Monday 24 January 2005

Being spiritual, being well

A report late last year from a research conglomerate involving Anglicare, Edith Cowan University and others studied the connections between spirituality and well-being. Reading the report, I was struck by how weak the correlations are. It's all quite complex, but the data seems to suggest that being spiritual (rather than religious) doesn't much enhance your satisfaction, sense of purpose or personal growth. If you have orthodox religious beliefs, you are likely to be more optimistic and concerned for others. but if you are "religiously dogmatic" you may have lower self-esteem and personal growth than if you are not.

This makes the apologetic line "Christianity is good for you" hard to maintain except slightly and in some specific areas. It may be better to stick with the approach that looks for the real, the true, the beautiful and the good.

Download the report here.

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Tuesday 18 January 2005

Converted to what?

Champion of atheism for 50 years, Professor Anthony Flew, has declared at age 81 that he is a theist. There's a fascinating interview with him and Gary Habermas here. I wonder whether Flew is at the beginning or end of his journey.

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Tsunami apologetics

The discussion has been broad and deep over the problems surrounding God and the tsunami.
I've previously described the cluster of issues called 'the problem of evil' as the hardest question in the world.
Most people feel (or even think) that the existence of evil in the world casts serious suspicion on God's existence.
I'm working on some material on natural disasters for the Case magazine, but here's a question I'd appreciate responses to:
What aspect of God is called into question by evil? Is it his love? His power? His justice?
I'm interested in specific answers.

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New Year's Resolution

CASE is back from our holidays with a number of heady resolutions.
Resolution #23: To have an entry here every second day.

Oh no, what have I done?
Please keep me to it.

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