I think that I shall never see a theology lovely as a tree


This isn’t a dispute about the meaning of facts, but rather a dispute about whether or not there can be any such thing as facts. The sort of Christian fundamentalist most likely to embrace young-Earth creationism is also likely to be the sort of person who rails against “post-modernism” and who insists on the essential importance of “absolute truth.” Yet scratch the surface of any young-Earth creationist and you’ll find an epistemology more radically skeptical than anything Hume or any of the French deconstructionists ever imagined. Far from the defenders of “absolute truth” they claim to be, young-Earth creationists actually embrace a philosophy that says nothing can be known about the world around us. [Read more...]

Christians have not been ‘reading the Bible this way for 2,000 years’

For much of Christian history, many of the biblical texts read by most Christians were neither texts nor biblical. ("Descent of Christ to Limbo," church fresco in Florence by Andrea di Bonaiuto, ca. 1368.)

Christians haven’t been reading the Bible this way for 2,000 years, because for most of the last 2,000 years, most Christians weren’t reading the Bible at all. [Read more...]

‘Inerrancy’ is just Round 2 of the Bible-battle over slavery

Bookgun by Robert The. (Click photo for link.)

In every iteration, the conflict is the same. On the one side are those who declare that they stand for the absolute truth of the inerrant scripture. And on the other side are those who say that such an appeal to scripture can never be contrary to the “twofold love of God and our neighbor.” [Read more...]

On the whiteness of Al Mohler’s White Theology


It is impossible to understand Al Mohler’s 21st-century idea of “biblical inerrancy” without understanding its roots in the 18th- and 19th-century defense of slavery. That’s what this hermeneutic was created to do. That is the function it has always existed to provide. It is White Theology — culturally bound, culturally created. And it makes no sense at all unless we acknowledge its intrinsic, insistent whiteness. [Read more...]

No, the book of Jonah cannot be read as history

"Remorseful Camel" would also make a good band name.

Everything about Jonah is overly dramatic and over-the-top. His words and actions are exaggerated, and he always does the opposite of what everyone in every other story like this does. God calls every other prophet and they come running. God calls Jonah and he takes off running the other way. The Psalmist praises God for God’s mercy and steadfast love and asks God for deliverance. Jonah condemns God for God’s mercy and steadfast love and asks God to let him die. That’s satire, kids. [Read more...]

This week in the apocalypse


Jurgen Moltmann on eschatology; Michelle Mikeska says “the Left Behind series should be left behind;” a short primer on apocalyptic millennialism; Nick Ahern shares Richard Hays’ look at “Three Ways to Read the Book of Revelation.” [Read more...]

That time when Abraham and God ate a non-kosher lunch


“Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Make … cakes.’ Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it.Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.” So cheeseburgers, basically. Delicious, but definitely not kosher. [Read more...]

The Apocalypse of St. Peter (Garrett)


“Bible prophecy” teaches gullible Christians to mangle the words of the Bible. So I guess it’s not surprising that those poor folks would turn around and apply the same interpretive method to the songs of Midnight Oil and of 1980s hair band Europe. For those who can’t watch the video, it’s an earnest word of “prophecy” [Read More...]