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thoughts on islamophobia and fundamentalism

Anders Behring Breivik

How easy it is for Australians to jump to the conclusion that Islamic extremists are responsible for all forms of terrorism. The latest tragedy in Norway represents a prime example of this.

(In saying this I do not mean to in any way negate the scope of the tragedy, or divert attention from the horrific 91+ deaths of mostly young people; I merely intend to discuss one aspect of the issue from the point of view of this blog’s theme.)

The New York Times claimed that initial reports focused on the possibility of Islamic militants (with, it seems, no credible evidence for this).

The UK’s Guardian suggested that, “The most tempting and immediate conclusion was that it would be a jihadist group,” (again with no credible evidence).

Australia’s Andrew Bolt put his suspicions out in the open Read the rest of this entry

ruptured rapture: christian gnosticism alive and well

If you are reading this you have awoken on the 22nd of May to find you have not floated into the sky, or been “left behind”…

The recent flurry of attention given to belief in the rapture, owing primarily to American fundamentalist Harold Camper’s predictions of its occurrence, offers some interesting points of reflection for Christians today. (It didn’t happen, in case you were worried you had been left behind.)

I don’t just mean this in terms of the apparent foolishness of attempting to predict the “rapture”, or more broadly “the end of the world”, in light of Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:36:*

But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

Nor do I mean this in terms of reflecting on the fact that the concept of the rapture is based on a misinterpretation of one verse in 1 Thessalonians 4, or that no Christian before the 18th century had even heard of it!

Instead I think that Christians would do well to reflect on the unbiblical thinking that forms the foundation of ideas like the rapture. Read the rest of this entry

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