When Jesus Exorcised Demons Was He Really Healing Epilepsy?
In my latest video, I address the fact that some accounts of exorcism within the Gospels are described in a manner suggestive of epilepsy. With that in mind, I summarize three ways to think about this: first, it could be that these were simply exorcisms and that the presentation of demon possession is similar to […]
Why Christians Should Accept that Jesus Had False Beliefs
In this video, I explain how, in virtue of his human psychology, Jesus gained wisdom and knowledge over time and this would include Jesus having held beliefs at one time which he later came to recognize as false. ?
Is Jesus Human and Not Divine? A Review
Dale Tuggy and Christopher M. Date, Is Jesus Human and Not Divine? A Debate. Essential Christian Debates. Apollo, PA: Areopagus, 2020. As the old joke goes, after the Sunday school teacher asks, “Okay children, who left the cap off the glue?” the answer comes back in unison: “Jesus!” You get it, right? Jesus is always the […]
Liar, Lunatic, or Lord. Or Legend, or …
This morning, my pastor mentioned C.S. Lewis’ famous “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord” trilemma. (He also briefly traced it back to the sixteenth century: there truly is nothing new under the sun.) Next, he briefly noted that there is a fourth possibility — “Legend” — though he also noted that there is ample evidence to rebut […]
God Became Meat: A Devotional Reflection
I recently wrote a few devotionals for a forthcoming publication and I thought I would publish them at my blog as well. Here is the first. John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” Every December, Christians around the world gather to watch the annual Christmas pageant. But for many of us, […]
Is the virgin birth an essential doctrine?
Since we’re in the midst of Advent, it would seem to be a good time to pose a question about the relative importance of the doctrine of the virgin birth. (By the way, the term is infelicitous since the doctrine in question is really about whether Jesus was virginally conceived. Be that as it may, the […]
Jesus vs. the Volcano: How Christians disagree on atonement and why it matters
In “The depth of current atonement debates in a tweet” I noted one of the deepest divisions in current Christian debates on the atonement. Some Christians (advocates of penal substitution) believe that Jesus’ atoning death satisfies the wrath of the Father against sin, and thus that Jesus’ death provides the culmination and completion of the […]
The depth of current atonement debates in a tweet
Jesus died for our sins. On that much Christians agree. But ask what it means to say he died for our sins, and deep fissures of disagreement quickly emerge. If you ever want a capsule summary of how deeply entrenched the current debate is, you need look no further than this tweet from Brian Zahnd: According to Zahnd, the temple sacrificial system was […]
86. Making Sense of the Incarnation: A Conversation with Timothy Pawl
In 1977 John Hick published The Myth of God Incarnate, an edited collection of essays by leading scholars which fell like a bomb on the playground of British theology. The objections to the incarnation presented by the contributors to that book were many, but perhaps the most incisive was presented by Hick himself as he railed […]
Did Jesus know absolutely everything?
Don’t ever say I shy away from the hard questions. Here’s a slide from my upcoming lecture on fifth century Christology:
Christology, Anthropology, Theodicy. Inconsistency?
1 Corinthians 15:45: “So it is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.’” The underlying premise of any self-respecting Christian anthropology is found in this maxim: Christology is anthropology. That is, if you want to understand the essence of humanity you should not look back to the […]
11. The 59-Second Apologist: Is the incarnation a contradiction?
John 1:14 declares that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” But how can it be that the eternal, infinite divine Word became a temporal, finite human being? In this episode of the 59-Second Apologist we seek to bring some illumination to this perennial theological question. For further discussion of the account provided here, see chapter four of […]
A More Christlike God: A (very long and detailed) Review
Bradley Jersak. A More Christlike God, A More Beautiful Gospel. (Pasadena, CA: CWR Press, 2015). The back cover of Philip Yancey’s book What’s So Amazing About Grace? includes the following epigram: “There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.” […]