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Solitary Nation: A foretaste of hell?

Posted on 04/23/14 3 Comments

Yesterday I watched the latest documentary from the wonderful PBS program “Frontline”. The documentary is called “Solitary Nation” and it is part of a two-part series on the criminal justice system in America which is called “Locked-Up in America.” You can watch the documentaries online here. The film focuses on several months in the solitary […]

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Joshua 6 in Zondervan’s True Images Bible

Posted on 04/23/14 12 Comments

I have long been interested in the way that Bibles interact with the violent portions of scripture. In “How do you teach God’s genocide to children?” I noted how the Zondervan Adventure Bible for children deals (or doesn’t deal) with the genocidal mandate in Deuteronomy 20. Here below I have another example, this one drawn […]

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Hell and the so-called liberal mind

Posted on 04/22/14 12 Comments

In his essay “Where are we going?” Ted Peters describes the modern skepticism about the traditional doctrine of hell as eternal conscious torment. He writes: “Over the last two centuries, liberal minds have been bitten by a moral conscience that finds such threat-discourse undignified and revolting. We modern people with more gentle standards of morality […]

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Was Dennis Jernigan miraculously delivered from homosexuality?

Posted on 04/20/14 73 Comments

In my article “Gays don’t become straight. So what now?” I proposed that Christians ought to set aside the pursuit and promise of deliverance ministries for those who are homosexual. Instead, they ought to refocus on exploring the following two alternatives: abstinence or acceptance. In other words, they can retain the traditional ethical prohibition on homosexuality […]

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He is risen, isn’t he?

Posted on 04/20/14 149 Comments

The other day I visited a church where the pastor gave a brief promo for the course “Christianity Explored“. He described the course as “a non-judgmental place” to explore the “big questions”. The description caught my attention for the implicit (and presumably unintentional) admission that once you get beyond the narrow confines of “Christianity Explored”, asking questions […]

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One person’s wrestling with tales of mass murder is another person’s belly laugh

Posted on 04/19/14 68 Comments

I owe this quote to the prolific Edward T Babinski who commented in response to my article “The Bible and Violence: A Biblical Bibliography“: “Randal, One person’s ‘wrestling’ with tales of mass murder in their ‘holy book’ is another person’s belly laugh.” I really enjoyed this quote because it concisely summarizes a village atheist (or village […]

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Can pedophiles be saved? A conversation with Scott Drennan

Posted on 04/18/14 19 Comments

Over the last year we’ve tackled many topics on the Tentative Apologist Podcast from big bang cosmology to biblical interpretation. But no topic is as difficult or immediately gripping as the topic of this podcast. Today we are tackling the topic of pedophiles: their crimes … and their redemption. Redemption? To many, talk of redeeming and restoring these […]

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Must you set aside your beliefs when addressing problems with them?

Posted on 04/17/14 168 Comments

Yesterday in “Let’s talk about violence: Discussions on the Bible” I noted an upcoming church engagement I have addressing the problem of violence in the church and I noted more widely the importance of encouraging churches to engage in honest and open discussions about biblical violence. The Atheist Missionary commented: “Kudos to you for not […]

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Let’s talk about violence: Discussions on the Bible

Posted on 04/16/14 69 Comments

Every year when I teaching atonement in systematic theology class, I start by re-introducing students to the hymns of their youth: songs like “Nothing but the Blood”: Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus! We pause and take in the imagery […]

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The Bible and Violence: A Bibliography

Posted on 04/15/14 45 Comments

The other day I got into a conversation with a fellow Christian about the Joshua genocide. Like many Christians, he had a sense that there was something problematic here, but had never paused to wrestle with it. When I told him there was a lively and diverse conversation within the church over so-called “texts of terror” […]

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