Search Results for: what we talk about

Rob Bell, What We Talk About When We Talk About God — a Book Review

When Rob Bell talks about God, the Omnis are missing. Omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience—all these terms are missing. Also not to be found are aseity, immanence, immutability, and other esoteric words from systematic theology. This does not mean that Bell has nothing to … Continue reading

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Posted in book or movie review, God | 8 Comments

How Do We Become Part of the Kingdom of God?

The kingdom of God appears early in the gospels. Matthew 3 reports that: John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Remember that the ‘kingdom of heaven’ … Continue reading

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Posted in Jesus, Kingdom of God | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

If We Are Free to Approach God Without Fear, What Becomes of Our Other Religious Fears—Like Hell?

To many believers God is love. This is the primary thing we know about God from Jesus—unconditional love. This is what Jesus told us about the Father and also what Jesus demonstrated in his own life as the representative of … Continue reading

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Posted in atonement, fear, God, hell, Jesus, legalism, love | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

How Should We Regard New Testament Books of Uncertain Authorship?

Recently, we discussed the fact that some New Testament books were not written by who they say they were. This is not news to believers; we have known for a long time that some letters attributed to Paul, for example, … Continue reading

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Posted in authority, inerrancy, New Testament, Paul | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments

How Should We Respond to the Leading of the Spirit?

Sometimes when I read or think about something I get tremendous insights. I might make a strong connection between two things, see an angle I never saw before, or even think something completely original. I am sure you have had … Continue reading

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Posted in authority, inerrancy, judgment | Tagged , , , , , , | 35 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

How Do We Understand the Resurrection of Many Holy People Associated with Jesus’ Resurrection?

We talked last time about strange stories associated with Jesus’ death. Today we discuss a strange story associated with his resurrection—that being the resurrection of many deceased holy people. We will begin where we left off last time—with Matthew’s unique … Continue reading

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Posted in inerrancy, Jesus, resurrection | Tagged , | 36 Comments

Jesus Without Baggage Welcomes Inerrantists!

Last week, I posted an article in which I explained that appeals to inerrancy in discussions were totally ineffective with those who do not embrace inerrancy. I had in mind those inerrantist believers who aggressively argue against progressive believers but … Continue reading

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Posted in baggage, doubt, inerrancy | Tagged , | 82 Comments

We Often Create God in Our Own Image: Angry God Part 2

Last time we talked about how thinking God to be angry, violent, and vindictive, based on Old Testament stories like the flood and the genocide of the Canaanites, can cause us to be angry, violent, and vindictive too in imitation … Continue reading

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Posted in fear, God, hate, Jesus, love your enemies | Tagged , , | 60 Comments

We Often Become What We THINK God is Like: Angry God Part 1

Many people at some point decide to begin reading the Bible. But the Bible is a very large book; where should they begin? A large percentage begin at the beginning, of course—Genesis! Genesis is an interesting book: there are creation … Continue reading

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Posted in fear, God, Jesus, judgment, love, Old Testament | Tagged , , | 118 Comments

Evolution and Homophobia: How We Are ‘Created’ LGBT and Straight

Do you remember the TV comedy, Maude? The December 3, 1977 episode was ‘The Gay Bar’, in which a very conservative acquaintance told Maude that, ‘If God wanted gay people he wouldn’t have created Adam and Eve, he’d have created … Continue reading

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Posted in creationism, evolution, gays | Tagged , , , , , , | 141 Comments

If Most Everyone Will Have Eternal Life with God Anyway, then Why Do We Need to Share the Good News of Jesus?

Recently we discussed whether those who have not heard the good news or who even follow other religions might receive eternal life and live in God’s community after death—even if they never became followers of Jesus during this lifetime. My … Continue reading

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Posted in eternal life, fundamentalism, God, hell, Jesus, Kingdom of God, love, resurrection, the Good News, witnessing | 15 Comments

Dealing with the Fear of Doubt and of Questioning Religious Beliefs We have been Taught

Growing up a fundamentalist, and then 25 years as an evangelical, I witnessed a lot of fear and experienced significant fear myself. These very conservative environments are filled with fear and, to a large extent, are based on fear—fear of … Continue reading

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Posted in authority, baggage, doubt, evangelicalism, faith, fear, fundamentalism | Tagged | 48 Comments

48 Short, Specific Suggestions on Loving Others as We Love Ourselves

In my previous post, I talked about Loving Others in 2017, which provides the general background for today’s post, and if you have not read it (or wish to reread it) you can click the link above. Today’s post is … Continue reading

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Posted in behavior, God, love, love your enemies, suffering | Tagged , | 22 Comments

3 Possible Reasons Jesus Told His Followers to Carry Swords

Whenever we talk of Jesus being nonviolent there are always those who protest that Jesus was indeed violent. Often they embrace violence and use Jesus for justification. We have discussed other inadequate ‘proofs’ of Jesus’ ‘violent’ side, such as his cleansing … Continue reading

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Posted in Jesus, Kingdom of God, love your enemies | Tagged , , , , , | 51 Comments

The Bible is not a Magic Talisman: Biblical Power, Incantations, and Bibliomancy

In this series, we have discussed ways the Bible is commonly misused by those who think it has functions it does not. One thing they have in common is the assumption that the Bible is a consistent, uniform document directed … Continue reading

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Posted in Bible, superstition | Tagged , , , , | 40 Comments

The False Power of Theological Certainty in Conservatism

When I was 7, I began to follow Jesus as a fundamentalist. More than 50 years later, I am more devoted to Jesus than ever, but it has been a long journey out of fundamentalism, and theological conservatism, to where … Continue reading

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Posted in authority, Bible, doubt, evangelicalism, fundamentalism | Tagged , , , , , , | 39 Comments

We Do Not Inherit Original Sin from Adam

Fear, pain, guilt, shame… Misery, insecurity, conflict, alienation… Greed, hate, exploitation, violence…Death. This is the world we live in. It has been this way in all times and all places. It is our human condition. Sometimes it is somewhat bearable; … Continue reading

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Posted in alienation, inerrancy, original sin, sin | Tagged , , , , | 37 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

We are Agents for Expanding God’s Kingdom on Earth

The first three elements of the Good News of Jesus are so wonderful that almost anyone can embrace them: God is not Angry and Harsh with Us as Many of Us Thought God’s Love for Us Takes Away Our Fear, … Continue reading

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Posted in alienation, God, Jesus, Kingdom of God, love, The Father, the Good News, witnessing | Tagged , , , , , | 35 Comments