Over the years I’ve talked to a number of people who find themselves unable to commit to belief in God, but equally unable to reject belief. They say they would like to believe, for they cannot think atheism is true, but they find themselves unable to give assent to a particular religion or set of […]
Last post I looked at the differences between scientific thinking and religious thinking, at least as one social scientist sees it. But where does religious thinking come from? Religious belief has been an important component in virtually every culture in human history. Why is this so? Social scientists have studied this question extensively. Whether you […]
Many people claim to have experienced God directly in some way. They claim to have seen a vision, or received divine healing, or they have had some deep spiritual experience, or God has turned their lives around in some way. They come from different religions, even from no religion and atheism. Sometimes the experience changes […]
People move into and out of faith. Probably most of us stay with the religious beliefs we form in our late teens, but a fair number change their basic belief somewhat later. These changes in belief can be difficult to make and to carry through. But probably nothing is more difficult than when one partner […]
We all like to think we’re right in our beliefs, whether it be about God, politics or how our football team can play better. The interesting thing is how strongly we can disagree. A while back I came across an old newspaper column by an atheist, titled The five best reasons not to believe in […]
Aussie novelist Tim Winton is without doubt my favourite writer. I especially love That Eye the Sky, a novel of a family that is put under pressure by a serious car accident, and finds relief in unexpected places. It has been made into a film and two stage plays. And it turns out that so […]
Tony Campolo has been a significant figure in christianity over the past few decades. As a sociologist, teacher, speaker, writer and social justice activist, he championed a form of christianity which balanced spirituality and social concern. So when several years ago his son Bart moved from supporting his father’s form of christianity to being a […]
If you are sometimes troubled about the apparent actions of God, or if you are interested in the songs of Bob Dylan, this post may strike a chord.
Which side are you on? The idea of divine healing is a polarising one. Non-believers are generally fairly suspicious, feeling healing is against medical science. Many christians are highly supportive of the idea that God heals today, and quite possibly have a personal story of healing to tell. But other christians are made of sterner […]
Religious people, especially conservative and fundamentalist believers, are often stereotyped as dogmatic and intolerant. Do the facts support this stereotyping? How do other people compare? And what is the cause?