G’DAY WORLD 192 – John Dickson, author of “The Christ Files”

Okay okay, so it’s time I gave the Christians some airtime.

Today my guest is John Dickson.

John Dickson

John has degrees in theology (Moore Theological College) and ancient history (Macquarie University). He holds the position of Honorary Associate in the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, and is engaged in ongoing research into early Christianity. He also teaches a course on World Religions for the Macquarie Christian Studies Institute. John began his writing career in 1993 and has since produced twelve titles, winning Australian Christian Book of the Year in 2000 and 2005. His books have focused on the relevance of the Christian faith in the contemporary world. An ordained Anglican, John has spent the best part of a decade working as a local church minister (most recently with St Andrew’s, Roseville). He has since accepted the role of Writer-in-Residence for Blue Bottle Books, a position which affords him the freedom to research, write and speak on a fulltime basis. John also hosts ‘Reflection’, weeknights at 10pm on Sydney’s FM 103.2.

John and I discuss the historical argument that Jesus of Nazareth actually did exist, based on his book “The Christ Files”.

The Christ Files

This is a pretty long show, about one hour twenty. I’m going to be in Sydney until late tomorrow night so there won’t be a show Thursday. This one is long enough to last you at least a couple of days.

If you’re interested in reading more about some of the subjects we discuss in this show, such as the Q Document, the Gospel of Thomas, or the background behind the ancient pagan and Jewish sources which mention Christianity, you can find my source sites on my religion del.icio.us page.

G’DAY WORLD 191 – John Allsopp: Web Design Guru, Surf Lifesaver, Athiest

Today my guest is John Allsopp – a software engineer, speaker, writer, educator and surf lifesaver, with a long standing interest in CSS, web design and development. He is also one of the founders and organizers of the web design and development conferences “Web Directions“.

We discuss “Web 2.0”, what it means, and why it is goodness. We also discuss the Web Directions conference that John is involved in running and Western Civilisation, the software business that he and his business partner Maxine run.

Then we venture in John’s views on religion and touch on Qantas’ decision to prevent a passenger from boarding a plane due to his t-shirt.

All this and more (well… not much more actually) on today’s episode!

Don’t forget – if you want to win yourself a $50 Amazon voucher, then enter the G’Day World promotion. All you need to do is send more referrals to this gdayworld.com than any other registered referrer in the month of January. So far there are only a couple of people registered and they should be EASY to beat. Please try to avoid gimmicks like “See Britney Spears Naked”. The objective here is to get people to listen to the show, not get to the site and be annoyed at being mislead. Molly.

Details of the promotion here.

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The G’Day World Theme Song is “Save Me” by The Napoleon Blown Aparts.

How many people did God kill in the Bible?

Ahem. To all of my Christian friends, readers, listeners, and enemies, who keep telling me about what a good bloke their god, Yahweh, is. I even had one of them, in an email thread, tell me that Yahweh had never committed mass murder. Oh my… Darwin.

Steve Wells has done some math for us.

It’s impossible to say for sure, but plently. How many did God drown in the flood or burn to death in Sodom and Gomorrah? How many first-born Egyptians did he kill? There’s just no way to count them all.

But sometimes the Bible tells us exactly how many were killed by God. Here’s a list of those that I can find. (If you find any that I’ve missed, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.)

So far I come up with a total of 32.9 million (not including, at least in some cases, women and children).

Check out this link for the breakdown.

This is the god you choose to believe in? Out of all of the gods you could believe in, this is the one you’re picking? It is estimated that six million Jews died in the Holocaust but that was in the 20th Century. If you were to believe the OT, Yahweh committed his acts of genocide somewhere around 4000BCE – 400BCE when the population of the planet was far smaller. In fact, in the Great Flood, we’re supposed to believe he killed everyone on the planet except some sailor guy and his wife and kids. That’s genocide on a scale that Saddam Hussein could only DREAM of.

If I absolutely *had* to believe in a god… if my life depended on it… I’d pick Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, lust, beauty, and sexuality. Doesn’t that sound like a much better god to worship (if you’re into that kind of thing)?

Qantas Censors Passenger

Here’s a sign of where we might be headed as a country – just days after our Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock was trying to get a book banned for mentioning euthenasia options, today we’ve got reports that Qantas refused a passenger, Allen Jasson, permission to board a plane in Melbourne because he was wearing a t-shirt calling George Bush a terrorist.
Allen Jasson

Qantas treats the T-shirt as a security risk or clothing that could upset passengers and had banned Mr Jasson from wearing it when he flew to Australia in December.


A “security risk”?? What are they concerned about? That it will explode? That it will cause a riot?

So what’s next? If I fly on a Qantas plane and say George Bush is a terrorist, will I get arrested? Will they read my blog before they let me fly? Will I have to sign a form agreeing not to speak negatively about Bush, Blair or Howard before I can fly Qantas? When did Qantas feel themselves responsible to curbing free speech on their flights?

Wayne Turmel and James Manktelow on podcast advertising

John Havens, who writes the Podcasting site for about.com, recently did an interview with TPN’s Wayne Turmel, who does the Cranky Middle Manager podcast, and his show’s first sponsor, James Manktelow, CEO of MindTools. It’s got a lot of detail in it and is a terrific overview from both Wayne and James on TPN’s model of podcast advertising. I’d like to thank John for doing the interview and to James from Mindtools for both talking publicly about his experience as well, of course, for sponsoring the show!

G’DAY WORLD 190 – Evan Maloney: Paid Blogger, Screenwriter, Tough Guy

On the show tonight….

Evan Maloney is an Aussie, living in Poland, getting paid to blog for News.com.au, writing (and selling!) screenplays and once upon a time got his head literally kicked in for trying to protect a couple of girls in Melbourne. He ended up in a coma for his trouble. Check out his blog here.

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The G’Day World Theme Song is “Save Me” by The Napoleon Blown Aparts.