Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

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

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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What is the kingdom of God? Part 9: the Great Commission as a directive to conquer

The evangelical moralistic gospel hopes less, demands less, and achieves less than the all-encompassing ambitions of the New Testament’s cosmological one. If Jesus really is ruling until he puts all his enemies under his feet, then he is creating a new nation out of all the old ones through the Great Commission—and this happens geometrically until there is nothing left for us to do.

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What is the kingdom of God? Part 8: the gospel as a message of triumph

Whereas the apostles front-load the gospel with Jesus’ resurrection for worldwide kingship, evangelicals front-load it with his death for sin. Thus, whereas the New Testament’s gospel is a message about all-encompassing cosmic restoration through Jesus’ resurrection and enthronement, today’s gospel is a message about individual moral restoration through Jesus’ death and atonement.

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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.

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What is the kingdom of God? Part 6: how God is retaking Adam’s kingdom from Satan

God used the collapse of his kingdom Israel, and the death of his king Jesus on a cross, to overcome sin and make the human nature itself sacred space. He thereby disarmed Satan’s claim over humanity by crowning a perfect human king in his place—and started inexorably transforming Adam’s ruined kingdom into Jesus’ restored one by dwelling in human hearts instead of in a land.

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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.

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Is it right to ask God to forgive you again and again, when he has already forgiven you on the cross?

Short answer: yes, we should continually ask God for forgiveness.

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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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Why are some not drawn?

A cautious response to a difficult question.

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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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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?

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What does baptism signify?

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

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Who is baptism for?

Is it for babies? Or believers only? It is for new covenant members— who the Bible explicitly identifies as regenerate believers.

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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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Can unbelievers understand the Bible?

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

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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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