November 6, 2017

Hey Patheos Community! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Matthew Distefano and for the past 4 years, I’ve been involved in this crazy thing called preaching the Gospel. Perhaps you’ve come across my work at The Raven ReView or on the Unfundamentalist Christians blog, or perhaps you’ve even picked up one or more of the three books I’ve written, but if you haven’t, I wanted to take a moment of your time to introduce myself and what we… Read more

October 3, 2017

We all want certainty, especially when it comes to the Bible. I get that. It makes us feel better about ourselves. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It makes us feel like the big, bad monster we call “Doubt” isn’t going to get us. So it is no wonder that, when approaching the Scriptures, many of us opt for literalism above all else. It gives us that sense of security, that sense that we have a grasp on… Read more

July 26, 2017

It seems safe to say that most Christians — whether Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Anabaptist, or something else entirely — believe they are generally correct in their doctrinal views. Otherwise, why would they have them? This is not necessarily a bad thing, since there is nothing wrong with loosely holding onto beliefs we find credible. However, many of these folks — mainly Protestants who affirm an inerrant Bible — are not simply convinced about their beliefs, but are certain they are correct. Which makes those who… Read more

June 22, 2017

Growing up, I was always told that the Bible was the inerrant Word of God. What is meant by this is that it is without error or fault in all of its teaching (see The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy). Without even getting into what is considered “correct” canon—as that is not even agreed upon—if something in Scripture says “God said,” then that means “God said.” And if something says “God did,” then that means “God did.” So, for instance,… Read more

June 11, 2017

“Homosexuality is clearly condemned in the Bible.  It undermines God’s created order where He made Adam and Eve, a man and a woman, to carry out his command to fill and subdue the earth (Genesis 1:28). Homosexuality cannot fulfill that mandate.” — Matt Slick[1] “Homosexuality is a result of the rejection of God (Rom 1:21–25). Gay marriage is the institutionalization of the rejection of God . . . The Bible teaches how Christians should respond to gay marriage. Don’t condone… Read more

May 22, 2017

Awesome Part 3 of a conversation between Quoir authors Matthew Distefano, Keith Giles, and Jamal Jivanjee and about how Evangelical Christian views of the crucifixion relate to ideas about redemptive violence, and more. LISTEN TO PART 1 HERE LISTEN TO PART 2 HERE   In this Podcast we talk about: 2:30 – Are we making claims for the Bible that it doesn’t even make for itself? 9:55 – What is a “Flat Bible” perspective vs a “Jesus-Centric” perspective? 14:50 -… Read more

May 22, 2017

Part 2 of a conversation between Quoir authors Keith Giles, Jamal Jivanjee and Matthew Distefano about how Evangelical Christian views of the crucifixion relate to ideas about redemptive violence, and more. LISTEN TO PART 1 HERE NOTE: I personally do not believe that the Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory is what ultimately leads to violence. Case in point: The early Christians did not embrace this PSA theory until John Calvin introduced it in the 1500s, and yet they did engage in… Read more

May 16, 2017

Although Jesus was the prince of peace and demonstrated love and non-violence throughout his life, evangelical Christians by and large have been the most consistent defenders of empire building, military action, and war. The reason for this anomaly among Christian behavior isn’t simply hypocrisy, however. This behavior could very well be rooted in the way we have been taught to see the cross and the nature of divine justice. Because humans are reflective beings, people will always reflect the God… Read more

May 12, 2017

I grew up in the Evangelical church, so I’m fairly familiar with all of the standard doctrines: Pre-tribulation rapture, eternal conscious torment, penal substitution atonement, retributive eschatology, yada yada yada. What I never realized during my time in these staunchly conservative fundamentalist churches, however, is that the gist of what was taught is the same as what was taught by many of Jesus’ rivals—i.e. the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. In this article, we will discuss three of the more prominent… Read more

April 12, 2017

The best theology is that which enfolds us and assures us that we are immersed in unconditional Love. The best friendships do exactly the same thing. A Journey with Two Mystics is a testimony to the God who so loves us as to create us from love and in love for relationship with God and each other. It is a correspondence not only between two mystics, but two best friends. Matthew Distefano and Michael Machuga write with honesty, warmth, humor… Read more

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