Quote 11/13

Blaise Pascal
Read time: 1 minute

God is, or is not. But towards which side will we lean? Reason cannot decide anything. There is an infinite chaos separating us. At the far end of this infinite distance a game is being played and the coin will come down heads or tails. How will you wager? Reason cannot make you choose one or the other, reason cannot make you defend either of the two choices.
So do not accuse those who have made a choice of being wrong, for you know nothing about it! ‘No, but I will blame them not for having made this choice, but for having made any choice. For, though the one who chooses heads and the other one are equally wrong, they are both wrong. The right thing is not to wager at all.’
Yes, but you have to wager. It is not up to you, you are already committed

Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 153-154

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Spoiling Children

Read time: 12 minutes

A local Cape Town church, Joshua Generation has recently come into the spotlight over some of its teaching. A complaint had been lodged with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) that the church instructs and sanctions corporal punishment. The complaint concerns the church's literal interpretation over certain verses in the book of Proverbs and there are, presumably, fears that this could lead to child abuse. The resulting controversy has led to a rare discussion about freedom of religion in South Africa, which is a culturally diverse, tolerant, yet often religious, society. In this article I want to describe the issue thus far and give a couple of personal opinions on the matter. Read more about Spoiling Children

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The Morality of Going to Bed on Time

Girl sleeping.
Read time: 5 minutes

While I was still busy with my postgraduate degree, one of my friends was diagnosed with having Asperger Syndrome (AS). AS is a type of autism: a neurological development condition (i.e. how the brains of such people developed) which leads to people perceiving, reasoning about, and reacting to the world differently than people who are "neurotypical". It seemed quite ironic to me, as my thesis revolved around AS, so I knew a little bit about it. As with many people, the diagnosis brought my friend a sense of relief. She was already in her 40s and could now for the first time put a name to an ever-present feeling of being different from most other people. Read more about The Morality of Going to Bed on Time

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Is Nelson Mandela Still a Person?

Nelson Mandela
Read time: 10 minutes

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a great man. He stood up against the injustices of Apartheid. He reached the zenith of human endeavours: achieving his life's goals, becoming a worldwide respected icon and hero, and the leader of a country which once sought to destroy him. But I believe that, to him, his greatest achievement was not his presidency—rather, it was seeing the realisation of his dreams of a free and fair South Africa liberated from hate and prejudice (regardless under whose stewardship) that was his greatest achievement. Not only was he man of greatness, but he was humble and compassionate as well, including towards his enemies. In this struggle he was of course not alone: many people stood beside him, fought with him, and fell around him in the decades-long struggle. But he could not be put down: even being sent to a prison colony could not quash his dreams. Read more about Is Nelson Mandela Still a Person?

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Turning to God: Attrition vs Contrition

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When Christianity was first introduced to the Western world, it brought with it many new ideas which had previously not been conceived. The early church father Tertullian, a lawyer by trade, is credited with inventing new words in the Latin language just to be able to be able to express the ideas which Christianity brought into the fold.

In this post I want to discuss two English words which are similar and has a subtle, but important, difference in definition. This will not be a complicated or difficult article. But most atheists do not seem to grasp the difference and when engaging with the religious, they need to understand it. Read more about Turning to God: Attrition vs Contrition

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Quote 07/13

William Carey
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[William Carey] translated the Bible into Bengali to make it accessible to the people he was trying to reach. But he also translated into Bengali, the language of the people, the sacred books of Hinduism, because they were in Sanskrit and the people could not read it themselves. Carey was not afraid of the teachings of Hinduism: he was prepared to have people read it themselves (for the first time) so they could see clearly see what God's word teaches in contrast to them. God's truth shines brightly: you don't have to stop people reading other things to help them come to know the truth about Christ.

Jerram Barrs

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Why Don't Christians Keep the Old Testament Laws?

Read time: 9 minutes

A common attack on Christianity is that Christians do not keep (all) of the Old Testament laws. Examples are that certain foods may not be eaten (Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14), there are prohibitions on how clothes can be made (Leviticus 19:19) and there are a bunch of rules and laws regarding skin diseases and mold (Leviticus 13–14). Yet virtually no-one who calls him or herself a Christian keeps—or even tries to—these laws. Yet they will readily admit that these were divine commandments given by God. So what is the deal with Christians and the Old Testament laws? Read more about Why Don't Christians Keep the Old Testament Laws?

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What Divides Us

Dispute of the three wise men.
Read time: 15 minutes

I recently had a couple of debates and discussions with brothers and sisters in Christ about various matters of the Christian faith. These matters divide many Christians and churches. But they are not matters which make or break Christianity (unlike, say, the differences between orthodox Christianity and Mormonism1). At least, they are not supposed to be, as the article Eight Issues That Do NOT Make or Break Christianity2 contested. I agree with this article, but some people have grave reservations about some of these points. This is effectively saying "if you don't believe in x, you cannot be a Christian". In this article I want to address a couple of concerns raised around the aforementioned article. Read more about What Divides Us

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Quote 02/13

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The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.

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