Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

Where a recovering ex-atheist skewers things with a sharp two-edged sword

Applying torque to opposing corners of my Bible

Fundamentalists claim that I am mishandling Deuteronomy 22:5 by going beyond its literal meaning. I illustrate how their literalist hermeneutic makes nonsense of not only this passage, but all of human discourse.

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The fruits of Two Kingdoms theology

What happens when you spend a generation insisting that God’s law is not part of God’s gospel, and that God’s gospel has nothing to do with politics—but then you still want to talk about righteousness and justice in society? You give up Moses in favor of Marx.

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Does diachronic faith undermine perseverance and regeneration?

A reader asks whether adopting a Federal Vision-like perspective on faith and justification can stop there. Must it not logically lead us to deny the perseverance of the saints, and in turn the Reformed understanding of regeneration? I explain why I think this is broadly mistaken.

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Works-righteousness: a square contractual peg in a round covenantal hole

In antiquity, the key distinction between contract and covenant was one of performance versus loyalty. This was widely understood and accepted; so how plausible is it that first century Judaism treated God’s covenant as a contract requiring performance, rather than as what it claimed to be—a covenant requiring personal fidelity?

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Was Jesus an alpha male? Part 2: command

To properly understand intersexual dynamics, we need to ground them in human nature—which is fundamentally the image of God. This image consists in two related elements which are both encompassed by the term command.

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Was Jesus an alpha male? Part 1: a trick question

Christians should not be forcing their view of authentic masculinity into a simplistic dichotomy based on evolutionary psychology—no matter how central that is to the conceptual nexus of the manosphere. God’s design for men is exemplified in Jesus; not in natural selection.

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Is final justification unchristian?

Final justification does not add anything to the conditions of justification; nor does it entail that God grounds his verdict in our works rather than in his Son’s. On the contrary, final justification is on account of the very same faith that first joined us to Jesus and his vindication—and our works are a proper part of that faith.

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Does God need the divine council?

Many people object that since God doesn’t need anyone to help him rule in the heavenly places, therefore there is no divine council. This objection is puzzling, since it is easily repurposed to “prove” that there are also no earthly rulers either.

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Women: the cause of, and solution to, all of society’s problems

Glenn Stanton represents a broad stream of thought about gender relations and marriage within evangelicalism. Unfortunately, that stream of thought is flagrantly incoherent, shamelessly unscriptural, and because it ultimately amounts to gyneolatry, actually produces the precise social decline that it laments.

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Against “Against Intellectual Property”

In which I find N. Stephan Kinsella’s Against Intellectual Property generally wanting, due to the skewed nature of his libertarian ethical presuppositions, and the problem he has in grounding any kinds of rights whatsoever.

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Thorny problems with the serpent being a talking snake

This surprisingly common YEC interpretation of Genesis 3 is problematic for at least seven reasons.

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The gospel is inherently political

The fact that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world does not imply that it is not on this world.

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Presupposing freewill theism is the opposite of the Naked Bible method

Modern ideas about libertarian free will, conditioned by our culture and theological history, are completely foreign to the assumptions that ancient readers would have brought to the Bible.

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Is lack of healing a failing of the church to exercise authority for their king?

In response to a reader’s question, I suggest a moderate path between taking kingdom theology to humanistic extremes that presume upon God’s authority, and swinging so far the other way that we refuse to represent his authority at all.

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Constructive criticism of The Unseen Realm #4: predestination and foreknowledge

In which I offer a friendly critique of some elements of Michael Heiser’s The Unseen Realm—in this instance, his comments in chapter 9 on how God foreknows without predestining.

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Evangelical complementarian leaders mostly just teaching feminism

The Gospel Coalition tries to teach complementarianism by rebranding feminism, and I demur.

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Vicarious atonement and gift-giving

Western intuitions about vicarious atonement are overly selective given other vicarious mechanisms we take for granted.

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What should we make of supernatural events in other religions?

We should welcome them as potential proof of Christianity.

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Are most women less perceptive than 6 year old children?

A question for Douglas Wilson, who seems to think the majority of women who procure abortions are hoodwinked, and have no real idea of what they’re doing.

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What is hell, and is it biblical? Part 7: the early church

A response to Jacob McMillen and Josiah Pemberton. In this installment, I demonstrate how they must cite cherry-picked evidence from the most absurdly unqualified sources to make the case that eternal punishment wasn’t part of early church doctrine.

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What is hell, and is it biblical? Part 6: argument from statistics

A response to Jacob McMillen and Josiah Pemberton. In this installment, I briefly demolish their “statistical argument” that if hell were in the Bible, it would appear more often.

