Thursday, 22 May 2014

New Atheists, Mermaids and the Non-Existence of God

My seven year old daughter loves the idea of mermaids. We have a story book that explores legends and stories of mermaids and how we continue to have a fascination with these mythical sirens of the sea. Indeed you will often hear of 'shocking' discoveries that mermaids are indeed real, with apparent proof from video footage.

New athiests and religious fundamentalists are simply seekers of sirens.

You see the quest for mermaids is basically a quest for an object. So we are dealing with language of 'subject - object'; we are the subjects seeking out an object.

New atheists and religious believers alike are seeking to prove the 'existence of God' which Tillich helpfully describes as 'half-blasphemous and mythological.' In other words, once we seek to prove God's existence like we try and prove the existence of any particular object we have ceased to talk about the God of Christian orthodoxy. The only reasonable response to trying to prove the existence of God is atheism, because such a god is as observable as the sea sirens my seven year old is fascinated with. No wonder then that early Christians were called  atheists. And it is no wonder too that Christian mystics have often used atheistic language when speaking of God.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Democracy? What Democracy?

Let us be under no illusions, we do not live in a time of democracy.

Certainly we have democracy in the sense that I am able to go and vote for a party. Yet in the very real sense I am no longer free to vote because there is no freedom in my vote.

What I mean by this is that the landscape of politics is such that I am left with little to no actual voice through my vote. Whomever I put a X against will do little to change the landscape of the political desert. We are in a situation where the main political parties have continually undermined the voices of the people and repeatedly acted in ways that oppress, abuse and damage. And no matter who I vote for this will continue to happen as political agenda, narcissism, greed and misplaced desire dominate. Time and again we are told that 'hardworking people' will be rewarded casting suspicion and distrust on anyone who does not appear to fall into such a category.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

True Perfection

'This is true perfection: not to avoid a wicked life because, like slaves, we servilely fear punishment, nor to do good because we hope for rewards, as if cashing in on the virtuous life by some businesslike and contractual arrangement. On the contrary, disregarding all those things for which we hope and which have been reserved by promise, we regard falling from God's friendship as the only thing dreadful, and we consider becoming God's friend the only thing worthy of honour and desire. This, as I have said, is the perfection of life.' Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in GOD

Frank Schaeffer has done something remarkable with his new book.


When you experience raw and uncompromising honesty it is a strange sensation. It is like when I used to be an oyster fisherman and would see the sun rising over a glass sea, leaving me breathless. Or then the next morning being tossed around on violent waves struggling to see ahead because of the wind and rain. Nature is an honest force that when in the midst of it leaves you in no uncertainty about what it is about and your place within it; honesty has a habit of doing that to us.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Steve Chalke, morality and identity

Christianity is not an ethical code, a means of morality that teaches people how to be 'good' and 'decent' people. Morality code Christianity leads us from the Way of Jesus towards a road of individualism, legalistic codes that decide whose 'in' and 'out' and non-differation between any number of religious and secular groups around the world. Being 'good' is not the goal of following Jesus.

However, it seems to me that the debates, arguments and fall out over Steve Chalke and the Evangelical Alliance removing Oasis from its membership has in some way to do with a morality code Christianity. The EA have determined a certain view on sexuality, Steve Chalke holds a different view and they have found each other wanting; EA have an ethical and moral code to stand by and Oasis do not sit favourably in light of this code.