Repost: So Wrong For So Long: On Liberal Biblical Reinterpretation

[I'm taking a break from the blog to bond with and care for my new son. Please enjoy this classic post! I'll check in periodically to answer comments.]Following up on last week's affray over cognitive dissonance in pro-LGBT Christians, I have one more point I want to make.Liberal and progressive believers have a variety of theological rationalizations for why they remain in a church that's historically been an unrelenting enemy of people like them. One of the most common is that God is … [Read more...]

I Get Religious Mail: That’s Not What “Miracle” Means

The newest charity that's sent me an explicitly religious solicitation is American Leprosy Missions, "the oldest and largest Christian organization in the United States dedicated to curing and caring for people affected by leprosy and related diseases around the world". Take a look:Imagine pulling a dollar bill out of your pocket and seeing it multiply 33 times, like Jesus multiplying the loaves and the fishes!That's what you can do today. Because now every $1 you give will turn … [Read more...]

I Get Religious Mail: Trust in God, Go Hungry Anyway

The latest religious charity that's sent me a solicitation is Food for the Poor, Inc., a Christian nonprofit that serves poor and malnourished people in the Caribbean and Latin America. Click to see the letter [NOTE: possibly disturbing images of an emaciated infant]:As is standard for humanitarian charities, the letter describes the desperate poverty of the people they serve. Given that Haiti was one of the world's poorest countries even before the 2010 earthquake, I'm willing to … [Read more...]

Jimmy Carter Is Better than the God He Worships

The world needs more statesmen like Jimmy Carter.Since his presidency, he's been an unflagging advocate for human rights. Through his Carter Center, he's worked to oversee fair elections, release political prisoners, and negotiate peace accords in conflict-torn regions like Haiti, North Korea, Palestine, South Sudan and Bosnia. He's well known for his work building homes for the poor with Habitat for Humanity. At the age of 91, after beating brain and liver cancer, he's still going strong. … [Read more...]

So Wrong For So Long: On Liberal Biblical Reinterpretation

Following up on last week's affray over cognitive dissonance in pro-LGBT Christians, I have one more point I want to make.Liberal and progressive believers have a variety of theological rationalizations for why they remain in a church that's historically been an unrelenting enemy of people like them. One of the most common is that God is continuing to deliver new revelations, updating and overwriting old beliefs, and they have faith that this will eventually result in all believers … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 10

This is part 10 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hi Andrew,Well, this little conversation of ours is titled "Of God and Government", after all, and so far we've focused more on the God part than on the government part. I'm glad to get into the other side of things, but I want to return briefly to something you said in the last installment that will be relevant to our new topic.Last time, I … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 9

This is part 9 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hello Andrew,Just to briefly return to our previous topic, on Heaven and the problem of evil: If you say you don't know why God does or doesn't do X, that's fine. But in that case, don't also say that God is good, or that his actions advance a greater good that we can't perceive. Saying that someone is good (or evil) requires some understanding of … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 8

This is part 8 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hello Andrew,We'll get into consciousness soon, but before we do, I have a few more things I want to say about the problem of evil. Let's jump right into it:The emergence of free, loving, moral, and compassionate human beings comes at quite a price - the duality of nature and the duality of humanity. God created a universe to result in the … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 7

This is part 7 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hello Andrew,Well, I'm back! Since we've gone several rounds on the historical existence of Jesus already, I don't want to prolong this, but I do have a few brief closing remarks. First, on Josephus and the Testimonium Flavianum:Mainstream scholarship doesn't postulate the entire Josephus passage is a forgery. Rather, they accuse Christians … [Read more...]

Prayer Can’t Fight Ebola

The worst-ever outbreak of Ebola virus is still raging in West Africa. There are over 1,500 confirmed deaths so far - including, heartbreakingly, doctors and nurses treating other sufferers - though the real number is probably much higher, since widespread fear and mistrust means that many of the sick never come forward.The epidemic has also been helped along by traditional herbalists who claim they can treat Ebola, but only end up spreading the virus. Some people don't even believe it … [Read more...]