The Silver Bullet

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

I grew up watching repeats of the Lone Ranger, the fictional Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in the American Old West.  Riding into town on his trusty steed he would quickly deal with whatever evil presented itself and ride out again leaving only a silver bullet, and people wondering “who was that masked man?”  His use of the silver bullet … Read More

60SG Mark 11:22-33

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

22-25 Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll … Read More

Found at Home

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

For any parent the worst feeling in the world is suddenly realising that the child who was by your side a moment ago has disappeared.  This happened several times when my son was a small boy.  Easily distracted he would often stop to look at something while the rest of the family walked on.  Fortunately, we always found him within … Read More

To save life or destroy it?

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

When our interpretation of religious beliefs becomes so warped that taking life is considered honouring to God, something has gone seriously wrong.  Once again this week we have seen the tragic consequences of this played out on the streets of London, with the senseless killing and maiming of too many innocent people.   Speaking in a different time and context … Read More

60SG Mark 11:12-21

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

12-14 As they left Bethany the next day, he was hungry. Off in the distance he saw a fig tree in full leaf. He came up to it expecting to find something for breakfast, but found nothing but fig leaves. (It wasn’t yet the season for figs.) He addressed the tree: “No one is going to eat fruit from you again—ever!” … Read More

Medicine for the Soul

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

It’s a curious thing that more antibiotics are injected into healthy animals than they are into sick humans.  One of the reasons is that for poor famers in developing countries who can’t afford vets fees, cheap antibiotics keep their animals healthy and have the side effect of making them put on weight, increasing their value.  But while it’s a short-term … Read More

Religion – all in the imagination?

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

In his bestselling book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Harari argues that almost everything we believe in is a fiction, and that humans alone among the animals have developed the capacity to believe in things that only exist in our imagination.  He includes in this all religions, political and legal institutions, and economic systems.  They only exist because … Read More

60SG Mark 11:1-11

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

11:1-3 When they were nearing Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany on Mount Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never yet been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘The Master … Read More

How religion causes conflict

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

“Mine is the way of the Lord.”  In just seven words from the musical Les Mis, policeman Javert explains how religion causes conflict.  Javert’s God is one who rewards the righteous, but that righteousness must be demonstrated by obedience to the law.  It is a righteousness that must be earned.  So it is with all religious systems, and with the … Read More

Why do we fight each other?

Simon AllabyAudio, Story

It’s often said that religion is the cause of conflict and that the world would be a more peaceful place without it.  It’s a convenient stick with which to beat people of faith, but sadly it’s an idea that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.  A study of major conflicts in the 20th century concluded that religion was a causal factor … Read More