Today, September 30, 2021, is Canada’s first annual Day of Truth and Reconciliation, a time of reflection as we consider the legacy of historic oppression against First Nations peoples. In honor of the day, I have posted a devotional reflection: “The World Will Know His Name.” ?
The Tentative Apologist
In this video, I explain how a passage like Exodus 32 forces fundamentalist Christians to abandon their “literalist” approach to Bible reading or face stark theological consequences. ?
A reader emailed me a question about how Jesus viewed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: “when it comes to sodom and Gomorrah it seems that Jesus affirms this event as literal in Matthew 11:23 and Luke 17:29. But if this is the case it seems as if Jesus is affirming genocide of a large […]
Yesterday, I posted the following observation in a tweet: “Fundamentalist Christians mystify me: they insist that creation must’ve occurred in six 24 hour days or God would be ‘lying’ and yet they don’t bat an eye at the idea of God commanding genocide.” In other words, I’m perplexed by the moral reasoning that says it […]
I grew up in a fundagelical church. We were Pentecostal and thus charismatic with a heady dose of dispensationalism and culture war conservatism. As I reflect back, it strikes me that the worldview I was given was incredibly dark and pessimistic. For example, we were raised to believe the following (either through explicit teaching or […]
Over the last couple of years, I’ve become a fan of Judge Caprio’s YouTube channel. In his videos, this judge in Providence, RI, regularly dishes out justice with mercy, compassion, and kindness. When I watch Judge Caprio, I think to myself, that is an embodiment of what a judge should be. And if we should […]
When I was growing up, the Christian apologists I read often claimed that biblical scholars and archaeologists who arrived at results at odds with conservative evangelical orthodoxy were driven by “naturalistic assumptions”. While there was a kernel of truth in the warning, for the most part, it was false. Often, these scholars were devout Christian […]
In Jesus Loves Canaaanites I argue that the purpose of Scripture is to make us like Jesus (2 Tim. 3:14-17). And being like Jesus means, among other things, loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 23:37-40). And your neighbor is the person you are least likely […]
Many Christians say that we should have a “high view of God”. But what do they mean and is it worth having? ?
Today, I was reading commentaries on Proverbs 20:30, a verse which commends physically beating people as a way to inculcate wisdom and goodness in them: “Blows and wounds scrub away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.” (Imagine how much pain and anguish has been inflicted on people as those in power cauterized their feelings […]
Jesus was a great philosopher. — Tentative Apologist (@RandalRauser) September 14, 2021 The majority got this right: Jesus was indeed a great philosopher. Some respondents claimed he was less than this: in their negative judgment, they are apparently unfamiliar with his eminently philosophical concerns, sophisticated argumentation with his interlocutors, unparalleled teaching style, and monumental impact. […]
Yesterday, I posted the following tweet. Genocide apologists insist the Canaanites needed to be slaughtered in toto because they sacrificed their children. But herem slaughter to Yahweh is itself a form of *human sacrifice*, one that included children. It's like killing a man's dog to punish him for killing his cat. — Tentative Apologist (@RandalRauser) […]
Paul famously said that the message of Christ is “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Cor. 1:23). This provocative statement is part of an elaborate rhetorical argument that provocatively frames the way that the heart of Christianity, the incarnation, atonement, and resurrection, challenged the received wisdom of the day. This stumbling […]