A response to @BillMaher’s recent comments about God

I've been reading an interview with outspoken atheist comedian Bill Maher in the Atlantic. The interviewer asked him a question about God and his answer was intriguing to me. The question was along the lines of Pascal's Wager: "What if you're wrong and you're dooming yourself to hell? Do you ever worry about that?" Here is Maher's response: … [Read more...]

A 140 char response to tragedy is always bad pastoral care

It doesn't matter whether Rachel Held Evans took John Piper's tweet about the Oklahoma tornadoes "out of context." It doesn't matter whether she used the incident as a springboard to talk about other problematic things that Piper has said in the past and polemicize against the underlying theology that she considers to be the source of such statements. The fact remains that tweeting Bible verses about houses falling down on children and killing them after that happens to someone in real life is … [Read more...]

How in charge is God when tragedy strikes?

I knew it was coming: the Piper tweet, this time quoting Job in response to the Oklahoma tornado. As the dean of the neo-Calvinist movement, John Piper likes to push the envelope with his commentary on God's role in natural disasters. He did it about a year ago when tornadoes hit the midwest. In 2007 after the Minneapolis bridge collapsed, he wrote that he and his daughter discussed how God must have done it so the people of Minneapolis would fear Him because our sin against God is "an outrage … [Read more...]

Looking Back on 2012: April-May

In March, I fasted from blogging for Lent. April and May of 2012 were dominated by thoughts about our United Methodist General Conference. There was also a series of violent tornadoes that John Piper decided to interpret as God's wrath against America for homosexuality or abortion (I can't remember which one). Since homosexuality dominated the conversation around General Conference, I wrote a few pieces about it, striving to be both faithful to scripture and faithful to people I love who are … [Read more...]

Richard Mourdock: misogyny, poor taste, or bad theology?

"I struggled with it for a long time, but then I came to realize that life is a gift from God. And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen." That's the quote from Richard Mourdock that lit the blogosphere on fire. So what's going on here? Is it misogyny, poor taste, or bad theology, or some combination of all three? It really depends upon how we define misogyny. I don't think this quote proves that Richard Mourdock hates … [Read more...]

Communion or correctness? The underlying question.

Is God's goal for humanity communion or correctness? The way you answer that question will determine your understanding of atonement, orthodoxy, holiness, Biblical interpretation, and just about every other major issue within Christian thought. Does Jesus' cross serves the purpose of imputing perfect correctness to imperfect people or creating peace and reconciliation between otherwise irreconcilable people? That is the distinction. For the purpose of this piece, I want to define correctness … [Read more...]

Four Cringe-worthy Claims of Popular Penal Substitution Theology

I've often wondered if the same thing that makes violent video games appealing is why young evangelical guys are so infatuated with penal substitution theology. I figure a scary bad- !@#$%^&* God is cool for the same reason that the loud wet smack of a linebacker knocking the wind out of a quarterback is cool (I was that linebacker once). … [Read more...]

God’s tornadoes: when I stopped taking John Piper seriously

I imagine it's no surprise that a Methodist pastor would consider the dean of the Neo-Calvinist movement, John Piper, to be a theological adversary. Followers of John Wesley and John Calvin have been arguing for centuries. But there's a basic difference between Piper and someone like the fundamentalist rock star Pat Robertson. Robertson has said so many outlandish things that I can't take him seriously. My only concern with Robertson is that every time he gets in the news, thousands of … [Read more...]

God's tornadoes: when I stopped taking John Piper seriously

I imagine it's no surprise that a Methodist pastor would consider the dean of the Neo-Calvinist movement, John Piper, to be a theological adversary. Followers of John Wesley and John Calvin have been arguing for centuries. But there's a basic difference between Piper and someone like the fundamentalist rock star Pat Robertson. Robertson has said so many outlandish things that I can't take him seriously. My only concern with Robertson is that every time he gets in the news, thousands of … [Read more...]

Pastor Cheri

I've decided to take a risk and share truthfully about a phase in my Christian life that I have been afraid to talk about. There's been a lot of debate in the evangelical blogosphere about the appropriateness of female pastors. Mark Driscoll suggested that British evangelicals are failing because they have female pastors. More recently, Rachel Held Evans asked for Christian men to share their thoughts on John Piper's assertion that "God has given a Christianity a masculine feel." I've got … [Read more...]


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