Saying Yes to the Bible, and No to Biblicism (in post-Christendom Christianity)

The following is an extended excerpt from Addison Hodges Hart’s new book Strangers and Pilgrims Once More: Being Disciples of Jesus in a Post-Christendom World, specifically, chapter 3 “Saying Yes to the Bible, and No to Biblicism” (part 1, pages 57-63). Eerdmans was kind enough to send me a word file of these pages, lest my wrists [Read More...]


Exodus: Gods and Kings–unless you’re a biased blasphemer, the movie is utterly historically plausible

I just saw Exodus: Gods and Kings, preparing myself for 2’20″ of absolute nonsense, judging by most of the reviews I’ve read. But I honestly don’t know what all the fuss was about. I found the movie to be amazingly accurate, or at least plausible and possibly accurate. The critics are wrong. First, I think [Read More...]

god's absence

well, at least the Old Testament has one thing going for it

I kid of course. I happen to think the OT has a lot going for it, which is why I force my hapless undergrads to deal with it. But not too long ago it snuck in the backdoor of my mind that the OT has something of core spiritual value that the NT doesn’t–the repeated observation and [Read More...]

Sandy Hook, 2 years ago today

I tuned into NPR on the way home from church today and was reminded that the Sandy Hook tragedy happened 2 years ago today. This still unnerves me, as a father of 3 (thankfully) grown adult children. Here is what I wrote 2 years ago. The NPR report was on Jimmy Greene, father of Ana Green, and [Read More...]

inerrancy, historical criticism, and the slippery slope

In today’s post, Carlos Bovell suggests a visual metaphor that moves beyond the slippery slope, either/or thinking common among inerrantists. Bovell, a frequent contributor to this blog, is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary and The Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto. He is the author of Inerrancy and the Spiritual Formation of Younger Evangelicals (2007), By Good and Necessary Consequence: [Read More...]

the gospel, the blues, and a world gone wrong

Today’s post is an interview with Gary Burnett (PhD), author of The Gospel According to the Blues. Burnett is a man of diverse talents. He is an honorary lecturer in New Testament in the Institute of Theology at Queens University Belfast (where he teaches New Testament and New Testament Greek), a Fellow of the British Computer Society, [Read More...]

10 New Testament passages that shape how I think about God

1. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his suffering by becoming like him in his death… (Phil 3:10). Both suffering and resurrection—times of great difficulty and times of triumph—are expected and normal parts of the Christian life. 2. …unless you change and become like children… (Matt [Read More...]

biblical violence and reading the Bible like Jesus did

Today’s post is an interview with Derek Flood, author of Disarming Scripture: Cherry-Picking Liberals, Violence-Loving Conservatives, and Why We All Need to Learn to Read the Bible Like Jesus Did, which has just been released this week. The book deals with the problem of violence in Scripture, tackling a wide range of troubling passages—from commands [Read More...]

God likes stories, and science agrees

In The Bible Tells Me So, I have a section called “Stories Work,” which is my conclusion to chapter 3, “God Likes Stories.” The writers of the biblical narratives were storytellers. They recalled the past “often the very distant past, not ‘objectively,’ but purposefully. They had skin in the game. These were their stories. They wove narratives of [Read More...]

10 Old Testament passages that shape how I think about God

1. …for the Lord does not see as people see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). God is not impressed with what we call success but with what is deep within us, perhaps even deeper than we ourselves can see. 2. Besides being wise, Qoheleth [Read More...]

St. Nicholas: what can I say, he was a beast

In church today, our rector handed out a card with a icon of St. Nicholas, similar to the one on the left. On the back of the card read the following: Nicholas was born in the 3rd century in Asia Minor. He used his entire inheritance to help the poor, sick, and children in need. He gave in [Read More...]

is there payoff for the church in reading the Bible critically?

At this year’s annual “help me I’m wearing tweed in San Diego” conference (a.k.a. Society of Biblical Literature) I was part of a panel discussion on “Reading the Bible in the 21st Century: Exploring New Models for Reconciling the Academy and the Church.” On the panel with me were N. T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, [Read More...]

what would the apostle Paul think about evangelicals and the conflict in Palestine?

It is for this reason that Paul would have scratched his head over the current Evangelical fascination with the modern secular state of Israel and its supposedly Bible-mandated right to do what it pleases with Palestine and its inhabitants. This way of reading the Bible misses the whole point of the story; it robs the [Read More...]