Millions of conservative Protestant Christians (fundamentalists and evangelicals) believe that the Bible should be interpreted “literally where possible”. But is this a defensible interpretive principle? Does it even make sense? In this short lecture, I offer four objections to the Literal Where Possible Principle.
The Christian Post recently published my short article “Pepe Le Pew stinks: The sexual violence of Looney Tunes in a #MeToo age.” The article attracted three comments, presumably from Christian conservatives (the primary readership of The Christian Post). Not surprisingly, the comments were all critical of my moral censure of Pepe Le Pew and his […]
On the weekend, I had a significant exchange online with a pastor and Trump supporter named Marc Hamer. Pastor Hamer describes himself on Twitter as “Servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ … and Pastor of Refuge Calvary Chapel in New Holland, Pa.” The exchange began when Pastor Hamer objected to my description of […]
Yesterday, Sean McDowell posted a tweet about Joshua Harris no longer calling himself a Christian: Sean McDowell: Joshua Harris apologizes to the LGBTQ community and announces he is no longer a follower of Jesus: (link: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0ZBrNLH2sl/) instagram.com/p/B0ZBrNLH2sl/ This prompted me to reply: Randal: Let’s be precise, please. I don’t know where he’s at, but he […]
What is more important? Being an evangelical, conservative, and/or fundamentalist Christian? Or just being a Christian? I believe it is more important to just be a Christian. Why does this matter? Because evangelical, conservative, and/or fundamentalist Christians often spend more time defending their boundary markers than the boundary markers of Christianity simpliciter (aka mere Christianity). For example, there […]
On May 6, Christianity Today published an essay by a fellow named John Stonestreet as a remembrance of Rachel Held Evans. Although it had only been two days since her death, in the essay, Stonestreet could not resist taking several jabs at Evans’ theology. Not surprisingly, the response from several quarters was very negative, so much […]
A New York Times interview with the theologian Serene Jones, the current president of Union Theological Seminary, is getting some attention given that Jones enthusiastically tosses multiple cherished doctrines of Christian orthodoxy. Virgin birth? “Bizarre,” she says. God as omnipotent and omniscient? “A fabrication of Roman juridical theory and Greek mythology.” The resurrection of Jesus? […]
Today, I was contacted by a representative of Crossflix inviting me to partner in a promotion of the service with my readers, a promotion that would potentially yield some not insignificant revenue for my cash-strapped site. (As you will observe, I don’t have any paid advertising which requires me to cover the cost of my […]
Many conservative Christians believe the world is progressively getting worse. Are they right? In this video, I challenge that assumption by way of a thought experiment which provides evidence that North America, at least, is becoming a more just society.
Today, Christian Post published my article “If evangelicals are pro-family, then why don’t they care about Trump’s child separation policy?” I expected it to get pushback from the Trumpists and I was certainly right about that. But the vitriol from some folks … wow. Here I’ll note just one comment. In the article, I pointed out that […]
A couple of days ago, Ed Krassenstein posted the following tweet decrying the widespread support among American (evangelical) Christians for Donald Trump’s divisive and xenophobic rhetoric against immigrants and refugees: “Jesus Christ would tear down a wall, and give immigrants the shirt off of his back. I’m Jewish and I know this. What the hell has […]
In the second edition of their book Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology (Baker, 2009), Gregory Boyd and Paul Eddy offer a survey of seventeen theological issues of debate among evangelicals. That list includes the following: biblical inerrancy divine providence divine foreknowledge the interpretation of Genesis 1 (young earth view; day age view; restoration view; literary […]
I grew up viewing the term “evangelical” as a guarantee of quality. I believed that evangelicals were the most faithful and orthodox followers of Christ and that they offered the closest approximation of the New Testament church. But while I regularly used the term “evangelical” to identify “good” Christianity, I would have been hard pressed to give […]
Yesterday, I posted several Twitter surveys, polling people on the question of whether an evangelical can affirm a particular position on various “hot-button” issues. Here are the (very interesting) results: Can you be an evangelical and believe that all people will ultimately be saved by Jesus either in this life or the next? — Tentative […]