Terminology & Concepts

Discussions on terminology or certain concepts.

What Kind of Love?

Read time: 8 minutes

What is love?

I do not mean this as a rhetorical question. I want you now to pause for a few seconds or minutes, and answer this question for yourself. What emotions come up when you think of love? To whom does your mind turn? If we were play a word association game, and you are given to word "love" and need to say the first thing that comes into your mind, without hesitation, what would it be? Do you think of your lover, spouse or crush? Are you reminded of a family member, a child or parent, or a really close friend? Do you perhaps think of God and the church? [node:read-more:link]

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The Nature of Evil

Stone carved demon
Read time: 10 minutes

On one particular day during my time in primary school, I was in art class1. This alien environment was in a basement, bathed in the strange smells of pastel chalks and powdered paint. But on this day we were not drawing: the teacher had asked us the very inane question of what are colours. "Red", said one, "blue", another, "green", "yellow", "white", "purple", "pink", "black", "turquoise" (ooh!), "brown"... The kid in class who was known for his excellent drawing skills was quiet, until we became quiet. "I think that they are all colours, except for white and black." "What rubbish," thought I. Then he explained that white is the composite of all primary colours (so a kind of super-colour), and black the absence of any colour. The teacher was pleased with this answer, and the discussion continued around primary and secondary colours2. [node:read-more:link]

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What is the Bible?

An open Bible
Read time: 10 minutes

In my first article on this series on the Bible, I chiefly looked at reasons why I believe everyone should read the Bible. I briefly touched on what the Bible is. In this article I want to explore further what the Bible is, particularly to the Christian, as well as what the Bible is not. [node:read-more:link]

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On Science, Part 4

DNA Strand
Read time: 3 minutes

This article is the last in my current series on science. I want to share one final thought on this debate. At the end I link to a set of slides which I presented to my Bible study group a couple of years ago. It does not have any notes and is not exhaustive, but does briefly capture many of the thoughts which I had shared in this series. [node:read-more:link]

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On Science, Part 3

CSIRO Parkes Observatory
Read time: 9 minutes

This is my third article in my series on science. In the previous article I looked at problems with contemporary science. While some might think such a harsh treatment meant that I am anti-science, the opposite is actually true. I am a trained scientist and I believe that science has opened up an amazing world to us. The fruits of science are apparent, and we need to pay attention to that. [node:read-more:link]

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On Science, Part 2

Math on a whiteboard
Read time: 13 minutes

Science is a truly noble ideal: it is a way to interrogate (physical) reality with rigour to arrive at a probable truth. Just as with other ideals, though, it falls short of being really ideal, because the agents of it are human being, who will always be fallible.

In this second part of my series on science, I am going to look at problems in contemporary science and research. [node:read-more:link]

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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. [node:read-more:link]

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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. [node:read-more:link]

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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. [node:read-more:link]

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Christians' Copyrights

Copyleft
Read time: 8 minutes

The world grows increasingly complex. There are issues which the church did not have to may much attention up until a few decades ago, but is now part of our everyday lives. In this article I am going to discuss Christians and copyright.

This article is not about piracy; it is about how Christians handle the copyrights which they own on the works which they create to spread the gospel, whether sermons or booklets or videos. [node:read-more:link]

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The Root Sin

Peacock
Read time: 8 minutes

In a previous article I discussed what sin is. In this article I am going to explore where it comes from—that is, what Christians commonly understand to be the root sin: the one from which others spring. Conversely, we are going to look at which sin surfaces when all the others are deconstructed. [node:read-more:link]

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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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Turning to God: Attrition vs Contrition

Read time: 5 minutes

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. [node:read-more:link]

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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? [node:read-more:link]

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