According to a new report, witnessing your Christian faith to people may do more harm than good. According to the study, when people were the object of Christian witnessing, 59% developed a more negative perception of Jesus and/or Christianity while only 19% developed a more positive perception. In other words, witnessing is three times as likely to produce negative […]
Songs Jesus Would Sing: The birth of a new series
In this post I am launching a new series titled “Songs Jesus Would Sing.” This series is borne of my general sense of alienation from contemporary Christian music coupled with my deep affinity for music played “out there in the world” and a recognition that much of that “worldly” music conveys themes which are profoundly […]
Do you have to love Jesus more than your children?
A little while ago I was speaking at a convention on the topic of heaven. As often happens, several people came up afterward to ask questions and share comments and stories. Over the next several minutes the conversation slowed and eventually the crowd drifted away leaving one man standing quietly. Once the others had left […]
Mother Teresa said we find Jesus in the poor. Was she right?
I grew up thinking that salvation consisted of praying a sinner’s prayer. I assumed that Paul had clarified that issue for posterity when he observed, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom. 10:9) As a result, […]
Finding Jesus at the movies, but not in the Jesus movies
One month ago “Son of God” premiered in the theaters, the latest milquetoast retelling of the greatest story ever told. Since I couldn’t sit through the trailer without lapsing into a boredom-induced coma, I decided to give it a pass. Growing up, I would have been extremely apprehensive about making such a seemingly impious admission for fear I […]
34. Wes Olmstead on the Sermon on the Mount
John Stott opens his book The Message of the Sermon on the Mount by observing, “The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best-known part of the teaching of Jesus, though arguably it is the least understood, and certainly it is the least obeyed.” Countless people have found themselves inexorably drawn to this profound teaching, […]
Why Jesus almost certainly had some errant theological beliefs
The discussion thread to my article “Eric Seibert on biblical violence and the Canaanites” includes an interesting discussion between Geoff and Steven Jake regarding whether Jesus may have had false beliefs, and in particular false theological beliefs. I don’t believe Jesus had any false theological beliefs about matters of soteriological import. In other words, Jesus knew […]
28. Robin Parry on demons
The ministry of Jesus was characterized by many miraculous signs, chief among them his victory over demonic forces. In one dramatic encounter in Mark chapter 5 we read of Jesus confronting a demon-possessed man living out among the tombs. “Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” […]
Jesus was a conservative, wasn’t he?
I was recently accused of evincing “typical left-wing thinking.” Kaboom! No need to consider what I say anymore. It’s been labelled “left-wing.” Let me try to convey the shock to you. Compare: “Careful! He’s evincing signs that he’s been bitten by a zombie! He could become a frothing soldier in the army of the walking […]
A spooky Jesus?
For the last two thousand years the world has produced countless images of Jesus. The images run the gamut, from the pious to the provocative, the blessed to the blasphemous. But this summer while speaking at a camp retreat, I came across an image that was presumably aiming for pious and blessed, but which came […]
Jesus and the curse of one’s enemies
Those who defend the voice of the imprecatory psalmist insist that there are times when it is appropriate to curse one’s enemy. And when is that time? Presumably when you are facing grave injustice at the hands of your enemies just like the psalmist faced. I can think of no greater injustice than an innocent […]
Come on, stomp on Jesus! Do it!
Bilbo sent me a link for a news article titled “Professor Makes Students ‘Stomp on Jesus’“. For those of you not sufficiently motivated to click the hyperlink I provided here’s the quick scoop: a prof at a university in Florida asked his students to write the word Jesus on a piece of paper in an […]
Could Jesus perform moral atrocities?
In the essay “If it’s okay for God to do something, then is it okay for him to command it?” I provided a response to the following question from Vincent: “Would you agree or disagree with the proposition that if it’s morally OK for God to do something, then it’s OK for Him to command […]
If it’s okay for God to do something, then is it okay for him to command it?
Vincent asked me an interesting and provocative question. It is also helpful because it goes to the root of many important issues He wrote: Would you agree or disagree with the proposition that if it’s morally OK for God to do something, then it’s OK for Him to command someone else to do it? If […]