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Photo of Dr Andrew Davison

Posted: 22 November 2016

With doctorates in natural sciences and in theology, scientist and priest Dr Andrew Davison is the Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He is also the author of several books, including The Love of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy for Theologians. He talks to Nigel Bovey about the overlapping worlds of science, philosophy and faith.

Dr Davison, how did you get into science?

As a child, I was fascinated by chemistry and would buy discarded chemistry sets from my school friends. I read chemistry at Oxford. I followed that with a doctorate in biochemistry, where I was looking at the metabolism of molecules that make up the fatty membranes of cells, with particular reference to lymphoma in the liver.

Where did the interest in theology...

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Image of the cover of the booklet Five Arguments for God

Posted: 06 October 2016

Are there good arguments for God’s existence? Have the so-called New Atheists shown that the arguments for God are no good? A new booklet we’re publishing online today (and available for free) explores five reasons to believe in God, following readable, step by step arguments. The booklet is by William Lane Craig, the philosopher, theologian and apologist. He’s well known for his debates on God’s existence with Christopher Hitchens and Lawrence Krauss, and is the author of Reasonable Faith, which makes the positive case for Christianity.

Download the Five Arguments for God booklet for free here.

William Lane Craig says: ‘It’s perhaps something of a surprise that almost none of the so-called New Atheists has anything to say about arguments for God’s existence. Instead, they...

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Posted: 30 September 2016

28 SeptemberAn ancient toilet found by archaeologists in the ruins of the city of Lachish, which was besieged and destroyed by the Assyrians in 701 BCE, has dramatically confirmed details recorded in the Old Testament book of 2 Kings. The book said that the Israelites used to complete their destruction of pagan temples by turning them into toilets, and the archaeologists at Lachish found exactly that when they excavated the city gate.

27 SeptemberLeigh Eric Schmidt has written a book called Village Atheists: How America’s Unbelievers Made Their Way in a Godly Nation, published today. The book explores the complex cultural terrain that unbelievers have long had to navigate in their fight to secure equal rights and liberties in American public life. Christianity Today has an...

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Portrait painting of St Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne, 17th century

Posted: 16 September 2016

Karla Pollmann, Professor of Classics and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Kent, talks to Nigel Bovey about the influence of early Christian thinker Augustine of Hippo on contemporary thought.

Professor Pollmann, you have written four books and numerous academic papers about the early Church Father Augustine of Hippo, who was born in North Africa in the 4th century. What fascinates you about him?

Augustine is one of the craziest early Church Fathers. He is the person in antiquity we have most texts of and he has written on practically everything the world bothers about – love and sex, war and peace, manual labour, justice. He is an exceptional communicator and arguably the most influential early Christian thinker in the Western world.

He is the author of...

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Photo of William of Ockham seen in a stained glass window

Posted: 30 August 2016

An argument first formulated by a 14th century Franciscan friar born in a Surrey village is a central plank in the case against the existence of God by 21st century new atheists. William of Ockham, a major medieval philosopher, argued that when you are faced with competing theories to explain something, you should choose the simplest explanation. He phrased it in this way: ‘It is futile to do with more things that which can be done with fewer.’ The argument is known as Ockham’s razor, for its power to cut away complexity.

New atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins have used the argument to claim that modern science has done away with the need for God. In his book, The God Delusion, Dawkins says: ‘Historically, religion aspired to explain our own existence and...

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Photo of sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa

Posted: 24 August 2016

Over the past month, these are the events in faith, science and culture that have been catching our attention.

23 AugustVR Jesus may be coming to a screen near you soon, because previews of a hyper-immersive virtual reality movie about the life of Christ are to be screened at the Venice Film Festival in early September. The movie, entitled, Jesus VR – The Story of Christ will be one of the first feature length films to be shot in 360 degree format, and viewers will need to wear headsets to see it. Film director David Hansen says: ‘The viewers truly feel they are there with Jesus and his disciples. This is the most powerful story of all time and virtual reality is the perfect way to tell it.’ According to the Hollywood Reporter, ‘the film will release this Christmas on all major...

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Posted: 15 August 2016

Roly Bain, a Church of England priest who was also a professional clown, died last week at the age of 62. He began his full time clown ministry in 1990 when he resigned as vicar of a church in Tooting and began his training at a circus school in Bristol. In his 26 years as a clown-priest, he took his act to schools, prisons, hospitals and cathedrals.

Christian Evidence supported his ministry for many years, which enabled us to see how much he was appreciated, especially in his prisons work. One prison chaplain said of his visit in 2007: ‘It was the first time any of our lads had experienced anything like this, and the way he expressed the gospel through clowning has made an outstanding impression on the prisoners who came.’

Revd Richard Burridge, Chair of the Christian Evidence...

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Photo of The Drawbridge Memorial Van outside Lambeth Palace in the 1940s

Posted: 02 August 2016

In the early years of the 20th century, a new Sunday afternoon entertainment came to Hampstead Heath in north London. Atheist and free-thinking speakers were standing in the open air and delivering lectures to crowds which often numbered hundreds of heckling, cheering and fascinated people. A local clergyman who saw the crowds, Rev. Cyprian Drawbridge, noticed the speakers were preaching their messages without any response by Christian speakers. It wasn’t long before he ventured out of his pulpit and onto the Heath, armed with his own lecture notes.

As he said later, ‘It is often asked by our Christian critics, Why don’t more men go to church? May we venture to ask another question? Ought not the Christian church to go to the men?’

This piece of forgotten history came to light...

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Posted: 18 July 2016

Over the past month, these are the events in faith, science and culture that have been catching our attention.

17 JulyBrian Cox, physicist and broadcaster, made an interesting observation at the Starmus festival, which has just finished in Tenerife. The festival, which included Brian Eno, Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins, celebrated the synerygy between astronomy and music. Said Cox: ‘The fact that we’re in an insignificant physical speck in a possibly infinite universe is as easy or difficult to accept as that we are a very tiny temporal speck in a possibly infinite time span… But it’s a conversation that won’t be had by physicists. It’s a conversation that’s best had in art, philosophy, literature and theology. That’s where the meaning of the things we discover...

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Photo of the chariot race in the new 2016 version of Ben-Hur

Posted: 13 July 2016

One of the most famous movies in history, Ben-Hur, has been remade and is due for worldwide release in September. Based on the 1880 novel by Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the new film re-imagines the novel for the big screen, although it will inevitably be compared with the 1959 epic movie starring Charlton Heston, which won 11 Academy awards.

The movie tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a Jewish prince accused of insurrection against the Romans by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer serving under Pontius Pilate. Judah becomes a slave on a Roman galley, but eventually triumphs in a chariot race with Messala, a sequence which is ‘truly the crown jewel of the film,’ according to Timur Bekmambetov, the director. His life is changed by a...

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Photos at the top of this column by:
Taro Taylor and Jon Sullivan