Jul 31, 2011

Religion - evil?

Thinking about the tragedy in Norway, I find this of interest and on the mark:

"The crimes of which Anders Breivik stands accused don’t show how religion can inspire evil. Quite the contrary: They are proof positive that a Christ-less Christianity is a cultural construct that can’t bring the depth of relationship required to prevent the horrors that evil inspires. ..."


Jul 23, 2011

The gospel of Mark

I keep returning to the gospel of Mark - particularly since hearing it described as "the gospel for a sceptic in a hurry", I've been intrigued by it. Particularly its christology, or view of Christ. I'd love to talk with you about this, whoever you are, though admittedly I've only dabbled briefly in the topic. This gospel also contains one of my favourite passages, (as I may well have said here before.) That passage reminds me (and vice versa) of this skillet song. In related news, a NZ scholar of Mark I happen to know, Derek Tovey, will be speaking on the book's view of Jesus on Tues 2nd August at 1pm at Auckland Uni as part of Jesus Week.

Anyway, I think the gospel of Mark is also worth listening to. That's right, listening to!

Living in the 21st C, we're fortunate to have access to mp3s, including of the bible - that book that continues to influence so much and so many.

One of my favourite bible translations is the 'NET' bible (New English Translation), partly as it doesn't have the copyright issues of some other translations. It is also fairly literal and comes with some very useful notes.

As a service to someone out there, I've compiled the links to the chapters of the gospel of Mark, the NET version, read by some American guy whose voice isn't too disagreeable (lack of Queen's English or upper-class American accent notwithstanding) here - at an approximate calculation, you could listen to the whole thing in around an hour and a half or so. How about that?! Give it a shot.

Courtesy of http://net.bible.org

(chapters) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

kiwi music

Hey, here's a site worth checking out if you want some easy-listening kiwi (Christian) music to download for free - I hope you'll like it:


I envisage setting up a gig for him sometime, somehow.

Jul 1, 2011

How did Muhammed die?

It's an intriguing question for me and maybe for you - how did Muhammed, the prophet of Islam, die?

Another intriguing question for me is why the html on this site has been such a hassle recently - hence the large gaps and occasional lack of gaps in some of these posts.

Anyway, was it by poison? While it seems an ignoble death, particularly given Islamic conceptions of prophethood, the hadith seem clear on the topic (google it if you like.)

This Islamic response fascinates me - not least because it quotes, unblushingly, sections from the New Testament which show that prophets before Jesus died - fair enough - but also, explicitly state that Jesus was likewise killed. Believing that Jesus was killed is very unorthodox for a Muslim and I don't think the author believes this at all - but what basis could there be for using these accounts about Jesus only where they line up with what you already believe? What extra weight does such use of quotations give an argument?

The author also accepts the parable of the tenants, in Mark 12: 1-12 as authentic from the mouth of Jesus and points out that "the son" is clearly talking about Jesus. This is hardly controversial for most readers of the New Testament, but coming from the mouth of a Muslim apologist, it is unexpected. Perhaps I am missing something.