Abraham wasn’t like us, but we’re also not like Abraham

Peter O'Toole as Obi Wan Yahwobi in the 1966 epic "The Bible."

The idea that God speaks directly and unambiguously to humans is a given in the story of Abraham. The idea that God speaks directly and unambiguously to humans now is simply false. When that story is invoked today in support of the claim that we have precisely the same kind of direct and unambiguous access to divine command as Abraham had, then something dangerously wrong is going on. [Read more...]

Just take everything down to Highway 61: Obedience is always about epistemology

Triumph

No, no, no, the “pastors and apologists” say — that violates the spirit of the story. It’s about obedience, not epistemology. For the sake of the story, you must accept that you receive this command from God as an unambiguous revelation: You know with certainty it is a command from God. But that just restates the problem, it doesn’t solve it. Obedience is always about epistemology. [Read more...]

USC hires a good guy as a humanist chaplain, and you’ll never believe the surprising way that RNS chose to report it

Campolos

I hope that’s sarcasm, because if it’s not, then Jonathan Merritt is pointing to the facile Bildadism of a Sunday school teacher’s white-knuckled just-world fallacy — God “allowed” the torture of a 9-year-old — and rechristening it as an orthodox representation of the “the sovereignty of God” while further suggesting that any disagreement with that view is a rejection of a “cornerstone Christian belief” that puts one “substantially outside the evangelical fold.” Whether or not it’s meant ironically, that’s one of the harshest criticism’s I’ve ever read of white evangelicalism. [Read more...]

You think I built this for me?

Baltimore

A few things: Flooding and train derailments are not acts of divine intervention sent to punish the sinful. Thanks a lot, Senate Republicans, for blocking a vote on giving me a raise. “Most Americans still believe that race invented racism, when in fact the reverse is true.” They are coming for your birth control. [Read more...]

Religious meteorology needs more rigorous science

Thanks a lot, Jimmy.

This coming October 23 there will be a partial solar eclipse. NASA claims that this is due to something about the relative positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun. But theologians like John Piper and David Silvester know better. When the penumbral shadow begins to darken eastern Siberia at 19:37:33 GMT, they know that this is not because of the alignment of orbits, but because God is displeased with the sins of those living in Kamchatka. [Read more...]

Theodicy and foreign policy: The U.S. is not omnipotent

Budgets

Andrew Tabler is trying to revive one of the nastiest, most illogical of all the nasty, illogical arguments that misled America into the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. He’s repeating Glenn Reynolds’ ugly, foolish slur that anyone who opposed invading Iraq was “objectively pro-Saddam.” This accusation doesn’t make any more sense in 2013 than it did a decade ago, but I think I’ve finally figured out why people like Reynolds and Tabler trick themselves into thinking it does. They’re not really talking about foreign policy. They’re talking about theodicy. [Read more...]

Born to sorrow as the sparks fly upward

Job

… They are
Dead and they were innocent: I will not
Let you sacrifice their deaths
To make injustice justice and God good! [Read more...]

‘Anger is not the opposite of love’

“Anger is not the opposite of love. It is better understood as a feeling-signal that all is not well in our relation to other persons or groups or to the world around us. Anger is a mode of connectedness to others and it is always a vivid form of caring.” [Read more...]


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