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What is hell, and is it biblical? Part 5: exegetical fumbles

A response to Jacob McMillen and Josiah Pemberton. In this installment, I show the blunders and gymnastics required to so comprehensively misunderstand the obvious “hell passages”.

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What is hell, and is it biblical? Part 4: is hell eternal or age-long?

A response to Jacob McMillen and Josiah Pemberton. In this installment, I show that if you believe hell’s duration should be translated as “age-long” rather than “eternal”, you not only mangle basic language, but eviscerate the gospel and spiral into heresy on the nature of God himself.

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What is hell, and is it biblical? Part 3: Gehenna

A response to Jacob McMillen and Josiah Pemberton. In this installment, I correct their hasty assertions about how “Gehenna” is mistranslated, by examining its use in Second Temple sources.

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What is hell, and is it biblical? Part 2: the nature of hell

A response to Jacob McMillen and Josiah Pemberton. In this installment, I illustrate their fundamental misunderstanding of the traditional doctrine of hell.

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What is hell, and is it biblical? Part 1: hell and the gospel

A response to Jacob McMillen and Josiah Pemberton. In this installment, I question how their view of hell can square with a gospel that preaches eternal life.

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A simple argument that John 6 is not referring to the Eucharist

I mean, of course it’s not—but try convincing a Catholic of that.

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Constructive criticism of The Unseen Realm #3: perfection and freedom

In which I offer a friendly critique of some elements of Michael Heiser’s The Unseen Realm—in this instance, his comments in chapter 8 on the nature of perfection, and genuine freedom.

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Constructive criticism of The Unseen Realm #2: who is ha’satan?

In which I offer a friendly critique of some elements of Michael Heiser’s The Unseen Realm—in this instance, his comments in chapter 8 on Satan.

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Constructive criticism of The Unseen Realm #1: filters and mosaics

In which I offer a friendly critique of some elements of Michael Heiser’s The Unseen Realm—starting with his idea that viewing the Bible as a mosaic means throwing out our “filters”.

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Abortion and the Holocaust

An informative exchange with an indignant pro-aborter.

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Love is love

Even in the secular world, not all love is good—and in Christianity, love of evil entails hatred of God.

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Fisking the chieftain of the atheist village

An exchange with an atheist whose confidence is inversely proportional to his competence on the topics of sex, ethics and evolution.

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Humiliating head coverings

Daniel B Wallace thinks we should abide by the principle rather than the practice. I wonder why we can’t do both.

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New atheism & child psychology

Why do new atheists form beliefs, and argue for them, in the same way as my four year old son?

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This is what we’re up against

A real-life demonstration of how the wolves have formed a protective circle around the pulpit to prevent the sheep getting near, while they tear all the offensive pages out of the Bible.

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Silly myths and irreverent visions

An exchange in which I resist being led away by a professing believer whose sensuous mind is puffed up without reason…

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Animal poop

Take it from me—I have chickens.

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Should I save a zygote over a baby?

If I don’t, then obviously it’s not murder to kill a zygote, lol.

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Is Psalm 82 metaphorical?

TL;DR: no.

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Irreligious fundamentalism

The saga continues.

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Presuppositional obliviousness

A continuation of the ongoing exchange with an anonymous atheist.

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Evidence and religion

A reposted exchange with an anonymous atheist.

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If God is real, why does the world suck?

Or a question to similar effect—with similar answers.

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Annihilationism versus eternal torture

…and why I don’t have anything to do with the Christian Apologetics Alliance.

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If God wants to save everyone, why did he only choose Israel?

If you want all people to be part of your kingdom, you don’t disinherit them and then pick just one family.

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Thorny problems with Calvinism #4: why evangelize if everything is predestined?

The fact that God has predestined something doesn’t mean it will happen no matter what, but rather that it will happen inevitably by the means which he has also predestined.

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Thorny problems with Molinism #4: the internal contradiction between CCFs & PAP

Molinism tries to eat its cake, and still have it too, by incorporating both CCFs and PAP. But if counterfactuals of creaturely freedom are true, then the principle of alternate possibility is necessarily false, and vice versa.

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Thorny problems with Molinism #3: the theological grounding objection

Molinism removes the metaphysical machinery that underwrites God’s knowledge of free actions (i.e., his knowing what he will cause), but does not replace it with anything. Thus, middle knowledge is a just-so story; an assertion we are supposed to accept “because reasons.” Only…there are no reasons.

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