‘Ceremonial law’ folklore is no substitute for an actual hermeneutic

“Because of Christ, the ceremonial law is repealed,” Tim Keller writes — a sentence that would have baffled Moses, Isaiah, Paul, Luke, and Jesus of Nazareth. This idea of a distinction between “ceremonial law” and “moral law” isn’t something any of those biblical figures or biblical authors would have recognized. It’s not a distinction that can be found in the Bible, only one that can be imposed on it. It’s folklore, not theology. [Read more…]

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‘I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living’

“We come against … hatred, oppression, and violence. I come against you in the name of God,” Bree Newsome said, high in the air above the statehouse grounds in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday. Newsome was arrested — charged with defacing monuments on state capitol grounds — but only after she had climbed all the [Read More…]

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Baptist white supremacy and Luther’s anti-Semitism

Protestant Christians today still revere much of Martin Luther’s theology, even as we (mostly) reject his truly vicious anti-Semitism. Mohler is arguing, or perhaps simply hoping, that we can do the same with Boyce and Broadus and Manly — preserving and venerating most of their theology while rejecting their white supremacy as an unfortunate, unnecessary, tangent. But abstracting some “pure” form of Luther-minus-the-anti-Semitism or Southern-Baptist-minus-the-white-supremacy isn’t quite so easy. [Read more…]

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The Southern Baptists’ White Abstract of White Principles

The founders of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary did not affirm biblical orthodoxy, Baptist beliefs, and missionary zeal. They affirmed white biblical orthodoxy, white Baptist beliefs, and white missionary zeal. Like Mohler, these 19th-century white Baptists did not perceive any distinction between those things. They saw no difference between “biblical orthodoxy” and white biblical orthodoxy, and thus were unable to perceive or conceive of any way the latter might not live up to the former. [Read more…]

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#JamesConeWasRight. #JamesBoyceWasWrong.

Southern Baptist conservative leader Al Mohler takes a forthright look at the reality of his conservative theological heroes of the past and attempts to begin grappling with the fact that those heroes were also fierce advocates of white supremacy. In other words, the theologians who created Mohler’s beloved “Abstract of Principles” were also thorough heretics. Mohler isn’t quite sure what that means yet, but give him credit for acknowledging the problem. [Read more…]

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The world spins only forward. … The Great Work of Pentecost begins

Acts is not just a continuation of the story begun in Luke’s Gospel. It’s a requisite of the meaning of that Gospel, which is that this story does not end. The challenge “to write the 29th chapter of Acts” is not an invitation to end the story, but to continue it. We cannot finish it, but we can take it further. We can only follow its trajectory, ever onward, ever outward. [Read more…]

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Which David and Goliath story is the inerrant one?

The second problem for so-called biblical inerrantists here is larger and deeper and more essential — cutting to the heart of why “biblical inerrancy” is a fundamentally distorted and distorting approach to reading and understanding. The larger problem is not simply that the two stories in 1 Samuel contradict each other, but that the text’s attempt to merge them together is so transparent and seems, frankly, so poorly done. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (5.12)

Candida Moss on the pedagogy of Hell. Libby Anne on “Orgies, Bisexuality, James Dobson, and Evangelicals.” Ronald Osborn on misreading Genesis and mistreating animals. Matthew Frost on the Bible on its own terms. And the Associated Press finds that “Your seafood might come from slaves.” [Read more…]

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