So what if there was a hint of scandal about Mary, says Ian Harris. The hope for a messiah was kept alive even through flawed human beings in Jesus' lineage.
Faith and reason
Where does the male sexual panic, the profound, ingrained fear of free women that infests all the Middle Eastern monotheisms come from, asks Gwynne Dyer.
The reality of promiscuity is that it leaves people more empty and broken, believes Mark Smith.
Ian Harris explains how conceiving of God beyond theism gets beyond the apparent arbitrariness of life and death.
Any attempt to find solely human solutions to the world's problems ignores the lessons of history, writes Lyndon Weggery.
Political party policies should have a role in building sustainable communities, Ian Harris maintains.
Mark Buckle muses on God's unrelenting love.
Mormonism has made Republican Mitt Romney more fit, not less, to be president of the United States, Peter Morici believes.
No God will intervene to save the world, writes Ian Harris. It is up to human beings to take responsibility.
Ian Harris examines the meaning of the "sacred" without recourse to supernatural conjecture. It is all the more real for that, he says.
New Zealanders' love affair with junk food is merely a symptom of a far deeper hunger, writes the Rev Stuart Crosson.
"What's the connection between England winning the Rugby World Cup in 2003, a pre-Gaddafi swamp in Libya, Stalin's birthplace, the New Zealand flag, and a Roman soldier of the late 3rd century?
Richard Dawson reflects on our welcome to Rugby World Cup visitors and on the welcome that God gives to us.
It's a pity more people of faith don't realise the importance of metaphor, symbol and creativity in their religions. They free the imagination to roam and enable religion - or rather, good religion - to act positively in the lives of individuals and societies, where literalism and bad religion can be cramping and oppressive.
What do we do to overcome violence in our community and the world? Greg Hughson takes inspiration from an international peace convocation and reflects on how Christians respond to the issues in Dunedin.
Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik deludes himself with his Christian claims, writes Ian Harris. Rather, his views are framed by politics and cultural opinions.
The more we deny God's reality, the more we produce a vacuum in society, Ivan Grindlay believes.
There was a time when political intrusion into religion was the norm - and one hugely positive outcome of that was the King James Bible, writes Ian Harris.
The King James version of the Bible is being appropriately celebrated as a great and influential literary achievement, says Donald Feist, of Dunedin. But he questions its religious relevance today and its effectiveness in feeding Christian faith in the 21st century.