New scientific studies suggest it is ‘natural’ to believe in God. What are christians to make of this?
Today the Sydney Morning Herald reported (in “He’s not the son of God, just the support act“) that a Sydney Islamic organisation, MyPeace was beginning a campaign “to educate non-Muslims about Islam”. The paper featured the slogan “Jesus: a prophet of Islam”, which will soon be seen on billboards and buses around Sydney. Other billboards will carry the messages ‘Holy Quran: the final testament’‘ and ‘Muhammad: mercy to mankind’.
Mark summarises Jesus’ initial teaching this way (Mark 1:14-15):
Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
The ‘good news’ or ‘gospel’ here clearly relates to the coming of the kingdom of God on earth, something that is much bigger than the individual. God is beginning to act in a new way to put things right, Jesus is saying, and this is good news if you are thinking rightly – and if you are not, you’d better re-think (‘re-pent’). Good news, especially for the poorest and the marginalised, those despised by the religious elite, because many who were last would be first, and many of the first would be last.
John Carroll is Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University in Melbourne, and a secular humanist. He believes secular humanism has failed western society and he has something useful to say to believers about how we communicate to postmodern people.
It seems to be traditional to commence a blog with a slightly idealistic explanation of what you hope it’s going to be about. And who am I to fight tradition?
I have spent almost 50 years as a “christian” (a word with too many connotations for me these days), and I seem to have not stopped learning and changing in that time. In recent years I have met, mostly on the web but also in person, many believers who struggle with some aspects of their faith that they feel no longer seems right. They don’t have significant doubts about Jesus, but they do have doubts about some of what they have been taught.
The world is changing (it’s always changing, but it seems faster and more drastic these days) and we may need to keep adapting. But how does our belief adapt? Which bits are not negotiable and which bits are flexible?
I doubt anyone has more than a handful of answers, but together we probably have many helpful ideas. So this blog, and the website that sits behind it, is my attempt to address some of these issues and seek comment and input, in the hope that together we may “see him more clearly, love him more dearly and follow him more nearly” in this 21st century.
If you have chanced upon this website and are not a believer, and want to consider the reasons to believe, may I recommend my other website is there a god.
One more thing.I am not interested in argument, but discussion. All and any viewpoint is welcome as long as you are being friendly and constructive.
So, welcome, please come back, and please offer your ideas.