Is God Homophobic? (Spoiler Alert: No, he’s not)

An edited version of a talk delivered on campus at the University of Canterbury in August 2014

I thought I’d begin this article with a worship song – not a worship song about God, the kind that some of us are used to singing at church on Sundays. This is a worship song about something different: sex.

If you pay attention to the content of a lot of music today, it becomes obvious: we are taught to worship sex. And it’s not just music; it’s also TV, movies, and other forms of pop culture. Sex is depicted as an ultimate goal, something to chase after and live for. Not having sex makes you a loser, but having (great) sex makes you a winner. Pursuing sex, at the expense of other things, is a worthy goal. Continue reading

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Accepting the foolishness of Christian faith

Light Bulb HeadThis week, researchers at the University of Rochester have made a slightly off-putting discovery. Trawling back through decades of studies, they believe they have found “a reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity.” That is, they believe they’ve worked out that atheists are smarter than religious people.

The research looked at 63 studies conducted between 1928 and 2012, and found that 53 studies showed this ‘reliable negative correlation’ between religion and intelligence. Out of those 53, no less than 35 were said to demonstrate a ‘significant’ negative correlation. Continue reading

Jesus, human rights and bacon

BaconWhich of your rights will you give up today for someone else’s sake?

Reading through 1 Corinthians 8-9 this morning, I was struck (again) but just how incredibly counter-cultural the Bible is when it comes to thinking about our personal ‘rights’.

The language of ‘rights’ is everywhere in ethics and morality today. In large part, it flows out of the intense individualism that has enveloped our society. If you’re arguing for a particular position on any contentious issue, the quickest route to success is to establish that what you’re arguing for is ‘a basic human right’. Continue reading