Smart people saying smart things (12.3)

I’m speechless today, so let me turn the microphone over to Jay Smooth, Pamela Merritt, Ed Kilgore, Richard Beck and Jamelle Bouie. There’s a theme here, I think, and even the one that seems like it’s not a part of that theme actually really is. [Read more...]

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...]

‘You will have no more mercy than I do’

painting-charon

It’s an ambiguous statement that can be read in two opposite ways: “You will have no more mercy on sinners than I do, for I was crucified because of them.” Which way do you think it should be read? Your answer will depend on what you think Jesus is like. Your answer will depend on what you believe about the character of Jesus. [Read more...]

H.P. Lovecraft, ‘The Cabin in the Woods,’ and penal substitutionary atonement

Cabin2

“You know, one of the great things about Lovecraft is that this hot mess of his psyche is just, like, right there. It’s like almost like an autopsy of a really, really messed up personality as well as a story. And I actually feel like it probably teaches us a lot about those attitudes for the next time that we encounter them.” [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (9.16)

Armstrong

Jane Van Galen reads the style pages; Karen Armstrong on good theology; Drew G.I. Hart looks “Beyond the white privilege model;” Emily Bazelon won’t call the police; and W.E.B. Du Bois is still right. [Read more...]

Love and justice are what give us ears to hear

"If I understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith ... but do not have love, I am nothing."

Let me revisit what I’m trying to say in the previous post — “Without justice, we’re not reading the same book.” Tony Jones points toward something similar in his recent discussion of Matthew Vines’ book God and the Gay Christian: Vines’s book is oddly lacking in autobiography. He briefly recounts the day that he came [Read More...]

Without justice, we’re not reading the same book

KnowingGod

We will never produce justice as a result of better biblical understanding unless we also produce better biblical understanding as a result of justice. [Read more...]


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