Pun-al Substitution

Andrew Perriman blogged about the interaction between myself and Michael Bird about the penal substitution theory of the atonement. His reckoning suggests that the biggest difference between conservatives and liberals/progressives might be the willingness of the latter to make puns and other jokes about “penile substitution.” He may or may not be right. But in [Read More...]

Problems With Penal Substitution

DISAMBIGUATION: This blog post is not about penile substitution – for information on that topic, go here. Penal substitution is a phrase used to describe a particular view of the atonement, which says that Jesus took the place of the guilty in bearing God’s judgment due to them. Mike Bird (responding to William Walker) and Andrew Perriman (responding [Read More...]

If You Attend Just One Session at SBL #sblaar #aarsbl14 #sblaar14

Mike Bird has this recommendation to offer for a session that he and I are both involved in: BIG ALERT! On the Saturday [of SBL], I’m speaking at the Extent of Theological Diversity section where we’re reviewing Bart Ehrman’s book How Jesus Became God featuring Bart Ehrman, Larry Hurtado, James McGrath, Craig Evans, and Dale Martin. If [Read More...]

Wash Your Hands of Bad History

I have yet to read either of the dueling books, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee and How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature—A Response to Bart Ehrman. When I do, I will discuss them in terms of their contents and arguments. But [Read More...]

Scary Solstice

Given the back-and-forth about paganism that has been taking place on Patheos between Mike Bird, Star Foster, and others, I thought I would respond in the manner most appropriate to my own blog: with something humorous and sci-fi related. Some years ago I discovered that there were carols about Cthulhu. Here’s “Scary Solstice.” You’ll be [Read More...]

When Interfaith Gets Beautiful

Mike Bird wrote a post about the connection between Christmas, December 25th, and the “triumph of Christianity over paganism.” Many pagans were less than flattered or impressed. Star Foster, who blogs about her pagan faith here at Patheos, responded with a post “When Interfaith Gets Ugly.” What struck me most was that in her post [Read More...]

Liberal Christianity – An Affirmation

Mike Bird offered a caricature of Liberal Christianity which it would be wrong to dismiss out of hand. The trends and pitfalls that he highlights on the liberal end of the spectrum are real dangers. The churches which were so flexible and so in tune with the social norms of their time that they had [Read More...]

Not Born This Liberal: Further Thoughts on Inerrancy

I think it is hilarious that Mike Bird referred to me as the “Lady Gaga of the biblioblogosphere.” But if I’m a Liberal/Progressive Christian, it isn’t because I was “born this way.” The views I now hold are ones that it took me a while to reach, and while I wasn’t born into conservative Evangelicalism [Read More...]


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