Why We’ll Never Agree on the Bible

I was taught in seminary to always determine the original meaning behind a text. Study the Greek or Hebrew. The literary, cultural, and historical contexts. Comparative passages and themes. That way I would get to know what the author meant. Good work that must be done. However, what happens when I discover that what the …

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“Staying” or “Beginning”?

I’m intrigued by something Father Richard Rohr wrote in his The Wisdom Pattern: Order-Disorder-Reorder. “It seems to me we must begin conservatively—with clear boundaries, identity, and a sense of respect for our reality. Then, and only then, can we move out from that strong center, according to our education and experience.” (p. 61) The trick, …

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A Flat Earth Bible?

The biblical writers believed in a flat earth. It was the stationary foundation of their world view. Under the flat earth was Sheol, the place of the dead. The sky was the domed firmament that held back water. Above it all was heaven. This sounds so, well, ancient. Good science at the time, but bad …

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God, the Bible, and Atheism

As I was doing research for Addressing Atheism, I connected with Hemant Mehta. He runs the Friendly Atheist blogsite. He’s also the author of several books, one of which is the delightful I Sold My Soul on Ebay. Hemant reviewed a rough draft of my book from the atheistic perspective. He was generous with his …

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A View from Space

One of the best nature/science documentaries I’ve seen is National Geographic’s “One Strange Rock.” Narrated by actor Will Smith, it reflects on the marvels of our planet as seen through the eyes of astronauts. If you see all ten episodes, you will never view life on this amazing, mysterious rock of ours as you had …

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My Bible Is as Worn as Theirs

After the United Methodist General Conference approved the Traditionalist Plan, which kept restrictive language against homosexuality in the denomination’s Book of Discipline, there was great rejoicing in the world of far-right evangelicals. On February 27, 2019, Franklin Graham posted his happiness on Facebook. He saw this as a victory for “God’s Truth” and the “clear …

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Have We Forgotten Who We Are?

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is a group within United Methodism advocating for the denomination’s traditional stance prohibiting same sex marriage and the ordination of self-avowed, practicing homosexuals. Earlier this year, the writer of a WCA blog counseled his readers to stay “rooted” and “grounded” in God’s Word when considering LGBTQ issues. I took that to …

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Jesus, Macro-Manager

When you read about Jesus and study his teachings, one thing becomes clear. Jesus was mostly a macro-manager. He painted in broad brush strokes upon a wide canvas. Accordingly, when his enemies set traps baited with legal minutiae, he easily stepped around them. Which (of the 613) Jewish laws are most important? Two. Love God …

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