How to Apply the Greatest Commandments

If your appeal to prioritizing love for God over love for neighbor would have justified the priest in the parable of the Good Samaritan not stopping to help the robbery victim by the side of the road, then you are not applying what Jesus said were the greatest commandments in the way Jesus taught us [Read More...]

Don Francisco on the Bible as Idol

Christian music artist Don Francisco shared this striking reflection about the Bible on his Facebook page: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Answer: They can rebuild them. The foundations have been destroyed, but not in the simplistic way most of Western Christianity imagines– it has taken centuries of knee-jerk defensiveness, blind acceptance and willful [Read More...]

Fundamentalism’s Fundamental Fallacy

I often tell my conservative friends that their belief in an inerrant Bible is just as subjective as my subjective belief in an errant Bible. But they just can’t see it. They continue to shout the same refrain that their position rests on objective truth and mine subjective. These conservatives genuinely believe that they are the only truly rational [Read More...]

Cherry Pick

I am grateful to Gavin Rumney for drawing my attention to the blog post by Valerie Tarico which included the above quote. Along related lines, Larry Behrendt wrote about “Clobber Verses” and emphasized the need to take responsibility for how we use the Bible. See also Neil Carter’s recent post on the absurdity of inerrancy. [Read more...]

What Biblical Scholars Do

Bob Cargill wrote on Facebook, “I’m a biblical scholar. One of my jobs is to show people evidence from the book they supposedly revere that certain claims they make aren’t possible because of what it says in the text they supposedly revere.” He then added the challenge, “Meme THAT,” and several people did. The above [Read More...]

Genesis 1 (Fixed It For You)

So-called “literal” interpreters of Genesis are often blind to the things they read into the text. And so I thought that this image I came across deserved to be shared. It is an attempt to “fix” the text so that it says what young-earth creationists – and others who deny that it reflects an ancient view [Read More...]

Fundamentalism Is Less Interesting Than Reality

There have been times when I thought the opposite – when the world filled with angels and demons and a cosmic spiritual battle waging across it has seemed so much more exciting than the world most of us inhabit. But then Fred Clark comes along and writes something like this: I often criticize fundamentalism and inerrantism [Read More...]

Was Jesus Wrong on Purpose?

Mike Skinner shared some interesting thoughts on Mark 2:25-26 from the late Bill Placher: “Is this all a joke? A mistake? By Jesus? By Mark? Mark so rarely misremembers texts that I doubt he is doing so here. I infer, then, that the point of his reply is to show that these Pharisees, eager to [Read More...]

Using Texts to Argue Against the Spirit

Conservative Christians often claim to be the most faithful interpreters of Scripture. But it seems to me that if we have ears to hear what the Spirit was saying to the churches down the ages, it will become clear that focusing on written words and using them to argue against what the Spirit is doing often [Read More...]

Translations of Translations

I am disappointed whenever a student of mine includes in an assignment the profoundly mistaken notion that the Bible we have today is “a translation of a translation of a translation.” But it is all the more disappointing that we find the same idea in Kurt Eichenwald’s Newsweek article which is titled “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.” [Read More...]

Literalists Have a Choice

If the biblical account of creation is literally true, then the creator is maliciously lying in the great book of nature, which plainly says otherwise. If it is not literally true, then literalists are in error in their hermeneutics. So literalists have a choice; admit their hermeneutics are mistaken, or call God a malicious liar. [Read More...]


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