Can music ever be evil? How did we get the ‘seven deadly sins’? What’s with all the racism in the Bible? Could robots ever be considered ‘persons’? It’s this season’s Q&A episode, where listeners get a chance to ask John Dickson their burning questions.
It’s this season’s Q&A episode, where listeners get a chance to ask John Dickson their burning questions.
This episode is sponsored by Seven Things I Wish Christians Knew About the Bible by Michael F Bird, a new book published by Zondervan.
- Is all “music” at its best good or beautiful and at worst simply neutral; or can some “music” be “bad”, “evil” or “ungodly”? (Check out our two episodes on music from Season 3: Creation’s Music and Discordant Religion).
- Are there dangers in pop music we might steer our children away from for example?
- Regarding the 7 Deadly Sins: what’s their origin and their accuracy in terms of Jesus’ teaching and Christian living?
- If I have a conversation with a person who is sceptical of Christianity about the issue of race, I know they’re going to bring up times when God ordered the wiping out of a city or a whole race (like when Israel wiped out the Amalekites in the book of 1 Samuel) as evidence that the Bible is racist. What should I say? (Check out our last episode of Season 3, Racist Church)
- Why were the Jews God’s chosen people? According to a lot of Christian principles (at least the ones I was brought up with) people who were alive before Jesus but didn’t know the Hebrew god would go to Hell for not knowing him. So, why did God choose the Jews? Why condemn the people who lived at the same time, but in other parts of the world i.e the Australian Indigenous peoples?
- A listener comment that we made into a question: I thought that you gave the Black Lives Matter organisation a very soft run in this podcast. It is not anywhere close to a Christ-centred organisation. Their website, until recently, noted that they were seeking to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement” and “foster a queer affirming network” and “do the work to dismantle cisgender privilege”. Did you go too soft on this whole ‘Black Lives Matter’ thing on the Racist Church episode?
- Andrew says he listened to that version of ‘Little Things’ by Ziggy Ramo and Paul Kelly, which tells the tragic story that Australia’s colonisation starts with the Pope’s ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ in 1493, which Captain Cook later used to claim Australia as ‘Terra Nullius’ – nobody’s land. He says he’s looked into the doctrine of discovery and it’s just terrible. Why did the church make such a decree?
- What do you think about the idea of machines being “persons.” (Check out our two episodes on articial intelligence: Artificial Intelligence and Homo Deus)
- There seems to be a slew of so-called prophets coming out of the woodwork in the USA prophesying all sorts of messages especially about the political scene. What does the Bible say about this?
- How does one explain the Egyptian culture and the God’s that they believed in and the afterlife they believed in? Was there any part of the God that we worship today? Was he the same god then?
- Could the God of the Jews be the God of other faiths? Could other Faiths be just interpreting the same God in different ways? I’ve heard stories of other cultures around the world who hadn’t been exposed to Christianity having similar principles and creation stories to that of the Bible. Could God have been revealing himself to them?
- I was listening recently to a podcast ‘People I Mostly Admire’ hosted by Freakonomics author Steven Levitt interviewing Magician Joshua Jay. They speculate whether Jesus’ miracles were simply tricks and they claim tricksters at the time were doing exactly the same thing, obviously inferring Jesus was just kind of a trickster. I have never heard this suggestion before and I wondered if you could fact check it based on your study of Jesus’ times.
- Did the 100 Pages episode mention the talking donkey? How do you tackle weird and wacky thing in the Bible?
- At the end of the Gospel of Mark, Mark describes how the women went away and said nothing to anyone. But other gospels say they went away and told people. What can we say about this contradiction in the Bible? (Check out our episode Bible Mistakes for more)
- The podcast often proudly cites non-believing references. I value this approach but is there a weight behind all these people who know scripture so well but don’t believe?