Search Results for: lean not understanding

Lean Not On Your Own Understanding: The Fear of Thinking in Fundamentalism

If you have ever questioned what you were taught by conservative churches, I am sure you experienced a certain amount of fear and trepidation in doing so. This fear is built into the conservative Christian culture and is constantly reinforced … Continue reading

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Posted in Bible, doubt, fear, fundamentalism | Tagged , , , | 94 Comments

How Some Misguided Christian Beliefs are Very Harmful

Christianity is a very broad group of more than 2.3 billion people throughout the world, and there is tremendous variation in doctrinal beliefs among us. What we have in common is that we all, in some way, recognize Jesus as … Continue reading

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Posted in baggage, fear, Jesus, judgment | Tagged , | 60 Comments

Were the Gospels Written from Generations of Flawed Oral Transmission or Were They Much Closer to Eyewitness than that?

Have you ever played the telephone game? It’s a remarkable experience. A number of people sit in a circle. The first person whispers a story in the second person’s ear. Then the second person whispers the story into the third … Continue reading

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Posted in authority, Bible, inerrancy, Jesus | Tagged , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Dealing with the Confusion, Grief, and Existential Chaos of Leaving Fundamentalism or Traditional Evangelicalism

If you are questioning beliefs you were taught in fundamentalism or evangelicalism, your journey might be going smoothly or it might involve a lot of fear and uncertainty. It is not easy challenging beliefs we once deeply held. Over a … Continue reading

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Posted in Bible, evangelicalism, fear, fundamentalism, inerrancy, Jesus, Paul | Tagged , | 83 Comments

How Proof-texting is Ineffective and Disrespects the Bible

As a progressive blogger people often disagree with me—sometimes vigorously, and this is as it should be. I believe any statement, conclusion, or opinion I share is open to challenge. Exploring disagreement can be a very valuable experience; often I … Continue reading

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Posted in authority, Bible, inerrancy | Tagged , | 139 Comments

Resources on Doubt and Changing Religious Beliefs

Doubt is not the opposite of faith; doubt is the opposite of gullibility. Doubt is not the opposite of faith but an element of faith. Until we examine what we have been taught, we are actually putting our faith in … Continue reading

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How I Changed from Disapproving LGBTs to Being Totally Affirming

Not long ago a close friend of mine, a conservative evangelical, brought up the issue of gays. As we talked I asked, ‘What about gay Christians?’…‘What?!’ they responded very flustered. ‘Gay Christians!’ They could not imagine such a thing. The … Continue reading

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Posted in Bible, gays, Jesus, love | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Why Did Jesus Die on the Cross?

We talked last time about three atonement theories that I believe are woefully misguided and miss the point of Jesus’ death completely: The Ransom Theory, the Satisfaction Theory, and the Substitutionary Atonement Theory (Penal Substitution). All three are inadequate to … Continue reading

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Posted in atonement, eternal life, Jesus, Kingdom of God, love, resurrection, sin | Tagged , , | 79 Comments

What Does Jesus’ Death on the Cross Do for Us?

When we consider how the death of Jesus on the cross affects us, we should first find the consensus of the New Testament writers—there is none! Next we can turn to the consensus of the Church Fathers throughout history—there is … Continue reading

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Posted in atonement, Jesus, New Testament, sin | Tagged , , , , | 76 Comments

The Prophets Begin to Talk about Sin in a New Way

The Old Testament presents two major understandings about sin. Sin was primarily thought to be disobedience of the nation of Israel or transgression of God’s many detailed rules (legalism). The solution to taking away sin and guilt was participation in … Continue reading

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Posted in alienation, God, Jesus, legalism, Old Testament, sin | Tagged , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Jesus Adds a Shocking Twist to Healing

It happens throughout history. A hero or leader arises and captures the attention and the enthusiasm of the people. His stature and popularity grow as his following grows, but then…he just goes too far. I hope this has never happened … Continue reading

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Posted in alienation, authority, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Pharisees, sin | Tagged , , , | 47 Comments

The Beginning of the Good News about Jesus the Anointed One

Have you ever heard unexpectedly of something exciting going on in your community? Perhaps you heard it first from a friend who couldn’t wait to tell you about it. And then you heard about it from someone else, and before … Continue reading

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Posted in Jesus, Kingdom of God, the Good News | Tagged , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Love Wins by Rob Bell: a Book Review

This is not a new book. I read it when it first released in 2011, but I am reviewing it now. Rob Bell was the founder and pastor of the prominent Mar’s Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids (not to … Continue reading

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Posted in book or movie review, hell, Jesus, love | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty

During the entire year of 1976 (the bicentennial), my denomination used a special logo in its publications. Recently, I came across a book mark from that campaign while cleaning out a storage space. It depicts George Washington crossing the Delaware and … Continue reading

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Posted in legalism, Paul, the invitation | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Resources on Young Earth Creationism and Evolution

Misunderstanding the Genesis creation stories as literal, historical accounts produces a number of significant difficulties, among which is that many believers feel they must defend the Bible against increasingly solid evidence for evolution. Books Peter Enns, The Evolution of Adam: What the … Continue reading

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My Journey from Fundamentalism

I was raised a fundamentalist, and I personally embraced fundamentalism at a very early age. I felt a need to be ‘saved’, so I went to the altar and prayed through. I ‘accepted Jesus’ as my ‘Lord and Savior’; and, along … Continue reading

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