Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

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

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.

Baptism as a pledge of allegiance

Baptism is (among other things) a public renouncement of one’s former enslavement to Satan and the other spiritual rulers of this present darkness, and a vow of fealty to the enthroned king, Jesus.

Thorny problems with the serpent being a talking snake

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

Angels and ghosts

The common assumption that Matthew 18 and Acts 12 give us glimpses of guardian angels is probably mistaken. Rather, the term angel in these passages is referring to human spirits.

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.

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.

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.

Demonization and mental illness

Despite popular assumptions, ancient peoples could usually tell the difference—just like we usually can.

Advice for women on International Women’s Day

This is directed especially to Christian women, but any woman—and indeed any man—will benefit from it:

Sacrificial animals did not die in place of people

The Levitical system of sacrifices was not intended to model substitutionary atonement; it was about sanctifying the space and the people that God dwelt in the midst of.

If Adam thought Satan was a good guy, was his transgression justified?

A response to Steve Hays, in which I challenge the assumption to begin with, and then doubt the conclusion for two other reasons anyway.

Why think the rulers of 1 Corinthians 2:8 are gods?

In which I outline two significant reasons based on the language used, and what Paul is actually talking about.

Evangelical complementarian leaders mostly just teaching feminism

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

Are cherubs just palace guardians?

Steve Hays argues that my view of Eden as the divine council meeting-place trades on ignoring the role of cherubs as defensive rather than administrative beings. I reply with a three-pronged rebuttal.

Abortion as sacrament: why religious language is still used in a secular culture

A brief analysis of abortion in terms of Satan’s attack on the image and kingdom of God.

Christianity, confidence, and certainty

We can have complete certainty in the existence of God, and a high degree of confidence in the truth of Christianity specifically. This is justified not only by philosophical, prophetical and historical arguments, but especially by the direct knowledge imparted by the Spirit of God.

Excerpts from credible witnesses to supernatural events

Not every account of supernatural events should be believed, but some have the ring of truth.

What should we make of supernatural events in other religions?

We should welcome them as potential proof of Christianity.

How to better profit from personal Bible reading

Some thoughts and questions to ponder when seeking to apply the Bible to your own life in your personal devotions.

The role of elders according to Scripture

What are they supposed to do, and what kind of people should they be?

Word studies are not exegesis

Or, don’t bother learning the original languages if you don’t yet know how communication works in even your native tongue.

What is going on with Legion and the pigs?

Why does Legion beg to go into the pigs? Why does Jesus let them? Why do the pigs then rush into the sea?

Is the Sabbath still required for Christians?

One of the characteristics of the “New Calvinism” is that it is generally anti-sabbatarian. Is this right?

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.

Why are some not drawn?

A cautious response to a difficult question.

What is preaching?

What is its purpose, and how is that achieved? (Oh, it’s obvious you say? Well it wasn’t to me.)

What is being born of water in John 3:5?

Is it baptism, amniotic fluid, or is John tracing a trajectory of Old Testament allusion and physical metaphor?

Can we distinguish inspiration from canonization?

The answer might not be as obvious as you think.

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

A good question that leads to some unexpected problems.

Should women wear head coverings?

For what it’s worth, this is why I don’t read the Gospel Coalition.

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

A reader wishes to know.

What does baptism signify?

Is it membership in the covenant? Or just membership in the covenant community?

Who is baptism for?

Is it for babies? Or believers only?

Should I save a zygote over a baby?

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

Why polytheism = pantheism = monism

Pagan religions seem crazy until you understand what motivates them.

Is Psalm 82 metaphorical?

TL;DR: no.

Is the divine council henotheistic?

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

If God is real, why does the world suck?

Or a question to similar effect—with similar answers.

Annihilationism versus eternal torture

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

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.

How would a Hebrew have pictured Genesis 1?

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

Does James teach justification by works?

In defense of the most misunderstood author in the canon of Scripture.

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

And can they return themselves to normal size after they have shrunk?

What is Genesis 6:1-4 talking about?

Some hermeneutical and exegetical thoughts about the sons of God and the Nephilim.

Has God predestined most people to hell?

Does the Bible imply that God is more glorified in his wrath and justice than his love and mercy?

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.

Did Aaron’s staff actually turn into a crocodile?

Most translations say it turned into a snake. Are they right?

Does the Bible teach any kind of free will?

Given how hotly debated a topic it is, you would assume it does…wouldn’t you?

Unreflective assumptions about free will

Suppose everyone automatically assumes they have the power of contrary choice. What follows?