Dr Gerhard Roth: Dark side of the brain where evil lurks, Grace and Neuroplasticity

A German neurologist claims to have identified a specific brain configuration within which he says ‘evil lurks”. Measuring brain waves on violent criminals whilst watching ‘brutal scenes’ revealed a “dark patch” in their frontal brain. This area believed to be responsible for compassion and sorrow, showed no activity. Dr Roth’s research has led him to believe “that some criminals have a ‘genetic predisposition’ to violence.” This strikes me as rather deterministic which seems to be the trend of modern neurology and Dr Roth cites a 66% probability of an adolescent with this brain anomaly going on to become a felon. But then Dr Roth makes this


Patriarch Kirill: Sow wheat among the web-tares

Last month Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill lamented Orthodox bloggers publicly insulting each other, which I can only imagine must be an Orthodox phenomenon as it doesn’t happen in Catholic or Protestant Internet circles: …that the diversity of ideas inherent in church circles sometimes assumes absurd forms in the Internet environment. “In the web space groups of church liberals and conservatives are appearing that are not looking for the truth, divine truth but a means of finding fault, stinging each other. This is a very sad tendency,” he said at a diocesan assembly in Moscow ahead of New Year. He said that divisions

Society and Religion

The U.S God and sport

The U.S. is a baffling place at times. Hot on the heels of the Public Religion Research Institute findings that nearly three in ten Americans believe God decides the outcome of sporting events, the Barna Group find that most Americans believe sports figures have a greater influence than do professional clergy or other faith leaders. By more than a three-to-one margin, Americans believe professional sports players have more influence on society than do faith leaders. Overall, about two-thirds of Americans (64%) say they think pro athletes have more influence in American society today than do professional faith leaders (19%). Others say

Atheism / Religion and Politics

Dawkins and Democracy

This is a post by Edmund Standing: Here’s Richard Dawkins on the question of a referendum on EU membership: In UK We elect MPs to decide complex issues [sic]. Why a plebiscite on, of ALL things, a subect [sic] as complex & hard to understand as EU membership? This is a very revealing comment. First off, here’s where Dawkins is wrong: In the UK, we have a representative democracy. The fundamental principle behind representative democracy is that we, the electorate, vote for the person we think best represents our views and our interests overall. We do not vote for

Other Posts

I’ve always known I was fundamentally flawed

It’s true, I have always been painfully aware that my personality is fundamentally flawed. In response to this I spent many years carefully observing others and trying my hardest to clone their behvior in a poor attempt to appear ‘normal’. When I was heavily ensconced in the Charismatic world I felt I must have been walking around with an invisible (to me) sign on my forehead: “Pray for me”. Folk literally couldn’t wait to lay their grubby hands on my head and pray for me to be ‘healed’ and ‘stable’ and know the love of God in my heart, etc etc. I never asked for their prayers


Is human nature essentially good or bad? Let’s ask babies.

Lesley over on Heretics Anonymous fears there are two Christian Churches divided by fundamental beliefs. Whilst Lesley highlights four beliefs, I want to focus on the following: On Church views humans as ‘essentially fallen’ whilst the other as ‘essentially good’. Lesley is entirely correct in this observation. I would posit this difference is a product of theology and that perhaps there is room in the one church for fundamentally different perspectives, but that is another matter. I used to be in the ‘essentially fallen’ camp derived from a hyper-Calvinistic and somewhat pessimistic view of humanity, but now incorporating and taking on board Catholic teaching,

Gender Issues / Homosexuality

Is The Christian Concept of Gay Conversion Therapy Fundamentally Flawed?

Following my earlier post on an upcoming Christian seminar pushing the validity of ‘Reparative Therapy’ or ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ I received the following Tweet: @echurchblog I’d suggest that the real problem is not psychological but spiritual. — Ploughboy (@MPloughboy) January 21, 2013 This set off a lightbulb within me and a chain of thoughts. If Christians regard homosexuality as a spiritual issue – and the practice as a sin – then why turn to ‘gay conversion’ psychological therapy. Is it that some Christians believe homosexuality to be a mental disorder that can be treated? This explanation is the only reason I