Good Friday and Deity-Placation

Today's Non Sequitur cartoon fits how some understand Good Friday perfectly: Among our oldest traceable concept of gods are the personalities we once assumed to be behind the forces of nature. How do we find a way to get rain when we need it, or divert illness away from ourselves? Placate the deity. And how [Read More...]

Good Friday: Spoiler, Summary, Stomp

The student who presented today in my class on the Bible shared this meme image: That Jesus dies is a spoiler only in the sense that the sinking of the ship is a spoiler for those who watch the movie Titanic. But what is noteworthy in the attempts at humor is the penchant for this to [Read More...]

Did Jesus Foresee, Plan, and/or Interpret His Own Death?

Did Jesus foresee his own death coming and interpret it beforehand? The opinions on this tend to be divided largely into two camps: conservative Christians who will say “Of course Jesus knew, he was God,” and others, including historians, who will say that, while Jesus might well have suspected that he might meet a fate [Read More...]

Take Up Your Cross

I received a question in an e-mail that seemed worthy of a blog post rather than just a private response. The question was about the depiction in the Gospels of Jesus telling people to not simply follow him, but to take up their cross and follow him. One question is obviously whether Jesus can be [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...]

Class on the Crucifixion and Passion Narratives in the New Testament

Since this is another class without changing powerpoint slides, I’m making this one available as an mp3 podcast as well: [Read more...]

If There is Gallows Humor, Can There Be Crucifixion Humor?

I came across this cartoon at The Far Left Side: I am (as most readers know) open to attempts at humor that verge into territory that some might find irreverent. But this one simply didn’t seem all that funny to me.  Silly, yes, but not really funny. As I reflected on why that might be, it [Read More...]

Galatians 3:13 and Romans 8:3 Without Penal Substitution?

Mike Bird posted on his blog Euangelion about a couple of my recent posts. Having addressed the first theme, inerrancy, in yesterday’s post, this one turns to the question of penal substitution. Since Mike asked specifically about Galatians 3:13 and Romans 8:3, I will make them the central focus of this post. Galatians 3:13 is [Read More...]

What’s Wrong With Penal Substitution? (From the Archives)

For many people, the title of this post may be meaningless. “What is penal substitution?” would seem to them a better question. But if I explain that it is the idea that there is a penalty for sin, and God punished Jesus instead of us, they will immediately recognize it and say “That’s what I believe!” [Read More...]


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