Christmas, christians and a deep sense of foreboding

Flowers in Martin Place

This last week has been a disturbing one for many Australians. A hostage siege in Sydney, that left two hostages and the gunman dead, made a deep impression.

Of course other countries have experienced far worse senseless killing and atrocities. This week has also seen the shooting of about 140 people, mostly school children, in Pakistan and further killings by Boko Haram in Nigeria, as well as ongoing killing in the Middle East and North Africa.

But I want to think for a moment about how people, especially christians, react to such events when they touch us personally.

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Children, asylum seekers, detention and torture

Child behind wire fence

Here I go again – writing another blog post on Australia’s treatment of asylum-seekers. What can I say that I haven’t said already? Why bother?

And yet, the situation keeps getting worse and Australia’s reaction keeps getting more and more callous.

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Conversion stories: another part of the picture

Montage of faces

I have commented before on people who decide they no longer believe in Jesus (see Atheists who once were christians, Pastors who once were christians, and Why do some christians give up belief?).

But this is only one side of the story. At the same time, a significant number of people from a non-religious background are choosing to believe. I have taken an interest in finding some of their stories.

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David Sloan Wilson, evolution and religion

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson is an eminent evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University in New York. He is an atheist “but a nice atheist”, he assures us, and he is interested in the study of religion from an evolutionary viewpoint and the use of evolutionary principles to develop community development programs.

You may be surprised to know I believe christians can learn something useful from him.

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