point, had gotten so caught up in their laws and legalism that they could not look past it to do good. This was turning them into uncaring and unloving hypocrites. Most Christians can identify this lesson and the warning which they need to take away from it. But the Jewish leaders' fervour for keeping the Sabbath "holy" seems almost comical. Why were they so strict on it? In this article I am going to explain my theory for their strictness. [node:read-more:link]

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Rampaging through the Tokyo of Free Speech

Read time: 5 minutes

On Thursday the 3rd of April, the newly appointed CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, Brandon Eich resigned—an event which got many people to sit up and take a worried notice. Eich resigned because of internal pressure from his employees because of his personal beliefs. [node:read-more:link]

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A Porn Conversation

xxx
Read time: 4 minutes

Sometime last year a friend approached me. He was clearly angry and upset. He talked about what could be done practically to hamper—even destroy—the pornography industry. I could tell that his frustration was not just about witnessing the struggles with pornography of other people, but of himself as well. I wrote him an email to encourage him. With permission (and anonamised, with slight modifications), I am sharing this email below. [node:read-more:link]

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Sermon: "Love Is..."

Heart in Sand
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On 9 February 2014 I again had the privilege to preach at St. John's church in Bothasig. The topic was "Love Is...". This was the first in a series which we are presenting love and relationships in February, the so-called "month of love". This is a message which I have been wanting to give for a long time and I am happy to have finally been able to do so. It also challenged me greatly. The text was 1 Corinthians 13. [node:read-more:link]

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Slavery and the Bible

Peter, aka Gordon, a slave who was viciously beaten in Mississippi.  Photograph from 1863.
Read time: 17 minutes

Recently, Wintery Knight posted an article because he was "tired of atheists complaining that the Bible mentions slavery". The argument does get tired and is not nearly as much a defeater for Christianity as they think it is. In this article I would like to throw my two cents into the jar. [node:read-more:link]

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Wishing you a good 2014

Read time: 2 minutes

I want to thank you, my readers, for this past year. On numerous occasions have I been humbled to hear from people who read this blog and find encouragement in it. It makes me realise that I am not just yelling out into a void, but that people are hearing what I have to say, al be it often quietly so. That is an incredible feeling. So thank you again. As long as God gives me the strength to continue, I shall. (And, remember, your feedback is always welcome!) [node:read-more:link]

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My Trip to India

India
Read time: 18 minutes

I find it jolting that it was already six months ago when I found myself in the Indian monsoon. I have not yet written here about my experiences there. I had wanted to and had begun to do so, but found the task too daunting to complete. Now, as the year draws to a close, I want to briefly describe it before it becomes irrelevant. [node:read-more:link]

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