Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

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

Skeptical naivete about ancient near-Eastern history

Should we even expect accounts of ancient events to reflect historical fact?

Why God can’t be evil

An exceptionally tardy response to Stephen Law’s inept challenge.

What is idolatry?

TLDR: it is worshiping other divine beings. It is not putting things before God—whether money, food, sport, entertainment, sex, love, family or anything else. You can’t worship those things, and making them your masters is not the same thing as idolatry.

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.

What is honor?

And why does it matter to Christians?

TROPE: a useful mnemonic for apologists

If you have trouble remembering (or sticking to) the most important issues when witnessing, this may help.

Spotting real prophecies

If prophecy continues, and someone tells you they have received a word from the Lord, how can you tell if they’re for real, or just full of it?

Why can’t Christians swear, dammit?

In which I answer a question from an older Christian lady.

Why can’t God interfere with our free will?

After all, we do it all the time.

The Molinist/Arminian ideal of fatherhood

If God is the “author” of sin under Calvinism, what does that make him under Molinism/Arminianism?

Infallibility, canon & private judgment

Why appealing to infallible tradition gets you nowhere at all.

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.

Can you celebrate the Lord’s supper with a can of worms?

Just because it’s a symbol doesn’t mean you can do what you like with it.

Can we have a non-alcoholic Lord’s supper?

Short answer: no.

Why you shouldn’t rely on YouTube for your understanding of the Trinity

If you think that God can be described in terms of “hyperdimensions”, and that this explains why the Trinity is beyond our ken, you need to read this article.

Is Roger Olson actually a Calvinist double agent?

It almost seems more plausible than thinking that such a theological lightweight could become so popular.

Inerrancy without the weasels

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

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?

3 reasons why Christianity + prayer to the saints = pagan polytheism

Unfortunate for Roman Catholic claims about being the One True Church that Christ Founded.

Christianity and LGBTQ* is a two-way street

The church continues to respond poorly to LGBTQ* issues, both by failing to love LGBTQ* people rightly, and by failing to interact savvily with secular LGBTQ* activism. But there is plenty of blame to go around.

Was the universe made just for us?

Ace apologist Tim McGrew thinks the idea sits awkwardly with Christian theology; I respectfully beg to differ.

Did all great religious figures share the same mystical experience?

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

Why Christians should not use the word “homophobia”

Overlooking the Orwellian use of language in the culture wars is like overlooking the use of defective ammo in real wars.

Is Yahweh made in man’s image?

If he is, why do nearly all (presumably man-made) religions line up against Christianity on many key doctrines?

Why doesn’t God just do whatever it takes to make people believe in him?

In which I point out four faulty presuppositions behind a common atheistic question.

Nepotism

Is nepotism always as bad as many people assume?

Sam Harris’ Moral Landscape, challenged

A refutation of Sam Harris’ book, The Moral Landscape, in 956 words.

5 reasons to seriously doubt the story the papacy likes to tell about its origins

A cursory description of some of the very widely-accepted historical facts that puts to shame Rome’s story about Peter inaugurating an unbroken succession of bishops in Rome.

What’s the big deal with killing babies anyway?

I mean, really? God does it all the time!

Is Jesus really dog?

In which I respond to Mike Gantt’s strange ideas about whether Mormons and Unitarians worship the same Jesus I do.

Why do atheists proselytize?

Evangelical atheism seems to be on the rise. Which is odd, when you think about it.

Independent witness to early Genesis

The orally-transmitted creation legend of the Miao people in China is an extraordinarily accurate parallel to the events recorded in Genesis 1-11.

3 reasons atheists should treat morality as superstitious nonsense

Atheists have been complacently borrowing Christian ideas about morality for too long. It’s time for that to end, along with Christianity itself.

Why belief in God casts doubt on all atheistic beliefs

If fundamental and widely-held beliefs are selected by evolution not because they are true, but rather because their falsehood confers a survival advantage, shouldn’t we expect any and all beliefs (including scientific and atheistic ones) to be possibly false in the same way?

Freedom & virtue: coping mechanisms for atheists

Are atheists two-faced for criticizing religious belief as a “crutch”, when they themselves believe in a purely physical universe that includes freedom and virtue?

What is blasphemy?

What does it mean to take God’s name in vain…and why does it matter?

Stuff.co.nz gives up on journalism to peddle pro-gay propaganda

Why did I abandon my degree in journalism just one year in? Well, mostly because I realized journalism involves doing things like pimping junk science for the sake of supporting a deviant ideology, rather than reporting important truths.

Why do some people exercise faith and others not?

In a synergistic framework, what is the explanation for some people responding affirmatively to prevenient grace, while others do not?

Why do atheists think prayer studies prove anything?

How could any educated person think that prayer studies have a hope of being scientific, let alone of producing meaningful results?

Atheist ethicists: not as ethical as you might think

Some thoughts in response to a desire utilitarian’s defense of abortion.

Why don’t religious people mind their own business?

Why do Christians “stick their noses in” about women getting abortions? Isn’t it nobody’s business but the woman’s?

Are Christians hypocritical to support the death penalty?

When Christians oppose abortion because it is murder, how can they then legitimately support capital punishment?

Useful thoughts for debating abortionists

A scattering of helpful ideas for anyone who has to debate the issue of abortion.

Was the atonement wasted if God chooses who to save?

A response to the common intuition that, under Calvinism, Jesus’s suffering was wasted for all those who God did not choose to save.

6 very strange reasons to send your child to school

Six exceedingly odd and equally common arguments for sending your child to a public school (instead of homeschooling). Refuted, obviously.

4 reasons the consent argument for abortion is sociopathic

The consent argument is the most popular and vigorously-defended way for pro-abortionists to show that abortion is ethically justified—and that the abolitionist position is unreasonable. But what if their argument trades on hidden ethical concessions that, in any other situation, we’d think were psychopathic?

Does God hate the sin but love the sinner?

A response to Stuart’s assertion that God’s wrath and hatred is exclusively reserved for sins, rather than sinners.

Gandhi: Saint or Sinner?

Was Gandhi the saintly and wise spiritual leader most people take him to be? A recent article from the Wall Street Journal proves that he was, in fact, a sexually depraved, morally bankrupt, politically foolish man: a product, as you might expect, of his religion and his culture.

NY Times twists on horns of secular free will dilemma

A critical look at a New York Times article that discusses the tension between the idea that all the events in the universe are caused deterministically by physical laws, and our deep-seated intuitive belief that this cannot be so because we have free will.