Free Will, Loving God, and the Problem of Evil

As I’ve been reading student papers about the problem of evil, several have offered the free will defense, arguing that free will is necessary for there to be love. That seems to me to be correct, but it has some corollaries that should not be missed. If creating free beings who can love you freely [Read More…]

Do as Jesus Says, Not as He Does?

Bruce Gerencser shared the above graphic, which another blogger made from a quote of his. Bruce writes, “for any Christian who happens to stumble upon my deep, dark, evil corner of the blogosphere, I’d love to hear your explanation of Jesus saying, love your enemies, while God, the alter-ego of Jesus, tortures his enemies in hell. [Read More…]

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

This comic from Cyanide and Happiness relates to both religious ideas of punishments in an afterlife, and education, and so I had to share it. There is a long history of people imagining punishments in an afterlife that are suited to the evils they did in this life. And, however problematic that is, it is probably [Read More…]

LOST Rewatch: Exodus Part 2

Part two of the season finale from the first season of LOST begins with a close-up of Aaron’s eye. Moving dynamite out of the Black Rock, Arzt detonates. Hurley blames himself, as bad luck. Kate reassures him that it was an accident. In a flashback, we see Jin confronted by someone who works for Mr. [Read More…]

Keeps No Record of Wrongs

Richard Beck has asked a great question about the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13. I’ve even heard sermons in which the preacher, on the basis of the equation “God is love,” substituted “God” in place of the word “love” in the passage. But does God really “keep no record of wrongs”? It seems [Read More…]

Is Your Jesus a Spoiled Brat?

David Hayward is on a roll this week. Here’s his latest cartoon: David adds the comment: You’d think he would have outgrown this narcissistic attitude by the time he became an adult. But… according to many… apparently not. This is really insightful. The God and the Jesus that many conservative Christians envisage is one who [Read More…]

Hellbound?

I am grateful to Patheos for the privilege of viewing a screening of the new movie Hellbound? before its official opening. This movie is a powerful exploration of the doctrine of hell from a Christian perspective that does one basic thing that all Christians ought to do, namely not simply assume that the view which is articulated most [Read More…]