Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

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

Are the first and second commandments morally distinguishable?

It’s a bit of a trick question when I ask it.

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Prelapsarian predation, part 3: wildness in Genesis 1–2

Were animals bitey before the Fall? Or did they only start munching on each other afterwards? In the third part of this series I look at clues in Genesis 1–2 that reveal a much wilder world than creationists suppose.

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Can we distinguish inspiration from canonization?

Inspiration and canonization are two components in the larger, holistic process of inscripturation.

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If the New Testament says Lord instead of Yahweh, why shouldn’t we?

A good question that leads to some unexpected problems.

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Why I love the name Yahweh like I love the name Jesus

If you find it off-putting when Christians speak of Yahweh instead of the LORD, this testimony is for you.

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What’s the big deal with translating Yahweh as LORD?

A reader wishes to know.

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It’s a name, people.

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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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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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Prelapsarian predation, part 2: the provision of plants for food

Although God’s provision of plants for food in Genesis 1 seems to indicate that animals were not yet bitey, careful comparison with Genesis 7 and 9 suggests otherwise.

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Prelapsarian predation, part 1: could it be “very good”?

Were animals bitey before the fall? Or did they only start munching on each other afterwards? In the first part of this series I assess what we can infer from God’s repeated declaration that his creation was “very good”.

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Can unbelievers understand the Bible?

A brief response to an important question, in which I answer yes and no.

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Is Psalm 82 metaphorical?

TL;DR: no.

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Is the divine council henotheistic?

There’s a rock and a hard place here for anyone who wants to use that term.

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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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How would a Hebrew have pictured Genesis 1?

I meant to note down a few interesting thoughts, but I accidentally wrote a commentary.

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Does James teach justification by works?

Yes—inasmuch as works are a proper part of the living faith by which we dwell in Jesus, and he in us.

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Fallen, sinning, incarcerated angels

A further exchange with Steve Hays in which I defend the Enochian interpretation of Genesis 6:1–4, Jude 6–7 and 2 Peter 2:4–10.

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Titans, AE

A further exchange with Steve Hays in which I defend the Enochian interpretation of Genesis 6:1–4.

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How many sons of God can dance on the head of a pin?

A response to Steve Hays in which I defend the Enochian interpretation of Genesis 6:1–4, and point out some obvious problems with his objections.

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Was Moses the first Asimov?

A commenter accuses me of turning Genesis 6:1–4 into science fiction, and I use the occasion to further demonstrate how the traditional Enochian interpretation is the only one that stands up to testing.

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What is Genesis 6:1–4 talking about?

Some hermeneutical and exegetical thoughts defending the Enochian view of the sons of God and the Nephilim.

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Are pictures of Jesus idolatry? Part 2: what were ancient people thinking?

Thinking so is an understandably venerable Reformed tradition which strikes me as naive and legalistic on several levels. Here, I look at why ancient peoples created idols to worship, and how this radically affects our understanding of the second commandment.

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Biblical reasons to doubt Justin Taylor’s doubts about the creation days being 24-hour periods

Justin Taylor questions the calendar-day interpretation. I question in turn.

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Did Aaron’s staff actually turn into a crocodile?

Most translations say it turned into a snake. I think they are right—a crocodile is not in view—given both the inter-textual and socio-religious evidence.

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Thorny problems with Molinism #2: the demonstrable falsehood of its governing intuition

The Molinist’s governing intuition is that people can’t be responsible for choices which (i) do not ultimately originate in their own wills or (ii) where they could not have done otherwise. This intuition is flatly contradicted by Jesus in John 6:44; so Molinism should be rejected as false.

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Thorny problems with Molinism #1: doing theology backwards

Molinism as a system begins with human intuitions about responsibility, and then reads these back into God’s word; rather than beginning with God’s word, and conforming our intuitions to it. In this regard it is no different than any other man-made religion.

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What is love? Part 6: revisiting the standard definition

What does it mean that God is love, that he loves us, and that we are to love him? In part 6, I return to the broader definition of love, to demonstrate how to presupposes onetogetherness, but also points us to other biblical concepts.

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The rod in Proverbs is not metaphorical

It is increasingly fashionable to argue that corporal punishment is uncivilized and out of step with a God of love. It’s not, and it isn’t.

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What is love? Part 1: how to find the right answer

What does it mean that God is love, that he loves us, and that we are to love him? In part 1, I explain how we should approach this question, and why.

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What’s the difference between Sola and Solo Scriptura?

There is a clear and important distinction between the Bible being the sole rule of faith, and the Bible being the sole source of knowledge.

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Inerrancy without the weasels

Why do formulations of inerrancy always seem to conceal the most important issue?

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What if the Bible depicts a solid domed sky and a flat earth held up by pillars?

What would this tell us about the Hebrew worldview, and about inerrancy?

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So what if modern people are losing the ability to read novels?

What exactly is reading for, and what counts as “serious” reading anyway?

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Was Jesus a guru? (Part 3)

What if his message got lost in transmission?

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Was Jesus a guru? (Part 2)

Is there not some hubris in thinking that, when reading a translation of a text, you have picked up on something which two millennia’s worth of its most adept students failed to notice in the original languages?

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Was Jesus a guru? (Part 1)

Some people think so, and they quote Jesus himself in support of the idea.

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Did all great religious figures share the same mystical experience?

The only way to know for sure is to ask them…

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The Magisterial Cypher

The sad story of a Catholic layman named Juan; a dedicated believer and amateur theologian, who gradually comes to realize that, as one of the laity, he is no more able to understand his religion than the peasants of the middle ages.

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On the composition of man

William at Reforming Baptist has recently posted an article, Dichotomy or Trichotomy….Help-a-me! in which he asks— As I am studying systematic theology and writing my doctrinal statement, I have hit a road block in Anthropology. I would like to ask for some of your participation in this discussion by helping me form a correct and […]

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