Many Christians think the Bible is a handbook for all of life. In this video, I test that idea by considering what the Bible says about dogs. (Spoiler: it ain’t good.) So, must we choose between the Bible and our dogs?
An Evolving Evangelical Debate: A review of “Four Views on The Historical Adam”
Barrett, Matthew and Ardel B. Caneday, eds. Four Views on the Historical Adam (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013), 288 pp. Fifteen years ago Zondervan published Three Views on Creation and Evolution, a lively exchange between two young earth creationists (Paul Nelson and John Mark Reynolds), an old earth creationist (Robert C. Newman), and a theistic evolutionist (Howard Van Til). Since that […]
Let’s talk about violence: Discussions on the Bible
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 […]
27. Yoram Hazony on the Bible as philosophy
Some years ago I pulled open the nightstand drawer in the room of the hotel in which I was lodging. Inside I found the familiar Gideon’s Bible. With nothing much to do I pulled the book out and opened it up. Upon opening the book I discovered that some previous hotel guest had taken the […]
Heresy hunting and the Church
First off, what is heresy hunting? I define it as follows: heresy hunting: the practice of searching for indictable theological offenses in written or spoken text. Now let me add immediately that “indictable theological offense” is not a proper definition of heresy. But that’s because the heresy hunter is not really after heresies at all. […]
Cheesemakers, Canaanite dogs and the problem of biblical interpretation
As you may recall, I spent this past weekend attempting to help John Loftus articulate the argument he seemed to hold, but with premises that remained stubbornly hidden from view. When he finally articulated a three-step argument, it seemed to me that the first proposition of the argument was actually conflating two distinct ideas. I […]
What was in Jesus’ hand? Lessons on why you can’t take the Bible literally word for word
According to a 2007 Gallup survey “About one-third of the American adult population believes the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally word for word.” Now let’s think about this. Would you please open your Bibles to Revelation 1:14-16: *ahem* “His head and hair were white like wool, as white […]
I have been called many things. This week Steve Hays added yet another label: “Bible hater.” The charge came in his article “Bowdlerizing the Bible” published at Triablogue. This would be comical if it weren’t so sad. I accept the plenary inspiration of scripture. I accept meticulous superintending divine providential activity as the primary means […]
Should we really interpret the Bible literally when possible?
In my previous article I focused on a common hermeneutical principle among fundamentalists. I called it the “literal when possible principle” (henceforth LPP) and I noted an example from it in the writings of John Walvoord, one of the preeminent fundamentalist scholars of the twentieth century. I then presented four arguments against it. Unfortunately a […]