11. Finding God in everyday life

November 13th, 2019

What this page is about

We have seen that some people appear to have experienced God through a healing, a vision or other “peak” experience. But what of the rest of us, who haven’t had such an experience? Does God communicate in more “ordinary” ways? Does this make a difference in people’s lives?

In this post we’ll look at people from many different backgrounds who found that God entered their lives in unexpected ways, providing help, guidance and the ability to make positive changes.

Continue reading →

10. Jesus appears to people – really?

October 30th, 2019

What this page is about

I don’t know about you, but when I hear a story of someone seeing a vision – of God, or Jesus or angels, or whatever – my first thought is to think hallucination, imagination or even invention. Likely as fake as the above graphic. We live in a day when we have learned to be suspicious of things that are beyond our own experience, and not verified by science.

But what if psychological explanations don’t fit so well? What if a person’s experience meets certain requirements we might set to weed out the obviously fanciful? What if the person reporting such an experience seems normal, truthful and not prone to such imaginations?

What if it was you, how sceptical would you be then?

In this page you can read some reports for yourself to see what we are talking about, look at the effects of these experiences, examine how they might be explained and consider whether these experiences are evidence for the reality of God.

Continue reading →

What would it take to convince you that a healing miracle had occurred?

July 6th, 2019

It’s not uncommon to come across stories of people being miraculously healed. They are some of the most popular pages on this site, and there’s no shortage of them on the internet.

I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing that some people want to feel re-assured God is really there, and some are perhaps looking for hope for their own healing. And then of course there are those who don’t believe healing can occur and want to debunk the stories.

So I wonder what evidence you would need to believe someone was miraculously healed?

Continue reading →

Ache, angst and aspiration

June 18th, 2019

Do you ever find yourself waking up at night for no reason, and taking some time to finally fall asleep again?

And if you do, what do you think about? Do you focus on emptying your mind so you can fall asleep again? Or maybe you go through your plans for the coming day?

Or does this time make you feel reflective and a little negative? Do you feel a little ‘life ache’, a vague sense of your own shortcomings, or an apprehension about life or the future?

Or perhaps you have similar feelings about life and self at other times you are alone? Or maybe after finishing a good novel, watching a thoughtful film, or listening to a piece of evocative music?

All this is certainly familiar territory to me, and to many people apparently.

Continue reading →

Stereoscopic vision and God

December 17th, 2018

Stereoscopic vision is a useful and subtle aspect of how we, and some animals, see. Because our two eyes both face the front (unlike some animals and insects whose eyes face more left and right), they both see similar but subtly different views. For example, if two objects are in line, one behind the other, our left eye will see the object furthest away slightly to the left, while the right eye sees it slightly to the right.

The brain is able to notice this difference, and correctly infer that the distance to the rear object is greater. Without this stereoscopic vision it would be harder to estimate how far away objects are, and whether they are moving towards us, or away.

You see this in this stereo photo of a man in a narrow laneway. The two pictures are almost the same, but the left photo (which is what the left eye would see) shows more of the lane to the left of the man (as we see it) than what the right photo shows.

Award-winning physicist Aron Wall observes that knowing God may require something analogous to stereoscopic vision.

Continue reading →

Did Jesus suffer from a mental disorder?

October 12th, 2018

In Mark 3, it is recorded that when Jesus’ family heard how he was attracting a great following, they thought he was “out of his mind”.

These days a similar charge is sometimes made – that Jesus exhibited behaviour that suggests he suffered from a mental disorder. I’ve come across it several times, most recently in a discussion on an internet forum. In this case, the work of Robert Sapolsky was cited as evidence of Jesus’ supposed schizophrenia.

How does this work? What is the evidence and what credence does it have?

Continue reading →

Religion is like seeing faces in nature?

September 25th, 2018

Recently a friend referred me to a 2013 blog post (God: Personification ≠ Person) by Rev Michael Dowd, which explains his somewhat unorthodox views on God and religion.

Dowd is a former Catholic who embraced Pentecostal christianity while serving in the army, got himself a theological education and served as a church pastor for a decade.

Since then he has developed a strong interest in ecology, and believes the human race needs to embrace the realities of climate change and the importance of ecological conservation before it is too late. He now describes himself as an evolutionary evangelist or pro future evangelist, travelling around the US speaking about his particular brand of evolutionary religion.

I support many of the things he says about the importance of evolution and ecology, but in this post I am examining his theology of God and his take on the christian religion, based on his 2013 God: Personification ≠ Person post – a little old now, but listed on his website and apparently still his current view.

Continue reading →

Sam Harris and fake history

August 28th, 2018

Sam Harris is a leading figure in the so-called “new atheists”, an author, speaker and polemicist who strongly opposes Christianity and (even more) Islam. So he is in great demand to speak on many issues of science, ethics and religion, not just the subjects of his university degrees – philosophy and neuroscience.

As a “public intellectual” who is seen by some people as an authority, you’d hope that he researches the matters he speaks on, but it seems that he sometimes fails this basic discipline.

Continue reading →