Are You Backed Up?

I have often been struck by the parallel between religious terminology about salvation and the ways we talk about digital data: in terms of being “saved. And there are those who hope to achieve longer life, if not ultimately eternal life, by making a backup copy of their mind that can be transferred to a [Read More...]

Salvation by Arrogance Alone?

In a recent conversation on the blog, the common conservative Evangelical conversation point was brought up, which envisages God asking a recently-deceased person “Why should I let you into my heaven?” When asked what his own response to such a question would be, the person who brought it up provided a lengthy speech. While such [Read More...]

God with No Strings Attached?

David Hayward has created another thought-provoking cartoon. It illustrates the difficulties inherent in speaking about God. God, as the ultimate reality, transcends our understanding. For that very reason, those who desire certainty regularly fall prey to those who offer them substitutes, the less than ultimate, who claim to being God closer to them and to [Read More...]

Divine Protection

This came to me via Bob Cargill and Thom Stark on Facebook. It nicely makes the point that many Christian views of “salvation” are more like “protection” in the sense that word has in protection rackets. The one “protecting” you is also the one they are protecting you from. Perhaps genuine salvation ought to save [Read More...]

Mainline Conviction

Roger Olson blogged today about a New York Times article about mainline Protestantism in the United States as a major historic force which has been neglected in recent years in favor of a focus on Evangelicalism and other vibrant newcomers. He offers a yes-and-no response to the question of the current vitality of mainline Protestantism. [Read More...]

Salus Extra Ecclesiam

David Hayward posted this cartoon, under the title “Two Differing Views of Church”: One could do the same with the Bible, Jesus, and just about anything else. And Christians have had these discussions, and disagreed about the answers to them, as far back as we can trace.   [Read more...]

Fatalism and Despair in Hebrews 6?

Today my Sunday school class reached the end of Hebrews 6. It is a famous passage, often related by Protestants in particular traditions to discussions of whether “once saved, always saved” and that sort of thing. For those unfamiliar with the text, here is the most controversial portion (Hebrews 6:4-6a, NIV): It is impossible for [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS

The episode “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” has a lot of contrived dangers and resolutions. But in the process, it gives us a nice tour of the longest running character on the show (we saw the TARDIS slightly earlier than we first encountered the Doctor), and also carries us closer to the end [Read More...]

Revelation 22:15: No Dogs Go To Heaven

Revelation 22:15 got a mention in my most recent Sunday school class, even though we weren’t up to that passage. That text mentions that outside the New Jerusalem are “the dogs” as well as a variety of clearly human sinners. One person in the class asked whether this means that God is a cat person. [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Power of Three

Whether you enjoy Doctor Who for the humor or the drama, or both, and whether you share my interest in religious themes in the show or not, there was a lot to love about tonight's episode, “The Power of Three.” There were no fewer plot holes than in the holiest of previous episodes. But if [Read More...]

Time To Stop Asking Where Waldo Is?

Marc Cortez shared this picture yesterday: At first I just enjoyed it as funny. But for some reason I found myself thinking about it more, and realized that it also provides a nice parable or what is wrong with salvation-oriented, other-worldly Christianity the sole or almost exclusive focus of which is on whether people are [Read More...]


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