The Context of the Context of Jesus’ Words

It is not infrequent to hear self-centered pseudo-Christians justifying their lack of concern for the poor by appealing to Jesus’ statement, “The poor you shall always have with you.” The full statement, as those concerned about context know and emphasize, is “The poor you shall always have with you,  and you can help them anytime [Read More...]

A Low View of Scripture

Mike Beidler posted this as his status update on Facebook and I asked for permission to quote him: To say that if any part of the Bible is of the myth genre, so goes the rest, is to present a blatantly false dichotomy. Disregarding the fact that Genesis contains etiological literature (i.e., origins myth) is [Read More...]

Core Doctrines Between the Lines and on the Margins?

Has anyone else ever noticed that conservative Christians of various sorts tend to emphasize things which are either not actually spelled out in the Bible, or which are mentioned in passing or by lone authors and so arguably less than central to the faith and practice of early Christians? As a New Testament scholar, I [Read More...]

When Jesus Interrupts Your Bible Reading

Another thought-provoking cartoon from David Hayward. Perhaps less conservative Christians ought to point out to more conservative ones that Paul said that the letter is not merely dead but kills. And then, as they continue to seek God in the pages of a book, one might ask them in words from Scripture, “Why do you [Read More...]

The Next Lost Cause?

The title and focus of this post is inspired by an article in Patrol magazine by David Sessions. Young people even among Evangelicals have shifted away from the assumptions of many of their parents regarding things like gay marriage. And young-earth creationism, however popular it may seem in some circles now, is unlikely to survive [Read More...]

Original Christianity is Liberal Christianity

If “liberal Christianity” means Christianity that reflects the cosmology and worldview of a particular era, then the earliest Christianity is liberal Christianity. It is only later, as cosmologies and worldviews changed, that some insisted on clinging to the views of an earlier era, because those happened to be part of the worldview of previous generations [Read More...]

Is it OK to Doubt the Bible?

An interesting conversation between Tom Thatcher, professor at Cincinnati Christian University, and Tyler McKenzie, teaching pastor at Northeast Christian Church. Whatever you think of some of the details of the conversation, it reflects a dialectic approach that progressive Christians can embrace: On the one hand, recognizing that doubting and even disbelieving the Bible is not only [Read More...]

Hasn’t God Said?

Someone shared this status update on Facebook: The devil is using the same trick that he used in the garden by getting people to second guess what God has already told them. Has not God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Has not God said that marriage is between a [Read More...]

Shootings: Schools vs. Churches

This graphic which came my way on Facebook seems to make an excellent point. I was not able to confirm that the actual number of shootings in schools was 5, and it seems that that number may include institutions of higher education as well as elementary schools. Whether any religious schools are in that figure [Read More...]

Many Christians Are Compromised

In the country I live in, the vast majority of Christians (assuming one is willing to give that label to those who claim it, even if it seems not to affect their core values) are fundamentally compromised with the spirit of the age, with its values, with its aims and assumptions. Some are so compromised [Read More...]

Don’t Force Us To Obey The Bible!

Someone made a point on Facebook that I thought was really insightful and worth turning into a brief post here. Time and again, I have heard conservatives say that taxing the rich to care for the poor is antithetical to Biblical teaching because it is essentially forcing people “at gunpoint” to give, rather than allowing [Read More...]


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