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Podcasted: Sunday, 11 August 2013 - Sunday 18 August 2013

In the Preface of The Tyranny of God, I explain that before we get into discussing religion, we need to know what our Natural History is. We must begin from the very start to establish that we are all working on the same page, so to speak. Chapter 1 of the book is titled Cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the origins and eventual fate of the universe. I begin Chapter 1 with the Big Bang, because this is how far back human knowledge goes. So here it is, for you, this Sunday 11th of August 2013, Chapter 1 of The Tyranny of God.

Published in Podcasts

This is our very first Reasonism Podcast. Today, I want to share with you a conversation I recently had with a Baptist Pastor. He is visiting from the Philippines with a relative of mine, whom he was grooming to become his assistant. We had a chat about the general state of affairs here in Australia. I was telling them how Australia has been doing fine economically but how recently, the demand for Western Australia’s mining resources have begun to decline as a result of the reduced demand for China’s goods world-wide. Slowly then the conversation progressed to what he thought was going on in the world. Because he is a Pastor, I expected somewhat of a religious tinge to the way he would read current affairs. I did, however, not expect it to be as bizzare as it turned out to be.

Published in Podcasts
Thursday, 27 October 2011 00:00

Family of Jesus

According to Matthew 1:18-25, Mary became pregnant with Jesus while she was engaged (but still unmarried) to Joseph. After Joseph found out about the pregnancy, he wanted to break off the engagement. But then an angel came to him in a dream, told him about Jesus, and persuaded him to go through with the marriage. Did other members of his family initially disapprove of his activities?

Published in The Gospel Mysteries
Sunday, 23 October 2011 22:08

The Virgin Birth

According to the gospels, Mary became pregnant with Jesus through a divine action. Luke 1:26-35 says that the angel Gabriel visited her beforehand and told her that "the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you." And Matthew 1:18 says "she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit." Is there a natural explanation?

Published in The Gospel Mysteries
Thursday, 20 October 2011 22:08

The Resurrection of the Dead Saints

Readers of the gospels are often puzzled by a short passage at Matthew 27:52-53, which comes just after the description of Jesus' death on the cross. The passage says that some dead holy people returned to life and came out of their tombs, then went into Jerusalem, where many inhabitants of the city saw them. Because the King James translation refers to these resurrected people as "saints", this event is sometimes called "the resurrection of the dead saints". How can we explain this mysterious passage in the Gospel of Matthew?

Published in The Gospel Mysteries
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 22:08

Where is Golgotha: Where Jesus Died?

The crucifixion of Jesus took place at a site near Jerusalem called Golgotha. But exactly where was it located? Golgotha is the biblical name for the place where Jesus was crucified. It was probably a small hill just outside the walls of ancient Jerusalem. According to Christian tradition, it was within the area now occupied by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. But some biblical scholars doubt that this is the correct location.

Published in The Gospel Mysteries
Monday, 10 October 2011 22:08

The Nazarenes

After Jesus ascended to heaven, many of his followers stayed in Jerusalem and gathered into a closely-knit group that became known as the Nazarenes. According to Acts 1:13-16, the group initially had about 120 members, including Jesus' mother Mary and all of his brothers. The two main leaders were Simon Peter and the oldest brother of Jesus, who was called James the Just. During an early meeting a man named Matthias was chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot in the inner circle of the twelve primary disciples.

Published in The Gospel Mysteries
Friday, 14 October 2011 22:08

The Ending of the Gospel of Mark

Was the original ending of this gospel accidentally lost? Was a new ending added later? Ancient copies of the Gospel of Mark can have several different endings. The shortest ending is found in the oldest manuscripts, all of which stop at verse 16:8. Most later manuscripts contain some additional verses, not always the same, which were apparently added to the gospel at later points in time. Excluding minor variations, these later additions created three new endings. The authors of these new endings didn't identify themselves.

Published in The Gospel Mysteries
Sunday, 09 October 2011 20:00

Demonic Possession

Can people be possessed by demons? In ancient times many people believed that evil spirits can enter a person's body and take control of it. This was a common explanation for conditions such as epilepsy and madness. In modern terminology this "madness" probably referred to certain mental disorders such as schizophrenia and delirium. Even today, we still don't fully understand what causes these conditions. Ancient people, who had even less understanding, frequently put the blame on evil spirits.

Published in The Gospel Mysteries
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 22:08

Lost Gospels

According to some estimates, early Christians wrote at least twenty gospels that weren't included in the bible. Many of these non-biblical gospels apparently disappeared later, although it's possible that copies of some of them still survive at unknown locations. Luckily, several that appeared to be missing have been found again in modern times. But some are still missing, and could be permanently lost.

Published in The Gospel Mysteries
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