ECREE: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence?

June 24th, 2011

If you spend time on online religious discussion forums, you’ve probably heard someone say: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!” Ever since Carl Sagan said it, this aphorism (often abbreviated to the acronym ECREE) has been used to critique claims of miracles or the paranormal. It sounds neat and logical, and it can help you feel […]

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David Sloan Wilson, evolution and religion

June 19th, 2011

David Sloan Wilson is an eminent evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University in New York. He is an atheist “but a nice atheist”, he assures us, and he is interested in the study of religion from an evolutionary viewpoint and the use of evolutionary principles to develop community development programs. You may be surprised to know […]

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Do healing miracles convince non-believers?

June 16th, 2011

Most of us have heard stories of people being healed after they were prayed for. They encourage our faith and encourage us to keep praying for those we know who need healing. But are they also useful in helping non-believers to believe?

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Hell and Rob Bell

June 13th, 2011

If you’ve spent any time on the internet this year, you probably know that Rob Bell is a much-loved and much vilified US pastor whose latest book Love Wins has caused a great deal of comment and even anger. The cause of the anger is many commentators’ fears that Bell has subtly espoused a doctrine […]

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Does fulfilment of Bible prophecy prove anything?

June 12th, 2011

A long time ago I read a book which (primarily) examined a bunch of Biblical prophecies which had come true in verifiable history, and attempted to estimate the mathematical probability of this happening by guesswork. The book was Science Speaks, by Peter Stoner, a college professor of mathematics and astronomy, and I have just found […]

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Jesus was just a myth?

June 11th, 2011

If you’ve trawled the internet for very long, you’ve probably come across unbelievers who say Jesus never existed, the stories are simply myths. How to answer them (if we choose to)?

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Good news!

June 10th, 2011

A couple of post back, in Good news?, I reflected on how some aspects of the teaching and example of Jesus seemed to be missing from modern “gospel” presentations, and suggested “we could improve our presentation of the good news to be more positive, forward looking and reflecting ‘God’s favour’”. I’ve now had a go […]

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Rational Christianity?

June 9th, 2011

In Worshipping the Irrational Jesus in the Huffington Post, Prof Mark Osler offers three approaches to those aspects of christianity we find uncomfortable or difficult to understand or accept.

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Worldwide belief in God

June 8th, 2011

Is belief in God dying out, in the western world at least? Some recent surveys give some answers, and some challenges for christians.

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Jesus and history

June 5th, 2011

This is the second in a series of posts on Jesus and history. Not so many years ago, christians could talk about Jesus and quote the Bible as their authority, and it wasn’t much questioned. People may not have believed in Jesus or followed his teaching, but few doubted he lived and taught and died. […]

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A list of all blog posts, in reverse chronological order, is on the Blog archive page.