Archive for April, 2010

Christopher Hitchens gets it exactly right

During a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, noted atheist Christopher Hitchens laid down some seriously good theology. Most people recognize Hitchens as the author of the bestselling book God Is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything. Since the book’s publication in 2007, Hitchens has toured the country debating a series of religious leaders, including some well-known evangelical thinkers. In Portland he was interviewed by Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell. The entire transcript of the interview has been posted online. The following exchange took place near the start of the interview:

Sewell: The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the Scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make any distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?

Hitchens: I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.

Sewell wanted no part of that discussion so her next words are, “Let me go someplace else.”

This little snippet demonstrates an important point about religious “God-talk.” You can call yourself anything you like, but if you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross for our sins and then rose from the dead, you are not “in any meaningful sense” a Christian.

Talk about nailing it.

In one of the delicious ironies of our time, an outspoken atheist grasps the central tenet of Christianity better than many Christians do. What you believe about Jesus Christ really does make a difference.

Dr. Ray Pritchard, “Christopher Hitchens Gets it Exactly Right,” KeepBelieving.com (2-1-10)

Sunday Morning in Batam

Taken on a small Indonesian island roughly 20km off Singapore’s south coast. Many thanks to Ms Poblete for sending this in.

Apologies to Louis Armstrong

So March flew by pretty fast, no thanks to all these job reqs on my table. Plus, they multiply like rabbits on speed the minute my back is turned. At home too, young Lukas has been acting up and we (Laine and I) hope it’s all a phase. Won’t be long before he starts acting like a proper, grown-up and matured 3-year old. Then we can all get along as one big happy non-shouting family. In the meantime however, am inspired to write a song about the present situation.

What a wonderful mess
(Sung to the tune of ‘What a wonderful world’)

I see his dinner falling, grape juice too
I see the mop for me to clean
And I think to myself, what a wonderful mess

I see walls so blue, once it was white
The bright blessed crayons, who took ‘em out?
And I think to myself, what a wonderful mess

The colors of the rainbow drawn on my carpet
Are also on the clothes I wear to work
I see friends with kids much better behaved
They’re really thinking I’m a lousy dad

I hear a kid crying, yes he’s mine
He’ll wail louder than a jet engine
And I think to myself what have I done
Yes I think to myself why do I deserve this?