The Melbourne Anglican
Some US Christians are in a jam: they don’t know who to vote for on 8 November, and while the vacancy in the White House needs filling, they may be more concerned with the current opening in the Supreme Court.
Reasons abound as to why Christians might not vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming election. Even so, don’t be shocked if lots of them do. And not only the white, redneck, gun-wielding, ignorant, pickup-driving minority of Americans that many in the mainstream media seem to think are typical of US Christians. But rather the thinking, compassionate and generous people who are doubtless feeling very conflicted about their choices for president.
By Mark Sneddon and Pete Mulherin
The Melbourne Anglican
The distinction between faith-based independent schools and government schools in matters of religious conviction and conscience is being undermined by the proposed Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Bill introduced by the Andrews government in Victoria. The Bill will override the deeply held wishes of many parents for their children to be educated in the tenets of a particular faith, as well as in an environment that encourages and models a distinct way to live. Similarly, religious organisations other than schools, from charities to churches, will be prohibited from applying a test of conformity with the group’s faith in many employment decisions. Continue reading
Something that should have been mentioned in the first post in this series on atheism and Christianity is that I don’t think rational arguments—like those Jesse and I are attempting to make—are in themselves enough to lead one to a Christian faith. Alister McGrath says it much better than I can, so I’ll let him explain:
Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish. To demonstrate the reasonableness of faith does not mean proving every article of faith. Rather, it means showing that there are good grounds for believing that these are trustworthy and reliable. It also means showing that the Christian faith makes sense of what we observe and experience.
So it’s with this in mind that I engage in this debate; not under some expectation that the arguments themselves have enough power to convince, but rather in the hope that the debate may remove obstacles to faith.
As part of my blog series on Christianity and atheism with Jesse, I’ve responded to his latest post which deals with Pascal’s Wager.
Not directly related to the wager, there seems to be an underlying thread in the post that suggests Christians are in the business of conning people—purposefully hiding the truth. Naturally, Christians are as capable of deceit as the next person, however to imply (unless I’ve badly misunderstood) that deceit is more or less a part of Christian doctrine itself, doesn’t sit well. Basically because there seems to be a lack of evidence for this—with the exception of some tele-evangelists. I think a distinction between individuals and creed is needed. But anyway, that’s taking this conversation down a different path—psychology I guess—and one that can easily lead to playing the man, not the game. Maybe it’s best to move on. Continue reading
I recently asked my friend Jesse whether he’d be interested in having a debate about his atheism, and my Christianity. The motivation for having this conversation, at least on my part was a bit selfish: I needed something to write about! Beyond that, I think we’ve both got fairly strong beliefs, and we both enjoy talking/writing about issues, so a blog-debate seemed appropriate. Continue reading