Friday, 21 September 2007

What the...?

Glamorous politician wants law to allow 7-year itch (Reuters)
Gabriele Pauli [...] told reporters at the launch of her campaign manifesto on Wednesday she wanted marriage to expire after seven years and accused the CSU, which promotes traditional family values, of nurturing ideals of marriage which are wide of the mark.

It seems there's no end to the ways people will think of to undermine marriage. As if divorce wasn't easy enough, we now how politicians seriously(?) suggesting "that marriages expire after seven years".

Of course, this doesn't make the corruption and adultery committed by other candidates ok, either. Anything but. It's just I can't laugh at suggestions like this given other recent developments.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

CADRE on atheist apologetics

For anyone looking to make a quick buck, J.D. Walters over at the Christian CADRE blog (bookmark it now) has helpfully given an eight-step guide to writing popular atheist apologetics. Extract:

[When talking about teleological arguments] Quote a few lines from Paley, then triumphantly announce that Darwin with the help of Richard Dawkins has proved him WRONG [...] leave out any mention of Richard Swinburne, Rodney Holder, Holmes Rolston, Mark Wynn or Robin Collins. The interested reader might find that the conversation has moved on just a bit since Paley.


Religious experience is easy to dismiss: it's all in the head. Remind your readers that Freud proved that religious beliefs were just illusions (without asking exactly what he meant by that word) and then make a reference to Michael Persinger's "God Machine" and the psilocybin trip you took during your hippy days in college (it was, like, intense, man, one-with-everything and all that).

Ouch. I wish Walters hadn't fallen into the trap of criticising Dawkins' lack of knowledge of Theology without at the same time explaining how this shows itself and what difference it makes to the whole argument, but otherwise it seems a good satire. Of course, it could be objected that it is unfair of Walters to judge pop-level argumentation by academic standards, but this recourse is rather blocked by the claims the pop atheists make on behalf of their arguments. Like House says, arrogance has to be earned (although I'd obviously prefer no-one to be arrogant).

Monday, 17 September 2007

Free indeed

Last night I went to the Rivermead Leisure Centre to see and hear Tony Anthony, former three-time Word Kung-Fu Champion, elite bodyguard, robber and killer, tell how he became a Christian while in prison in Cyprus. It is a very powerful testimony indeed, particulary when he told the audience that his favourite Bible verse is John 8:36, because when he came to Christ, though in prison, he felt freer than at any point before of after, including when he was released two and a half years later. Release from the prison of sin and death is infinitely more important.

Normally I don't agree with alter calls, but when over 50 people publicly gave their lives to Christ afterwards it was hard to argue! Of course, it's one thing saying it and another meaning it, but I pray they do. The start of Alpha Courses next week should help, God willing

Sunday, 16 September 2007

NUS and UCCF reach an agreement

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
- Romans 12:18
I'm about a week behind with the new here. The National Union of Students and the University and Colleges Christian Fellowship have published a joint set of guidelines for Students' Unions and Christian Unions. God willing, this should resolve the series of disputes that emerged last year in various universities.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Triple victory

Days on which England teams manage to win international matches in three different sports must be rare. My Indian flatmate took defeat in the cricket very graciously, commenting that this is the best one-day side England has had for many a year, with which I am inclined to agree. Pretty much the reverse can be said of the rugby union team, although even in this condition they couldn't conspire to lose to the USA. The football team has always looked good on paper, and so it's a relief more than anything to see them playing more like a team than like a group of individuals who met for the first time at kick-off.