Why I Won't Say "Namaste"

Namaste greeting statue in Bali, Indonesia

I was recently obliged to participate in a yoga session with my coworkers. My bosses felt that it would be a good team-building exercise (among other hippie-dippie activities like a mindfulness tutorial and nia dancing). As a Christian, this is a difficult thing to approach. Yoga is a practice drawn from a pagan religion.

Obviously I have no wish to take part in a pagan religion.

On the other hand, there are other practices (like certain martial arts) that have ties to pagan religions but which can be effectively separated from those roots.


The Wisdom of Rejecting Vaccine Passports

Vaccine Passport

Many have taken it upon themselves to write soothing, gentle articles about Covid-19-related issues and the church. They try to find a “middle way” and appease both sides. I am going to do something very different. I am going to write a deliberately scathing article because there are some things that simply need to be said. Sometimes people take foolish positions and there is a time and a place to call them out without apology. Paul did it in Galatians 5: “I wish they would emasculate themselves!”. Jesus did it in Matthew 23: “woe to you blind guides who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”

Lately it has become clear that evangelical thought leaders in Australia are completely dropping the ball on issues surrounding Covid-19. Martyn Iles of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has posted on facebook to condemn lockdown protests and has called Christians not to participate in them. A piece appeared on Philip Jensen’s website with the provocative title Getting Vaccinated is Our Christian Duty. Megan Best has written a piece for The Gospel Coalition (TGC) arguing that churches should embrace the practice of requiring vaccine passports in order to attend church.

At one level, this is not a surprise. High-brow evangelicals have always had a soft underbelly, an achilles heel. They want to be seen as respectable by the powers that be. Even if they are thought of as “wrong”, “misguided” or even “religious”, they are still desperate to have some kind of standing among the cultural aristocracy. They seem to regard this as an “outreach” opportunity. Perhaps it is. But it is a mission field that comes rife with temptations to compromise, piece by piece, on everything that is not an absolutely central “gospel issue”. Just as it is not necessarily wise for an unmarried man to do outreach to the red-light district of Amsterdam, so not every Christian intellectual is ready for the temptations of trying to rub elbows with metropolitan cultural elites.

Understood through that lens, the rush of Christian intellectuals to side with the government, tech giants and corporate media is understandable. People have been arrested in this country simply for sharing facebook posts about protests. Many evangelical thought leaders would die a thousand deaths before suffering the indignity of being lumped in with those hillbillies who insist on taking Scripture literally. You know, the kind of people who believe in things like creationism or premillenialism. They are certainly not going to risk letting themselves be associated with something so deplorably common as being “anti-vax”.

And so, to preserve their estate, they have rolled up their sleeves and towed the party line with all their might. It falls now to those of us who have long since given up our dignity to reassure you of something: you are not crazy.

If you’re not sure that Covid-19, as a disease, deserves the hysteria that has grown around it, you are not crazy.

If you’re nervous about the police and the military being brought in to lock people in their homes who have committed no crime and are not sick, you are not crazy.

If you think something smells fishy about the way these vaccines are being pushed on us so intensely, you are not crazy.

And most important, if you think that Christian leaders are going too far when they tell you it’s a sin to resist any of this, then you are definitely not crazy.

There are many sub-issues that deserve to be dealt with amidst these global events. But for now we will deal with the issue of requiring vaccine passports to attend in-person church. We will start with this one because it’s so clear cut and so many Christians are getting it wrong. If we can’t get this one right, it’s like missing the big “E” on the eye chart.


Why I Will Never Invest in Government Bonds

Government Bonds

A classic strategy in the investing space is to split your capital between stocks and bonds. When you want to take more risk for greater rewards, you move more into stocks. When you want to pull back and take less risk then you move more into bonds. The idea is that bonds are a stable, predictable source of small returns. A safe haven in volatile markets. Sounds simple enough.


Who Chose the Books of the Bible?

Lots of people wonder about why the Bible has particular books in it and not others. You’re not alone! It’s a complicated question, because the Bible took several thousand years to put together. Maybe you have some of these questions?

  • How early or late was the list of books in the Bible decided?
  • Who decided on the list? Was some church council involved?
  • What historical sources do we have to tell us how this was all decided?
  • Can we trust that the list we have today is the correct list?
  • Were any other books considered for inclusion in the Bible? Why were they left out?

Taxation is Slavery

Want a preview? You can download the preview PDF for free.

You can also buy this book on Amazon (Kindle or Paperback).

About the Book

I wrote this book over about two years from 2018-2020. The book is based on research I did for my capstone project in my Master of Divinity degree. I set out to write an 8,000-word essay on Abraham Kuyper’s theology of taxes (Kuyper was the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and also a Reformed theologian). I thought Kuyper would give me a biblical foundation for deciding what the “fair” level of taxes would be.

But the research took me in a very different direction. After months of reading, study and reflection, I decided that the only logical, biblical conclusion was that the tax rate should be 0%. All taxes are wrong.