About John Lombard

I am Canadian, but have been living and working in China since 1993. I am experienced in business (started two successful companies), in education (have taught in some of China’s top universities), and in philanthropy (co-founded a non-profit organization to help one of China’s indigenous minority groups). I am the founder of Wrest In Peace, arising from my passion to create a greater opportunity for people of different beliefs and backgrounds to better understand and communicate with each other.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis, and a Challenge to Christians

With a great many Syrian refugees in desperate need of assistance, far too many Christians seems to be hiding behind excuses and fear. Where is their belief in an all-loving and all-powerful god? An atheist challenges Christians to put their money where their faith is.

This Christmas, I was involved in four different discussions with Christians about the Syrian refugee crisis, and what their response should be.  I heard a variety of excuses why they should not get involved, or should limit their involvement.  They included things such as:

The ‘Slippery Slope’ of Gay Marriage Legislation

The recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage in the U.S. has opened up a massive can of worms, with many people proclaiming the dangers of a ‘slippery slope’…that is that once one particular idea becomes accepted, it becomes easier to impose other, more dangerous ideas on top of that.

And I agree.  There’s a very dangerous slippery slope at play here.  Just consider — if Christians were successful in making gay marriage illegal, why would they stop there?  The Bible very clearly teaches that homosexuals should be put to death.  There are already Christian groups like the Westboro … Continue reading

You Just Don’t Know As Much As Me

During these past few weeks, I’ve been pushing to get more people involved in my site, particularly those outside of my normal sphere of influence — Christians, Muslims, etc.  In the process of doing this, I entered into a delightful email correspondence with a particular Christian leader who was very supportive of the ideas behind this site, and offered to help promote it to several online Christian groups that he participates in.  He also offered to exchange blog posts on my site and his.

However, there was one part of our exchange that really chaffed me.  I am a member … Continue reading

“It’s Okay For Me, But Not For Them!”

One of the most frequent problems that I find in discussions on evidence for various claims is that people will often make arguments that they would never accept from others.  Allow me to give a few examples:

The atheist who says, “I understand religious beliefs, so I can explain those beliefs to my children perfectly well, there’s no need to let others explain them.”

The Christian who argues, “Homeschooling my kids is not brainwashing, it is the best way to ensure that my children are educated in the right way, and protected from harmful or incorrect … Continue reading

Bad Argument — It takes religion to make good people do bad things

There is an oft-quoted argument from Steven Wienberg that, “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.”  Now, I’m a secular Humanist, and do not believe in the existence of any god; but this argument is a bad argument.  It is simply not true.

We could quickly amend his statement to make it true: simply change “religion” to “extreme ideology”, and you will have a true statement.  Consider.  Good people have done bad things in the name of politics, in … Continue reading

Himalayan Revelation

The whole idea for what eventually has become “Wrest In Peace” started in 2006 in a remote, tiny village, high in the Himalayan mountains.  I had set up a non-profit organization to work with a Chinese ethnic minority group, the Mosuo, and I was visiting them to help support some of our organization’s initiatives.

A quick divergence to explain about the Mosuo, since most of you have probably never heard of them. The Mosuo are an ethnic minority group in China who live in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, in one of the most remote and undeveloped regions, close … Continue reading

An Introduction and Welcome to “Wrest In Peace”

Wrest In Peace is the result of a passion I’ve had for many years.  Today, in many areas of public debate, most of the debate tends to be dominated by more extreme views, who rather than seeking honest debate and discussion, instead seek simply to silence all opponents and opposition.

Wrest In Peace is dedicated to a different proposition — that we can disagree with each other, and debate with each other without resorting either to violence, or to trying to shut up everyone who disagrees with us.

I’ll be honest…I love this title, “Wrest In Peace“.  First, because “Rest … Continue reading