Shock! Horror! Turn off the Xmas lights! We shouldn’t be celebrating Christmas at all!

Xmas lights

In Australia they don’t call this the “silly season” for nothing. So we can expect a swag of Christmas stories, from the sentimental to the supposedly shocking. Which of course includes at least one “expose” of the shocking truth that Jesus probably didn’t exist.

And so right on cue we get Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’, published by Sydney University, no less, in The Conversation, End of Year Series which promises “Academic rigour, journalistic flair”.

Well, one out of two ain’t bad, I guess, and at least its journalistic flair was enough for the Washington Post to re-publish three days later.

So after almost two millennia, is this the end of christianity as we know it?

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Long long journey through the darkness

Holly Ordway and Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

I like to collect stories, especially stories of people finding God. (He wasn’t lost of course, just lost to them! :) )

I enjoy reading (or hearing in conversation) people’s stories simply to get to know them better, but also because I like to learn from others’ experiences.

These two stories both concern Professors of English, both atheists in their thirties, who walked paths that led them to God over a period of time. The start and end points had some similarities, but the paths between were quite different …. and illuminating.

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Theists and non-theists think differently about morality

Helping

Are theists more moral than non-theists, or is it the other way round? Do theists and non-theists think very differently about ethics?

It used to be easy to argue about these questions because everyone had a story to tell and no-one had any scientific evidence. But nowadays psychologists and others are undertaking scientific studies of religious belief, and have some answers.

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Who’s afraid of Peter Boghossian?

Wolf

You may not have heard of Peter Boghossian. But one thoughtful christian blogger (Tom Gilson at Thinking Christian) thinks he’s a “dangerous man” and wonders whether his 2013 book (A Manual for Creating Atheists) might be seen as “a turning point in the decline of Christianity in the West”.

Perhaps Tom has been a bit spooked, but surely something’s going on to provoke this response.

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