Showing posts from 2015

The "Selfishness" of Giving

For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.


No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main….
any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne

Virtue is its own reward, so the saying goes. Our lives should be characterised by generosity driven not by self-interest, but by compassion.

However, human life is riddled with paradox. The practice of generosity reveals one of the most profound of all paradoxes.

Those who practice generosity discover deep inner satisfaction. While the thrill of buying things for oneself often fades quickly, the joy generated by acts of kindness provides a long-lasting inner glow.

Generosity builds character, and strong character attracts love and respect.

In short, the very thing that feels like a small death to self, helps marsh…

Prominent Biblical Scholars on Women in Ministry

I might have harped on about this topic once or twice or a few zillion times but... it's nice someone else is noting the "heavy hitters" theologically who support women in ministry. You can read more here:

Dear Writers of Worship Music

I was listening to an hour of worship music on a Christian radio station while driving this morning.

OK, to be honest, I didn’t listen for nearly that long. By song four I turned off the radio and directed the following indignant words to the invisible songwriters:

“Oh my goodness, what PLANET are you people from?”

All four songs were of the “how I feel about God” genre. Of the “I feel deep love for God” genre. “I only care about you” was the line that tipped me over the edge.

I actually care about a lot of things other than my relationship with God. I care about my family. I care about my friends. I care about my health, my job, my hobbies. I care about injustice, about kids in detention, about the millions of displaced people suffering from persecution and conflict. (It is refugee Sunday today, hence this is dominant in my stream of consciousness).

I believe God cares about these things too. Jesus noted the most important commandments are to love God and love your neighbour as you…

Why creation science is partly right, and very wrong

Imagine for a moment that you were able to convince a group of people that the earth is really flat, and that the only logical explanation for the sun rising and setting is that a god pulls a sun chariot across the sky each day.

If you can convince them of that, then theism for them is an immutable fact. Should anyone try to argue that there really are no gods, they would simply point to the sky. “Don’t be ridiculous, of course there is a god! Just look at the sun! How else can such a thing be explained?”

But imagine someone new comes along, and manages to convince these "flat earthers" by careful argument and evidence that the earth is really a spinning sphere, and that this phenomenon alone can explain the apparent rising and setting of the sun. Once persuaded, this might shake their faith in the sun god, and they would no doubt review their theology. It is not in itself a death knell to theism or religious faith, but it does disturb a particular construct of faith.

Now i…

Reality and Theology

I have hardwired in me somewhere the idea that all truth is God's truth, and if we encounter serious problems in the "rest of life" with a theological idea, perhaps it's time to reexamine our bibles afresh.

For example... let's think about those who've made it a tenet of faith that the early chapters of Genesis must be read literally, and that the earth must be around 6000 years old. Upon engaging with considerable evidence from cosmology, geology, biology, radio dating etc. that the earth is much older than this, should one not consider whether to interpret such texts in a more dynamic way?

In the same way, if the idea of a gender hierarchy is God's truth, should it not have good fruit wherever it's put into practice, all other things being equal?

How the Complementarian ideal of a gender hierarchy actually DOES play out in life says a lot about it.

Relationship research reveals that "traditional" marriages are FAR less likely to be happ…

Go Jonathan Welton!

I have reflected on a likely explanation for the curious instruction in I Corinthians 14 earlier on this blog, but have never seen it unpacked better than in this Youtube teaching by Johanthan Welton. This is 14 minutes well spent if you have the time.