What you sow, you will reap – or perhaps someone else will?

MennoNerds SynchroBlog on Refugees


There have always been refugees – people fleeing from oppression and death that they cannot fight. And there has always been oppression and killing, as greed or fear or power lust drive people to destroy, enslave or oppress those who belong to another tribe, another belief or another power grouping.

But the last few decades have seen enormous numbers of refugees, perhaps because communications and transport are so much more readily available these days. And so we arrive at the present Middle East refugee crisis, which we are all only too aware of because of the wonders of TV and the internet.

Fellow MennoNerds have been blogging on this refugee crisis for the month of September, and there is little I can say to add to what others have said about the horrors and the desperate needs.

But it may be time, at the end of the month, to look behind the scenes and see if there are any lessons we can learn.1

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Christians and abortion

Difficult issues series

Pregnant woman

In the previous two posts I have considered when in human evolution human life began, and when in pregnancy human life begins. In both cases, there were considerable uncertainties.

This naturally brings us to the polarising topic of abortion, and christian attitudes to termination of pregnancy.

This is a “hot button” issue, but if it is more personal than “an issue” to you, I apologise if any of my words are insensitive. I hope to offend no-one, but rather to offer thoughtful comment. If you have strong opinions either way, please try to avoid being upset at anything I say, and if you wish to express an opinion, please do it graciously.

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Who were the first human beings?

Difficult issues series

Cave painting

Last post (Why the fuss about evolution?) we looked at how the science of biological evolution impacts on christianity. We saw that the DNA evidence indicates that there was never a single Adam and Eve style couple as the ancestors of the human race.

This then raises the interesting question – who were the first human beings?

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Why the fuss about evolution?

Difficult issues series


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


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


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


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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