Jesus, Christians, and Fear

It dawned on me recently that a great deal of my frustration with conservative Christianity is the role that fear plays in the narrative of the faith.  In their theology, their evangelism, and their politics, it seems to me, conservative Christians rely on and promote fear as part and parcel of the Gospel.  This perspective is deeply antithetical to the God whose most frequent command … Continue reading Jesus, Christians, and Fear »

Faith Comes By Hearing … reexamining a familiar text

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  (Rom. 10:17, KJV) So reads a popular text that is often used by Christians for various variations on a theme that usually centers around listening to the preacher.  The usual interpretation is best distilled, actually, by the rendering in the New International Version (2011, not 1973 or 1984): “Consequently, faith comes from … Continue reading Faith Comes By Hearing … reexamining a familiar text »

How Should We Respond? When non-Christians ask us about faith …

Last week Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times reporter for whom I have a great deal of respect, published an interview he had with Tim Keller, a theologian and pastor I also respect greatly.  In it, Kristof says “… I deeply admire Jesus and his message, but am also skeptical of themes that have been integral to Christianity — the virgin birth, the Resurrection, the … Continue reading How Should We Respond? When non-Christians ask us about faith … »

Why Faith?

I just had an atheist with whom I’ve been interacting ask me a great question:  “What’s so good about faith?”  He went on to describe the concept as “believing without seeing,” and compared it to walking across the street blindfolded … something he and I would agree is pretty dumb.  So here’s my answer: Nothing, in the way you describe it. That idea that there’s … Continue reading Why Faith? »

Why Do I Believe? Part 15 — Occam’s Razor and Pascal’s Wager

There are two historical arguments that I find intriguing for the way in which they have been used for and against Christian apologetics:  the first is Occam’s (or Ockham’s) Razor, and the second is Pascal’s Wager.  I address these, not because I find either particularly compelling (in fact I don’t), but rather because I’ve seen them come up in apologetics debates with sufficient frequency that I … Continue reading Why Do I Believe? Part 15 — Occam’s Razor and Pascal’s Wager »

Examining a frequent argument for the Trinity

Recently a friend of mine, while debating my objections to Western Christianity’s doctrine of the Trinity, referred me to Greg Boyd’s post Does the Doctrine of the Trinity Matter?  I respect Greg Boyd greatly, as anyone who’s followed me for some time will undoubtedly know. But that post is illustrative of precisely my objection to the usual arguments for the Trinity … the evidence presented, … Continue reading Examining a frequent argument for the Trinity »

“Worshiping the Same God” … Thoughts on the Controversy

The news that Wheaton professor Dr. Larycia Hawkins may be fired over perceived conflicts between her public statements, and the college’s statement of faith, has been hailed and slammed across the internet.  At issue, nearly as I can determine, is that Dr. Hawkins refuses to recant her statement that Muslims and Christians worship the same God (full disclosure … I’ve said as much myself), and … Continue reading “Worshiping the Same God” … Thoughts on the Controversy »

“The Early Church on War and Killing” by Ron Sider — Article Recommendation

Those who are interested in the topic of War & Peace on this site should be sure and read Ronald Sider’s excellent article The Early Church on War and Killing on the Books & Culture website sponsored by Christianity Today.  Sider reviews the arguments of two recent authors, John F. Shean and Despina Iosif who, in separate works, “argue that early Christians held widely divergent views … Continue reading “The Early Church on War and Killing” by Ron Sider — Article Recommendation »

“The War on Islam” and a Christian response

It seems every day or two I hear another Christian commentator speak of how Christianity in general, and American Christianity in particular is, or at least will soon be, “at war with Islam.”  They point to the all-too-frequent attacks on the West by Muslim extremists, and the rhetoric of groups like Al-Quaeda and Daesh (1) as evidence.  Sometimes, they also appeal to the terrible treatment … Continue reading “The War on Islam” and a Christian response »

Why do I believe? Part 14 – A little more on fruit

I’ve previously described how, at least in my own experience, there seems to be something about the way of Jesus that motivates more and deeper altruism than I have observed elsewhere.  But there’s another corollary that I have observed that I think deserves mention.  I have known quite a few people who have, during their adult life, either come to or left the Christian faith, … Continue reading Why do I believe? Part 14 – A little more on fruit »