‘Ambiguity proposes, preference disposes’: We have to choose

To read the Bible is to interpret the Bible, which is to say it requires us to choose between possible meanings. This choosing is constant and unavoidable. There is no such thing as reading the Bible without making such choices. Those who imagine that they are reading the Bible without choosing are simply choosing subconsciously, or unconsciously. [Read more…]

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This is not good news. This is not salvation.

The man who wrote those words was surely, at some fundamental, essential level, wrong about the meaning of the good news and of salvation. And yet today, in 2014, the white evangelical understanding of good news and salvation is still shaped and bounded by the model and teachings of the man who wrote that passage. That’s a problem. [Read more…]

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Two images for Holy Week

Many Christians who revere Sallman’s “Head of Christ” would balk at Blanchard’s gay vision of the Passion. Contextual theology is fine for those folks as long as the context is white Anglo-Saxon Protestantism. But reimagining Jesus as a powerful, privileged white guy, the way Sallman’s beloved painting does, contradicts and distorts the story in the Gospels. Reimagining Jesus as a despised outcast, as Blanchard’s paintings do, helps us grasp the core of that story. [Read more…]

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OK, let’s talk about snake-handling

Snake-handlers’ weird, idiosyncratic distortion of the Bible produces an impressive display of commitment, but to what end? They’ve developed a form of religion that’s all about putting faith to the test without ever putting it to use. It’s a sign that doesn’t signify anything other than itself, which is to say it’s not a sign at all. [Read more…]

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‘Readers should know’ of theologian’s abuse

“John Howard Yoder (1927-1997) was perhaps the most well-known Mennonite theologian in the 20th century. While his work on Christian ethics helped define Anabaptism to an audience far outside the Mennonite Church, he is also remembered for his long-term sexual harassment and abuse of women.” [Read more…]

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

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…]

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Reformed seminaries ought to understand Reformed political theology

Michael Kruger is a Reformed theologian. He teaches, and serves as president, at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte. Yet Kruger seems wholly unfamiliar with, and wholly ignorant of, Reformed political theology. That’s more shocking than the credulous falsehoods Kruger swallows and regurgitates as his talking points against universal health care. [Read more…]

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‘Hell House,’ abortion, and the mute zombie children of Heaven

New Destiny’s abortion mythology posits that every fertilized egg is a fully human person, and also that every fertilized egg that dies before reaching an “age of accountability” ascends to Heaven. That presents an unnerving picture of Heaven. [Read more…]

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