Vicarious atonement and gift-giving
Western intuitions about vicarious atonement are overly selective given other vicarious mechanisms we take for granted.
Should I save a zygote over a baby?
If I don’t, then obviously it’s not murder to kill a zygote, lol.
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.
Why polytheism = pantheism = monism
Pagan religions seem crazy until you understand what motivates them.
Is Psalm 82 metaphorical?
The saga continues.
A continuation of the ongoing exchange with an anonymous atheist.
Evidence and religion
A reposted exchange with an anonymous atheist.
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.
So you think educated Westerners don’t believe in pagan monism?
Heh. Ain’t that cute.
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.
Thorny problems with Calvinism #4: why evangelize if everything is predestined?
In which I clear up a natural but very mistaken confusion.
Fallen, sinning, incarcerated angels
A further exchange with Steve Hays on the Enochian interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4, Jude 6-7 and 2 Peter 2:4-10.
A further exchange with Steve Hays on the interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4.
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?
Was Moses the first Asimov?
A commenter accuses me of turning Genesis 6:1-4 into science fiction.
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.
Misguided compassion for pest animals
An email exchange with a bleeding heart apologist for the moral equivalence of animals and humans.
A showcase of Christian hatred and secular tolerance
A continuation of an exchange on homosexuality, reposted from Facebook.
What does the Lord say about homosexuality?
A response to a friend’s questions on Facebook.
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.
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?
Is there a relevant difference between causing and permitting evil?
An exchange with Arminian theologian Roger Olson.
Unreflective assumptions about free will
Suppose everyone automatically assumes they have the power of contrary choice. What follows?
Skeptical naivete about ancient near-Eastern history
Should we even expect accounts of ancient events to reflect historical fact?
Thorny problems with Molinism #4: the internal contradiction between CCFs & PAP
In which I illustrate that if counterfactuals of creaturely freedom are true, the principle of alternate possibility must be false.
Water and spirit
An exchange demonstrating that it does not, and cannot, refer to baptism.
Thorny problems with Molinism #3: the theological grounding objection
In which I show that Molinism is a just-so story when it comes to God’s omniscience.
Thorny problems with Molinism #2: the demonstrable falsehood of its governing intuition
In which I demonstrate what I had previously claimed: namely, that starting with our intuitions rather than with what God has revealed is a lousy way of doing theology.
Thorny problems with Molinism #1: doing theology backwards
In which I raise a fundamental issue of methodology, and also vent a bit.
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.
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.
Some thoughts on angelology
In no particular order.
Wibbling, wuv, and outwage
A response to some fairly representative “progressive” comments about the rod in Proverbs.
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.
The importance of emphasis
A brief reflection on how differently the faithful and the faithless construe the same commands.
What is honor?
And why does it matter to Christians?
“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.
What is love? Part 5: the nature of our love for enemies
What does it mean that God is love, that he loves us, and that we are to love him? In part 5, I consider what loving our enemies means in light of onetogetherness, and whether it entails pacifism as some Christians think.
What is love? Part 4: the nature of our love for God and neighbor
What does it mean that God is love, that he loves us, and that we are to love him? In part 4, I move into examining what God means when he commands us to love him, and each other, in light of love as onetogetherness.
What is love? Part 3: the nature of God’s love toward us
What does it mean that God is love, that he loves us, and that we are to love him? In part 3, I delve into the notion of triune love as “onetogetherness”, and what it therefore means when God says he loves us.
What is love? Part 2: the nature of triune love
What does it mean that God is love, that he loves us, and that we are to love him? In part 2, I sketch out some of the important characteristics of God’s love.