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All articles in category Cultural and Ethical

If the foundations are destroyed … Descent into barbarism
June 2011
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

If the foundations are destroyed … Descent into barbarism

If the foundations are destroyed … Descent into barbarism   Democracy cannot long survive without moral foundations. The second president of the United States, John Adams, is noted — and sometimes resented — for his observation in 1798 that ‘Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other’.   In 1807 he commented that ‘without national morality a Republican government cannot be maintained’.1 In the 1940s T. S. Eliot warned: ‘If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture...

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‘If the foundations are destroyed … ‘ ­- Living with an echo
April 2011
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

‘If the foundations are destroyed … ‘ ­- Living with an echo

Continued from Undermining the Foundations Cicero defined a people as an association brought together by a common sense of what is right and by shared utility. Augustine took this up and wrote: ‘A people is the association of a multitude of rational beings united by a common agreement on the objects of their love’ (Augustine, The City of God, XIX, 24). That is now lacking in Western society. With Christianity supposedly discredited and largely abandoned, alternative schemes of salvation were concocted. Utopian hopes have been embraced, but sweet dreams have not been matched by any translations into reality. As Hamlet lamented, ‘the time is out...

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‘If the foundations are destroyed …’ – The undermining of the foundations
March 2011
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

‘If the foundations are destroyed …’ – The undermining of the foundations

Continued from What we owe to the Christian faith There is an ever present danger that the church will capitulate to the world, usually because of its desire to be considered relevant in its own day. In his poem Expostulation, William Cowper writes: ‘When nations are to perish in their sins, ’tis in the church the leprosy begins’. The foundational world view of a society is destroyed before the ethical and political superstructures come crashing down. The problem today is to be located first in the church rather than the world. To cite A. A. Hodge: ‘If the church languishes, the state cannot be in...

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Personal view: Educating children God’s way
February 2011
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Personal view: Educating children God’s way

Personal view: Educating children God's way Ephesians 6:4 squarely lays responsibility for educating children on fathers - 'Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord'.  Obviously this doesn't mean that fathers must do all the training and instructing. But it is fathers whom God has…

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‘If the foundations are destroyed …’  What we owe to the Christian faith
February 2011
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

‘If the foundations are destroyed …’ What we owe to the Christian faith

Continued from ‘If the foundations are destroyed…’ There is undoubtedly a temptation to ignore or downplay the dark side of the role of professing Christians in the history of Western society. Yet it remains true that the Christian faith has been a purifying leaven in the Western lump. Simone Weil’s view was that ‘the proper function of religion’ was to ‘suffuse with its light all secular life, public or private, without ever in any way dominating it’ (The need for roots; Routledge and Kegan Paul, p.114). This is a difficult issue for a religion that professes the cross as well as the crown, and a...

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‘If the foundations are destroyed…’
January 2011
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

‘If the foundations are destroyed…’

About a thousand years before the coming of Christ, King David asked: ‘If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ (Psalm 11:3) But he knew the answer to his own question: ‘The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test, the children of men’ (Psalm 11:3-4). In the darkness of this world, we may well come to perceive the light of the gospel more clearly. Scripture is given to us for discernment and understanding (Psalm 119:99) and for encouragement and hope (Romans15:4), and as we look out on our troubled world today we...

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Should we litigate?
September 2010
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Should we litigate?

Should we litigate? New South Wales is now second only to California so far as litigation is concerned. A part-time masseuse has sued her employer because her clients' whingeing made her depressed. She was awarded $26,000 as a result.  A basketball referee sued the Mt Isa Basketball Association because she tripped over while running backwards.…

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Singleness
September 2010
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Singleness

Singleness The subject of Christian singleness is often discussed among Christians. The gender imbalance in many churches (usually in favour of females) is a matter of grave concern.  As a Christian, how can one know whether singleness is the Lord's will for you? The answer is not found in human philosophy or secular psychology, but…

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What every parent should know about the Internet (8)
July 2010
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What every parent should know about the Internet (8)

What every parent should know about the Internet (8) News & views Nearly 100 years ago, on Tuesday 16 April 1912, the London Times reported that 'the White Star liner Titanic, which left Southampton on Wednesday [10 April] on her maiden voyage to New York, came into collision with an iceberg some distance from Cape…

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What every parent should know about the Internet (7) – Internet gambling
June 2010
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What every parent should know about the Internet (7) – Internet gambling

What every parent should know about the Internet (7) - Internet gambling David Clark Online gambling focuses on making money - a lot of it. While statistics are difficult to obtain since much online gambling is unregulated, one estimate suggests worldwide revenues of $27B (£19B) in 2009, rising to $36B (£24B) by 2012.1  In Europe, online…

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What every parent should know about the Internet (6)
May 2010
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What every parent should know about the Internet (6)

What every parent should know about the Internet (6)  -Internet gaming David Clark  A few years later, as I carried out postgraduate study into the uses of artificial intelligence, the height of research included developing software versions of the game of chess.      One interesting programme called ELIZA sought to simulate a Rogerian psychotherapist. ELIZA mostly…

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What every parent should know about the Internet (5)
April 2010
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What every parent should know about the Internet (5)

What every parent should know about the Internet (5)  - Google knows everything David Clark You may have heard the saying that 'Google knows everything'. What this generally means is that almost all knowledge is accessible on the Internet through the Google search engine. But have you ever considered how companies use the Internet to market…

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