What if we learned about the Bible from the people who got it right?

The victims of injustice tend to have a far better theological track record than the defenders, perpetrators, and beneficiaries of it. We should try learning from them for a change. Perhaps it would be better to learn about the Bible from the people who got it right than to continue learning about the Bible from people who insist on getting it wrong. [Read more…]

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A generation which knew not Joseph

When it comes to the biblical story of Joseph, I’m with John Calvin. Joseph exploited the hungry and enslaved the entire world to curry favor with a tyrant. And that, Calvin concluded, was simply indefensible. “It is certain that all contracts which are not formed according to the rule of charity are vicious in the sight of God,” the reformer wrote in his commentary on Genesis. [Read more…]

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Gravity always wins

Ted Cruz fought a losing legal battle in defense of a Texas ban on the sale of dildos, arguing that the government has the right, and the duty, to prohibit masturbation. Basically he wants to shove so much government up in everybody’s business that there’d be no room in there for anything else. Also: -30- for ALL CAPS from the NWS; the hack gap and hailstorms; and the hermeneutics of English majors. [Read more…]

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Give us Barsabbas

We meet Joseph Barsabbas in an odd little story in the first chapter of the book of Acts. The eleven disciples decide they need to pick a replacement for Judas Iscariot. Barsabbas is the guy they almost picked, but didn’t. He’s the patron saint of the short straw. [Read more…]

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An ‘old Cherokee story’ and other lies from the pulpit

“Which wolf will win?” “The one I feed the most.” I heard this story dozens and dozens of times from pulpits and in small groups and around campfires. Sometimes it was attributed to an old Indian, sometimes to an old Eskimo, sometimes it was an old African speaking to missionaries on the Dark Continent [sic]. Nope. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (2.12)

Kali Holloway on “How Delusional Nostalgia Is Killing the White Working Class” (i.e., why Trump is winning). Walter Brueggeman sides with the Gospel against the Bible. Margo Kaplan asks and answers a question about how we treat IVF clinics. And Daniel José Camacho on how multicultural churches can wind up reinforcing racism. [Read more…]

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This generation has far too many ‘Ezras’ already, thanks

Ezra was such an abusive, wrong-headed jerk that whole chunks elsewhere in scripture go out of their way to repudiate his ideology and behavior. That’s why Ruth is in the canon. It’s why Ruth is in every story of David and why Ruth is in the genealogies of Jesus in the Gospels. [Read more…]

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Pray that you will be among those ‘left behind’

To promote their Rapture mythology, “Bible prophecy” enthusiasts turn to Matthew 24, as read through the filter of the Scofield Bible and the lyrics of a Larry Norman song. But Larry and Scofield very clearly get that passage wrong. They’re reading it backwards. In Matthew 24, getting “left behind” is a Good Thing. [Read more…]

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