Read highlights from the regular “Big Questions” section in the Bridge Magazine.

 

First published in the Bridge Magazine, Feb 2019 Why do we baptise babies? David Beckham once said, I definitely want [my son] Brooklyn to be christened, but I don't know into what religion yet.”[1] It isn’t just David Beckham who gets confused about baptism. I’ve met atheists who believe having ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine, December 2018 When was Jesus really born? Combine all that fuss about Christmas, with our Anno Domini calendar system, and you might imagine that Jesus was born in 1AD on December 25th. The problem is, there’s nothing in the Bible to point us to ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine November 2018 Is God a she? My daughter started studying at Durham University last week scene of the latest round of our culture’s gender war. Not content with forcing the sacking of the assistant editor of Critique, the university’s philosophy journal for the transphobic ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine October 2018 Is there a purpose to my life? I was a teenager when I first thought about whether my life had a purpose. I blame the Monty Python film The Meaning of Life for that. It promised so much in its opening song: ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine July 2018 Did God Create Evil? At our newly launched youth group (“The Deep End” - for young people in the yr5 to yr10 age range), one of the young people asked me a great question, “Did God create evil?” Some people would answer ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine, May 2018 Do all religions lead to God? The belief that all religions are merely different paths up the same mountain is something of a cultural norm today. It’s often taught in schools to undergird the so-called “British” values of tolerance and respect, things ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine, April 2018 Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Someone recently told me he needed scientific proof before he could believe that Jesus rose from the dead. The problem is, it’s impossible to study past events under laboratory conditions! Thankfully there are ways to ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine, February 2018 Does the Bible condone slavery? Someone once asked me, “Doesn’t the Bible condone slavery?” He’d been reading some bits of the Bible (in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Philemon) and couldn’t find anything saying slavery was wrong. He therefore concluded that ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine, December 2017 “Virgin on the Ridiculous!” Was Jesus really born to a virgin? The idea that Jesus was born to a virgin mother is found in two of the Bible’s four accounts of Jesus’ life. The gospel of Luke tells the story from the ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine, November 2017 Are Christians inconsistent about laws in the Old Testament? Sometimes Christians get accused of picking and choosing which Old Testament laws they want to obey.  For example, the Old Testament outlaws the eating of shellfish, and the wearing of mixed fabrics – ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine, October 2017 Doesn’t religion cause most of the conflict in the world? The sooner all religions are gone, the sooner the world will be a peaceful place” was how one angry caller responded to a phone-in on Radio 5 Live last week about the ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine, May 2017  We all love to catch a politician contradicting themselves – but what about the Bible? Does it contradict itself, as you’ll sometimes hear people say, and if that’s the case, how can we trust anything it says? Personally when people say “The ...
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First published in the Bridge Magazine, April 2017 In the first part of this series, we looked at whether the Bible has changed through the ages, and we saw that through the insights offered by the academic discipline of textual criticism, we can be confident that the Bible books we ...
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First published March 2017 in the Bridge Magazine. This month, our big question is “Can we trust the Bible?” And my short answer is “Yes!” I bet you weren’t expecting me to say that! Normally when someone asks me “Can we trust the Bible?” I like to ask them why ...
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This article appeared in the February 2017 issue of the Bridge Magazine and was the first in a new series called Big Questions. Let me say straight-away that this question isn’t so much a critique of Christianity, as a great way for to critique any notion of God. So who ...
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A few days after 9/11, I heard a Christian preacher describe the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre as a punishment from God. I heard something similar said of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. One particularly graceless American preacher called it a punishment on Sweden for passing laws promoting same-sex ...
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