Showing posts from May, 2014

Top Ten Reasons Why Theological Debate Doesn't Work

#10 - Everyone compares what they actually believe to the "logical implications" of what the other guy believes.This is why you get Calvinists arguing that Arminianism logically implies that we want to take credit for our own salvation, and Arminians arguing that Calvinism logically implies that God is the author of evil. Complementarians think egalitarianism implies erasing of all gender differences and egalitarians think complementarians simply want to keep women down. None of these groups actually believes what the other side says they should, and we all cry foul when someone else does it to us, but we all have the tendency to do a reductio ad absurdum on someone else's argument, no matter how much they protest that that's not what they believe.

#9 - We're more interested in winning the debate than in learning from one another's perspectives. There's way too much ego invol…

Creation, ‘The World Was Made So That Christ Might Be Born’

January 4, 2014 by Bobby Grow by Bobby Grow

In some of my posts, especially of late, we have been thinking about the Christian doctrine of Creation; as corollary, we have also been considering our relation to creation in and through Christ. The first step we ought to engage, in our consideration of such things, is to wonder about the God-world relation and what purpose he has always already intended for creation as the counterpoint to his gracious life of love, from which he created. It becomes quickly obvious, as we read the New Testament, and work out the theo-logical implications of Trintarian and Christo-logical assumptions, therein; that creation was created with Christ in mind, and us in Christ. So that God’s original intent, was in and through Christ, to bring all of creation (and humanity as the pinnacle of his creation) into his life of perichoretic (interpenetrating) love (self-…

10 Life Lessons From A Navy Seal. I Will Always Remember #4.!SntOkNaval Admiral William H. McRaven returned to his alma mater last week and spoke to the graduates with lessons he learned from his basic SEAL training. Here’s his amazing Commencement Address at University of Texas at Austin 2014 from Business Insider.
The University’s slogan is,
“What starts here changes the world.”

I have to admit—I kinda like it.
“What starts here changes the world.”
Tonight there are almost 8,000 students graduating from UT.
That great paragon of analytical rigor, Ask.Com says that the average American will meet 10,000 people in their lifetime.
That’s a lot of folks.
But, if every one of you changed the lives of just ten people—and each one of those folks changed the lives of another ten people—just ten—then in five generations—125 years—the class of 2014 will have changed the lives of 800 million people.
800 million people—think of it—over twice the population of the United States. Go one more generation and…

How Jesus became “God,” per Ehrman May 29, 2014
Having been asked to review Bart Ehrman’s new book, How Jesus Became God (HarperOne, 2014), for the Christian Century, I take the opportunity here also to comment on it.  This book is another of his now “best-selling” publications directed to a general readership, and, as with these earlier books (e.g., Misquoting Jesus), this one seems intended to startle naïve Christians uninformed about biblical scholarship, agitate and respond to Christian apologists, and reassure fellow sceptics and agnostics (Ehrman’s self-description) that they have some basis for their doubts.

Ehrman is generally a good communicator, and one of the positive things one can say about the book is that it is clearly written, and readily accessible to readers with little or no prior acquaintance with the issues and scholarly methods involved in the topic.  Indeed, at a number of places Ehrman gives an admirably clea…

N. T. Wright on Paul’s “Plight”
By timgombis

In Paul and the Faithfulness of God, N. T. Wright has a wonderful section dealing with the multifaceted “plight” in Paul’s theological outlook. For Paul, far more has gone wrong than simply humanity being sinful and in need of being set right with God. The problem of evil is multi-dimensional, including personal and cosmic aspects. This, of course, makes salvation multi-dimensional for Paul.
The larger section of which the below is an excerpt is well worth reading, not least because it demonstrates the emptiness of the claim that Wright and others who read Paul from a “new perspective” don’t take sin seriously.
The ideas of personal sin and salvation, and the role of Israel’s Torah in relation to those questions, remain important, indeed obviously vital, in Paul. But instead of approaching them through the framework of mediaeval and Reformational theories, we must relocate them within the much larger Jewish frame…

Postmodern Right and Wrong

Sunday, May 4, 2014
by Brad Duncan

In my previous three posts about postmodern Christian faith, I described a God that is more personal, and who values people over structure and systems of laws. Instead of pleasing God, we should know God in a healthy relationship in which we enjoy God's acceptance and love for us. Most Christians would agree. After all God is love, and the greatest commandment of Jesus is to "Love God. Love People". God is more pleased with us than we think. God brings freedom and acceptance to us, as the model of the perfect parents loving their children. The challenge for modern Christianity is to leave behind the structured approach to righteousness which places too high value on systems of laws to follow and organized institutions - which we are taught help us to please God. We need to approach our faith with an open mind, seeing ourselves, others, and the world as God sees us. W…

Remembering the Ascension Posted May 2014 by Dr. D. Stephen Long Easter without Ascension is like Advent without Christmas. The comparison is inexact; unlike Advent, Easter is not a time of preparation. However, just as Christmas is the culminating event Christians prepare for during Advent, the Ascension is the culminating event of Jesus’s bodily Resurrection. The Ascension is Christ’s “enthronement.” What began as the cruelest mockery, Christ’s crucifixion as King of the Jews, ends with the most surprising vindication. He was indeed King and did receive a throne. Failing to remember and celebrate the Ascension means our Easter season is incomplete. This liturgical omission is akin to the white witch’s curse in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – always winter but never Christmas. Why do Protestants neglect the Ascension? The Ascension is still present in doctrine and confession. It’s in the Creed: “He ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right …

Denying Christ’s Body: The Dangers of Ecclesial Gnosticism

May 23, 2014 By 0 Comments The oldest heresies in Christianity have been those that have denied the body—Christ’s body, our bodies.  Gnosticism is a name that applies to a good many of them, Docetism another.  The idea is that God is too great to have taken on a human body and that the material realities of our body are too lowly to be welcomed into the eternal kingdom of God.  The Docetists said that Christ appeared to be human but that he didn’t have real flesh and bones—he was human image without human substance.  The Gnostics believed that the body was the source of evil, a trap that we would move beyond in order to move into the highest emanations of a pure and disembodied Wisdom. These heresies were and are popular and attractive because resonate—we often experience our bodies as a trap.  Who hasn’t wished that they could be free of their body at some point?  We have all had illnesses that have left us wanting to be free of our flesh.  We all have imperfections …