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Is it Immoral to Believe in God? Matt responds to Michael Ruse

November 28th, 2016 by Matt

The Christian Research Journal have published an online copy of an article I wrote for their journal last year:

downloadIn a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times, the distinguished philosopher of science Michael Ruse raises the question, Is it morally wrong to believe in God? Some skeptics maintain there is something irrational about theism. But is it immoral?

Behind the question is the rhetoric of the New Atheism represented in the writings of people such as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris. Ruse historically has been fairly critical of New Atheism and maintains that, although New Atheists are “self-confident to a degree that seems designed to irritate,” they display “an ignorance of anything beyond their fields to an extent remarkable even in modern academia.”

However, behind their remarkable uninformed hubris is a “moral passion unknown outside the pages of the Old Testament.” Ruse notes that “atheists of Dawkins’ stripe don’t just say that believing in God is an intellectual mistake. They also claim that it’s morally wrong to believe in the existence of God or gods.” Ruse appears to have some sympathy with this motif of their thought and attempts to defend it.

See the rest of my article here

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Thank God for the New Zealand Anti Terrorist Squad: Online

October 16th, 2016 by Matt

Matt’s article is available at this link flannagan-pc-18-1

Permission has been granted from the Editor of Philosophia Christi to upload this contribution. Learn more about the journal by going to

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“Thank God for the New Zealand Anti Terrorist Squad” Published

October 6th, 2016 by Matt

At last years the conference of the American Academy of Religion I participated in a panel discussion on the topic “Just War as Deterrence Against Terrorism”.

The papers from this symposium have now been published in issue 18: 21 of Philosophia Christi

The abstract to my article “Thank God for the New Zealand Anti-Terrorist Squad” is as follows:

On November 14 1990 David Gray’s 22 hour shooting spree ended when the New Zealand Anti-terrorist squad (ATS) shot Gray dead. In this paper I argue that Christians should support the existence of state agencies like the ATS who are authorized to use lethal force. Alongside the duty we as Christians have to love our neighbors, live at peace with others and to not repay evil for evil, God has authorized the government to use force when necessary to uphold a just peace within the geographical area over which it has jurisdiction.

This panel involved contributions from  Paul Copan, Myles Werntz, Gregory Boyd, Keith Pavlischek, and J. Daryl Charles and consquently contained an interesting mix of pacifists and just war theorists.

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Matt’s Sermons at Takanini Community Church

September 19th, 2016 by Matt

Those who read MandM may be aware that I work as a teaching elder part time at Takanini Community Church. This involves me preparing and giving a lesson for the Takanini Community Church congregation every two weeks.

In case you’re interested, my sermons at Takanini can be found online here.  I have done a series on the book of Judges, Genesis, The book of Corinthians, The Psalms, and the book of Jonah, currently I am going through the gospel of Luke.

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Ed Feser reviews Jerry Coyne

July 7th, 2016 by Matt

Over at First Thing’s, Edward Feser has an interesting, but characteristically scathing review of Jerry Coyne’s  book Faith vs Fact: Why Religion and Science Are Incompatible.


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Video: The Smith-Flannagan Debate “Morality Does Not Need God”

July 6th, 2016 by Matt

On Wednesday 21st May at the University of Waikato retired Philosophy and Political science lecturer Dr Ron Smith and Dr Matthew Flannagan (of this blog) debated the resolution “Morality Does not need God”. Here is the video of that debate.


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Matt on “Divine Commands and the Canaanite Massacre” at Windsor Park Baptist Church

April 11th, 2016 by Matt

Matt’s talk “Divine Commands and the Canaanite Massacre” at Windsor Park Baptist, is  now available online. Matt’s talk was part of a series of talks hosted by “Reasons for Faith” an apologetics group based at Windsor Park Baptist Church.

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