Reading the Bible vs. Being Read by the Bible

This set of images comes from a wonderful article by James Bryan Smith, at Friends University and with Apprentice Institute, and illustrates the differences of reading the Bible for information vs formation or reading the Bible vs being read by the Bible: [Read more...]

No Magic Book (by John Frye)

No Magic Book, by John Frye Because the Bible is a supernatural book does not mean it is a magic book. The Bible is supernatural in that God the Creator chose to speak to the human race in its own language—human speech and writing, using as his agents the various authors of the Bible books [Read More...]

Reading the Bible Backwards

Historians want to know what happened, if possible why it happened, and then they want to string what happened into a narrative that makes sense of what happened. Bible historians tend to devalue the interpretive layer of the Old Testament, like the one that says Israel’s condition was shaped by its choice to obey or [Read More...]

Bible Reading Destroys the Church (Paul Penley, pt 2)

Bible Reading Destroys the Church (Part 2 of 2) Church division does not have a single all-encompassing “cause.” Events in a complex system rarely do. The notable correlation between increased personal Bible reading and new denominations does not imply singular causation. The mathematical formula in my first article (my preferred meaning + the Bible = [Read More...]

The World is Sacred Space (RJS)

In his new book Seriously Dangerous Religion,  Iain Provan begins by sketching the vision of the world and of creation that the authors of Genesis portray.  This vision is contrasted with that of other religious views (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.), with the philosophy and religion of the Greeks, and with the ancient Near Eastern (ANE) religions.  Today [Read More...]

Does Personal Bible Reading Destroy the Church? (Paul Penley)

Bible Reading Destroys the Church (Part 1 of 2), by Paul Penley (contact info at bottom of post) Would Jesus promote personal Bible reading? You probably never thought to ask yourself that question. Protestant Christians assume getting a Bible into everyone’s hand is a good thing. Christian donors pump hundreds of millions into Bible translation [Read More...]

Seriously Dangerous Religion (RJS)

There are a number of stories people tell to shape their life and purpose. These range from stories of secular materialism, socialism, capitalism, stories of Western superiority, American superiority, Chinese superiority, humanism and progress, patriarchy, feminism, Christian stories including creation, fall, redemption and new creation and more. The way that these stories are told, mixed, [Read More...]

The Emperor and Inerrancy

On the inerrancy posts I’ve had a number ask me to explain what I think. When I was a professor at TEDS inerrancy came up often; when I was at North Park, among many evangelical students and a seminary attached to the school and as I got to know Covenant pastors, inerrancy almost never came [Read More...]

Mission, Pluralism, and Inerrancy

In the final essay in Five Views of Biblical Inerrancy, John Franke reframes inerrancy through the theological grids of Trinitarian mission and epistemic pluralism. He begins where many have begun, and when I say “many” I mean many people who have said things to me and who have said so in writing (including John himself), that [Read More...]

Well-Versed Inerrancy

In a book where the biggest terms are the last two, Five Views of Biblical Inerrancy, the problem is the word “biblical.” If this adjective means “inerrancy of the Bible” we haven’t much of a problem. But even this raises a problem I have with the book: a biblical view of inerrancy ought to be about [Read More...]


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