From wallpaperflare.com

(This piece was turned into a podcast; check it out)

Crane accidents. Go-kart racing mishaps. Falling pedestrian bridges. Cancer. Earthquakes. The fear of death has to be the most natural human fear ever. I think, though, that it may be among the most irrational i.e. nobody should fear death’s outcome for one’s self.

We can (and should) fear the deaths of other people, but there should be nothing to worry about after we die. And this applies to both religionists nor atheists. Let me explain.

Believers

If you’re a Muslim, you know what you have to do. Malaysian Muslims, in…


My kid asked me the other day why God doesn’t appear to us face to face, why all the ‘hiding’ and invisibility.

I’m not sure she was serious (we were walking on the way to McD’s and she mentioned it between an observation about why the sky turned so dark suddenly and which happy meal to get) but here are some thoughts anyway.

  1. It’s not self-evident that God’s “invisibility” is a problem in a serious sense.

In fact, Bible stories abound with problems which happened whenever God turned OFF the invisibility act and manifested more directly among us (eg, Exodus…


At a recent event with college students, someone posed this question on the online Q&A, “How do you know Christianity is real? Every religion claims that they are real and they also have historical facts and miracles working in their religion.”

I’d like to take a stab at the question as it refers to HOW WE EVALUATE COMPETING REVELATIONS (OF THE DIVINE). Our world has so many religions, so many beliefs about God or gods or demi-gods, etc. — why should anyone think that Christianity is the so-called “correct” one?

Now, the tricky thing about this question is I cannot…


Douglas Campbell is one of the world’s top 20 (if not 10) Pauline scholars around, and this book will likely cement this position.

Pauline Dogmatics is named after Campbell’s theological hero, Karl Barth (and HIS big book) and is a systematic theology based on Paul’s letters (from which Campbell excludes as pseudographical 1 and 2 Tim and Titus).

Campbell’s breadth and command of material is no joke. Whatever you think of his POV, the guy has certainly parsed everything there is to say about a Pauline topic and how to read it. At one point in this book he offered…


The recent death of an individual who jumped from Suria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur suggests that depression and suicide remain prevalent in our country; perhaps made worse too by the pandemic, lockdowns and so on.

Whilst only a small minority of people who undergo depression take those fateful steps towards ending their lives, it is nevertheless true that almost everybody has experienced prolonged sadness (which borders on chronic depression). As is common in literature on mental health, we need to distinguish between everyday (or temporary or minor) depression from major (or clinical or deep) depression. …


The Persians started it. Alex the Great and his successors ‘imported’ it to the Mediterranean. The Romans perfected and re-exported it to whatever lands they conquered. Thus, until Emperor Constantine abolished it in the fourth century AD, crucifixion — nailing a dude against two wooden beams as formal punishment — was almost as common throughout the Roman empire as MCO fines were in the Klang Valley.

Today is Good Friday. Thanks to Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, people (even non-Christians) are generally familiar with the significance of this day, not to mention the trauma surrounding crucifixion.

Still, why did…


Christians did not:

  • lie (or bend/hide the truth) about the products they were selling
  • bring down pressure on debtors
  • evict people who couldn’t pay rent
  • file lawsuits
  • charge (exorbitant?) interest for loans

See Kreider, Alan. The Patient Ferment of the Early Church: The Improbable Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire. Baker Academic, 2016.


The on-going controversy over Malaysia’s Federal Court’s ruling which rendered unconstitutional a provision in the Selangor Syariah law relating to unnatural sex is just so, well, snazzy. There’s something about people putting, uh, things in certain ‘areas’ to derive sexual pleasure which, obviously, gets some religious folks heated up.

Our country’s antagonism towards and policing of LGBQT activities is one of many symptoms of some quirky institutional need to police sexuality (without, tragically, doing much about child marriages). One can only imagine the amount of time, man-power and documentation expended to dictate what lovers do with each other’s bodies.

But…


1 — The world is way way more uncertain, uncontrollable and unpredictable than what the experts claim it is.

Accepting structural opacity (or the reality and severity of the unseen and the unknown) comes first before anything else.

2 — We can be much more certain about what will NOT work than what will. Negative confirmation takes priority over positive ones.

Progress will happen more from the errors we STOP committing, than all the ‘new’ stuff we’re putting in place.

3 — Forget about predicting new “trends”, fads, innovations, etc. Quit the neo-mania. Stop listening to those telling you that…

Alwyn Lau

Edu-trainer, Žižek studies, amateur theologian, columnist.

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