Fundamentalism vs. reality: How fundie faith destroys itself

Fundamentalism: Take out one piece and the whole thing topples to the ground.

The larger problem is that according to fundamentalism, those falsehoods are inextricably linked to everything else. Everything. So if it turns out that the Earth is actually 4.5 billion years old, then, according to fundamentalism, life has no meaning, happiness is impossible, love is illusion, Jesus is dead, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins, and we are of all people most to be pitied. [Read more...]

YouTube and the God of Job


Toward the end of the book of Job, the character of God starts off listing all the incredible things he’s created as a way of bolstering his authority and trustworthiness. But then it starts to get away from him a bit. God starts grinning goofily at the thought of all these amazing creatures and the argument morphs into more of a reverie about just how freakin’ cool all this stuff he created has turned out to be. It’s like part-way through this theological discourse, the character of God wanders off and just starts surfing the Web, laughing with delight at animal videos on YouTube. [Read more...]

Lord won’t you tell us, tell us what does it mean

Karl Barth and Miroslav Volf on listening and seeing. They’re lookin’ down kinda puzzled, pokin’ that dog with a stick. [Read more...]

Please stop looking for the ‘original sin’ gene


We can only make sense out of the idea that sin is “genetic” if we’re also willing to make nonsense out of the ideas of justice, mercy, redemption, atonement, and forgiveness. And I’m rather fond of those. [Read more...]

Biblical Lysenkoism: Has Al Mohler ever read all four Gospels?


We tell those kids to read the Bible and a few of them actually do. And then they have questions. They notice the differences among the Gospel accounts and they ask about those. Some of the brighter and more ambitious Bible readers will even ask about some of the more esoteric bits gleaned from the not-always-compatible stories in the histories of the Hebrew scriptures. And any kid who reads 1 Chronicles on her own deserves a serious, honest response. [Read more...]

The Bible, Steve Chalke, Wilberforce and ‘The Civil War as a Theological Crisis’


“How has the whole Church found itself believing something about slavery which is so at odds with the Bible?” prominent British evangelical Steve Chalke asks. It’s an interesting question. Christians today unanimously condemn slavery as a grave moral evil. The Bible condones it. Christians who insist we must never be “at odds with the Bible” are, in fact, at odds with the Bible — at least according to their own understanding of what that means. [Read more...]

Survey hints at the temptation to lie about temptation

Like many people my age, my first introduction to Aristotle's ethics came by way of Thomas Aquinas by way of Billy Batstone's battles against the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man.

Survey respondents readily confessed to being tempted by over-eating, procrastination, laziness and worry, but they were far less inclined to admit to temptation to lie and cheat. This is ironic, given that responding to this survey is, itself, a tempting occasion for lying to make oneself seem less prone or susceptible to temptation. [Read more...]

‘May it never be said … that we merely stood by’


“Since we acknowledge that we have, literally, the power to person-each-other into love — that is, into relationship — we can also acknowledge our power to obliterate dignity, respect, care, and concern for humanity from our world. All of that is within our power.” [Read more...]