Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

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

Vicarious atonement and gift-giving

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

Calvinism, masculinity and niceness

In some ways, this isn’t really about Calvinism. That’s just how the conversation started. It’s about Christianity abandoning masculinity, and thus replacing love with niceness.

Are the first and second commandments morally distinguishable?

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

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.

Yahweh

It’s a name, people.

Love is love

Except when it’s not.

When were angels created?

Or, put another way, how quickly did Satan fall?

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.

New atheism & child psychology

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

Is online discussion worth it?

Does anything good ever come out of a Facebook debate?

Coming out

Maybe they’ll give me an award for courage. Terminators know no fear.

Qualifications for elders

David’s shepherd work prepared him for personal combat with a giant.

Can unbelievers understand the Bible?

A brief response to an important question.

Animal poop

Take it from me—I have chickens.

I’ve invented the perfect religion

My cover is now blown, but who cares? I’ll be rich.

I am not an “anti-vaxxer”

But I didn’t vaccinate my children.

So you think educated Westerners don’t believe in pagan monism?

Heh. Ain’t that cute.

Is Allah actually Yahweh?

It’s a more vexed question than you might assume—but here’s a simple argument that shows he is perhaps not, at least in most cases.

Some thoughts on angelology

In no particular order.

The importance of emphasis

A brief reflection on how differently the faithful and the faithless construe the same commands.

“Who is my neighbor?”

Pro-choice Christians like to criticize people like me by suggesting that atheists are good Samaritans to women with unwanted pregnancies. To deny them abortion, is to be the uncompassionate priest or Levite who crosses on the other side of the road. The tragic irony is that they have utterly missed the precise point of the parable.

Free and cheap resources for understanding the OT in its socio-religious context

A few links for people who aren’t satisfied with “exegesis” that has the serpent in Eden being a snake, or the gods in Psalm 82 being men.

How Arminian groupies betray their theology

Tut tut.

The incoherent love of Jerry Walls

An example of the muddled thinking about God’s love that passes for good theology in some circles.

Do we have a duty to re-ensoul vampires?

Or, why people should stop treating Joss Whedon as smarter than he is.

Another deconversion story

Warning: while grown-ups will find this an unintentionally comical demonstration of how deeply apostates think before abandoning their faith, Christian children below the age of 8 may want to steer clear.

Breaking it off with Scripturalism

Infatuation with Scripturalism is like a teenage crush…but can’t a man marry his high school sweetheart?

Why shouldn’t we bomb abortion clinics?

I’m not arguing that we should. But it’s hard to find a principled reason not to.

Skeptics and the Dunning-Kruger effect

“…people are unaware of their incompetence, innocent of their ignorance. Where they lack skill or knowledge, they greatly overestimate their expertise and talent, thinking they are doing just fine when, in fact, they are doing quite poorly.”

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

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

3 reasons to recover the pronunciations of biblical names

Don’t you hate it when people keep pronouncing your name wrong?

The wolves are guarding the sheep pen

Roman Catholicism is not a Christian denomination, and Protestant apologists of all people should be conversant with the reasons why.

Gays demand right to temporary slaves; courts agree

It’s satire. But…not really.

New blog: Reformation500

A new resource to keep your eye on.

Questions for America

Things I want to know after traveling to America.

Do churches treat homosexuals like lepers?

A response (one might say critique) to Micah Murray’s recent Huffpost article on homosexuals in the church.

Should sermons be entertaining?

Jared Moore says no. I say…not so fast.

Mefferd & Driscoll: peas in a pod

Janet Mefferd follows in Mark Driscoll’s footsteps by aggressively defending her hypocritical actions.

Popularity makes Christians crazy

Why did Janet Mefferd publicly shame Mark Driscoll?

Is celebrating Thanksgiving irrational?

Are most Americans helping themselves to a double-sized portion of cognitive dissonance along with their Turkey and cranberry sauce?

On dogmatism

A response to Damian Peterson on the merits of being dogmatic.

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.

Is intelligent design science? A response to Ken Perrott

A continuation of my previous commentary on the question of whether intelligent design is a scientific inference. Here, I respond to some objections by kiwi atheist Ken Perrott, pointing out the hypocrisy of secular scientists in labeling the anti-ID thesis as scientific, while denying the same standing for ID itself.

Is intelligent design scientific?

The question of whether intelligent design is a scientific or philosophical inference is a contentious and oft-debated one. Using a recent discussion on Ken Perrott’s blog as a kick-off point, I offer a brief commentary on this issue, giving reasons for why it is arbitrary to dismiss ID as unscientific.

The Protestant’s Wager

A brief exposition of the failure of Roman Catholicism to provide a principled advantage in understanding doctrine, over and against Protestantism. I conclude with a serious parody of Pascal’s Wager, arguing that on a Catholic’s own terms, and all other things being equal, it is safer to be a Protestant than a Catholic.

The keys of the kingdom

An examination of Roman Catholic claims about the keys of the kingdom in Matthew 16:19, listing nine culminating reasons for their failure.

An atheistic greater good argument

A brief interaction with an atheistic argument that the existence of evil, under Christianity’s own presuppositions, disproves the existence of God by contradicting his desire for the greatest good. This argument was forwarded by Stan (and also John Loftus) on Debunking Christianity.

Catholic and Reformed views of God and Scripture: a correspondence

A response to an email from a Roman Catholic correspondent, critiquing his presentation of the doctrine of Scripture and the purposes of God.