Bible

The Older Brother

This post is inspired by Erwin McManus’ sermon of 14 December, 2014.Have you ever felt like you are on the wrong side of a story? Like the things that happen to you should have happened to someone else, or that the things that happened to someone else should have happened to you?Have you ever watched…

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Biblical Texts We Ignore

I got to thinking the other night about how every Christian position seems to orient itself towards certain interpretations of certain biblical passages while ignoring others. It seems that any doctrinal statement is at the expense of a comprehensive reading of the bible. Why is this? “Numbers. Nothing good here; just a bunch of numbers…”–…

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Bleed.

This has been a summer where every ounce of optimism I had about being a Christian was vaporized like so much water in the California drought of public opinion. This has been a summer like so many others that will stand as the harbinger of things to come. From ISIS to Ukraine to Ferguson to…

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The Bible: Literal? Inerrant? Infallible? Authoritative? True?

There are just so many semantic and linguistic nuances flitting about regarding the bible that a person hardly knows what to make of it. For many of us, the designations “inerrant” and “infallible” are academically split hairs that have become the weapons of war for those who find in them ultimate meaning. But we find…

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Tone

Have you ever noticed that you can tell which side of an argument a person favors just from the tone of their voice? They don’t even have to take a side for you to know where they stand. You can just tell. Tone is also indicative of religious or philosophical leanings. I can peg a…

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The Truth is Human, too

One of the most compelling, ironic, and terrifying passages in the bible for me is John 18. It may sound weird, but I think verse 38 should be seen as one of the most serious warnings for us who study such things. John 18 finds Jesus before Pilate. After a series of questions, Pilate utters…

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The Objective Fallacy, or, Taking Back the Bible

The fallacy of thinking that we can read anything without doing the work of interpretation has reached critical mass. I find this fallacy most often attached to the bible. Too often I hear Christian leaders claim for their interpretation of the bible absolute authority. It sounds like this (tell me if it rings any bells):…

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Faith the Second

Last week I began exploring how the bible uses the word faith and what it means by it. I began comparing Malachi 1-3 to Romans 9, and argued that the sense in which Paul is using faith in Romans 9 by quoting Malachi 1 is the same as that which Malachi is using it: the…

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Jacob I have loved, but Esau…

I have long struggled with this bit of scripture. How could it be that God, who is love (1 Jn. 4), can arbitrarily assign love and hatred to two brothers on no ascribed merit beyond choice? Two primary ideas have been derived from this bit of scripture. The first, famously, is that people are “predestined”…

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