Why the fuss about evolution?

Difficult issues series

Evolution

When Darwin published his On the Origin of Species in 1859 it provoked a range of reactions from christians and from scientists too. Many christians were quite comfortable with the idea of evolution (though many others were not), and it wasn’t until about 60 years later that the more ‘hardline’ christian opposition to evolution began.

That opposition remains, mostly in the US, where it is reported that evolution is rejected by more than 40% of the population.

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Seek the peace and prosperity of the city

City

In the west we generally live in post-christian societies. Although the majority of people in many countries may list their religion as “christian”, weekly church attendance is down around 5-15% in many countries, and somewhere around 30% in the US.

It seems that in many cases, churches haven’t really adjusted to the end of Christendom in the methods they adopt for mission, “outreach” or evangelism.

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Is Bible inerrancy a key doctrine for christians?

Difficult issues series

Bible

The inerrancy of the Bible has become a divisive doctrine in recent years. Many churches and colleges, in the US in particular, treat this as a “make or break” doctrine, lecturers have been sacked for denying it, and accusations are made against those who hold a different view. At the same time, a growing number of christians, it seems, are questioning the doctrine or saying flat out that it isn’t true.

Is the doctrine worth the fight? Is it necessary to hold it, or the whole of our faith is thrown into doubt? Is it even true?

This post is a summary of what I have written in In what way is the Bible a special book?, and if you want to consider this matter further, please check out that page.

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Did Jesus endorse a centurion’s gay relationship?

Difficult issues series

Centurion

This one’s been around for a while, but I hadn’t seen it until recently, so maybe you haven’t either.

When Jesus healed a centurion’s servant in Matthew 8:5-13 & Luke 7:1-10, the Greek word pais is used and translated as “servant”. The word pais had several meanings, including young boy or son, but also had a common meaning as the younger partner in a same sex relationship. So, it is said, Jesus blessed this same sex couple by healing the servant, likely just a teenager.

For many people, there’s a bit riding on this. Gay christians understandably are looking for Jesus’ support for same sex relationships. Traditional christians, equally understandably, are looking to uphold the traditional view which opposes these relationships. Who’s right?

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Learning from an atheist

Apologetics series

CATHEDRAL

Many atheists have alleged that great harm has been done by religion, christianity in particular. Even if they have overstated their case, we can, and must, still learn from their criticisms. And if the analysis is fair, we have all the more reason to listen and repent.

Keith Parsons is a US philosopher and atheist who writes about the philosophy of religion, and actively engages with christian belief via The Internet Infidels website and the Secular Outpost blog. Keith has made his assessments of christianity in two posts on Secular Outpost, and they are worth checking out.

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If God knows everything, why pray?

Spiritual Principles series

praying

There are several different types of prayer – several different types of conversations we may have with God, if you like to look at it that way. Sometimes we need to ask for forgiveness, sometimes we want to thank him or tell him we love him, sometimes we just want to meditate on God.

In this post I am talking about when we want to ask God to do something, for us or someone else. And the simple question is, does praying make a difference?

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