These reflections were inspired by a recent episode of Unbelievable featuring a debate between Owen Strachan and Jermaine Marshall on CRT and Woke Christianity. I found it to be an engaging listen but also very frustrating as regards Strachan’s analysis. For example, he seemed much more interested in labeling things “Marxist” (as if the label […]
The Damned as Freemen on the Land
Over the last while, I have encountered many atheists who object to the doctrine of annihilationism according to which God eventually withdraws life posthumously from those who refuse to submit to be in relationship with God and restored creation. I understand objections to eternal conscious torment, but objections to punishment simpliciter (and this annihilationist account […]
Seeking Justice from a Humanist Framework: An Interview with Sincere Kirabo
What does social justice look like from the perspective of a secular humanist? In this interview, I consider this question with writer and humanist activist Sincere Kirabo. Mr. Kirabo is the former social justice coordinator at the American Humanist Association and the lead organizer for the 2018 Secular Social Justice Conference. He continues to work […]
Is atheism a more hopeful view of the future than Christianity?
Honestly, it's one of the best facts about life that major religions like Christianity and Islam are false. There is no hell, no billions of people suffering eternal conscious torture. Simple non-existence after death is literally infinitely better. — Counter Apologist (@CounterApologis) August 2, 2018 I have often heard atheists express sentiments like this, so […]
Make America Godly Again?
As others have suggested, #MAGA should stand for "make America godly again." We can only be greet if we are good. #SavingaSickAmerica. — Dr. Michael L. Brown (@DrMichaelLBrown) October 2, 2017 That tweet got my attention. So I asked Dr. Brown (via Twitter), to which point in American history is he referring? That is, which […]
Trump: The Christian Conservative Case for Civil Disobedience
In my article “God Bless the Peaceful Protesters” I noted that Christian conservative radio personality Michael Brown had chastised the anti-Trump protesters who were obstructing traffic in several US cities. I then recounted that I had asked Brown whether he would extend that indictment to Operation Rescue, a prolife organization that has a long history […]
Songs Jesus Would Sing: 2. The Alarm, “How the Mighty Fall”
In my humble opinion, The Alarm never received the critical or commercial respect they were due. That’s too bad because they recorded some great albums like Declaration, Eye of the Hurricane, and my personal favorite, Change. If Change is my favorite album by The Alarm, one of the lesser known tunes from the album, “How […]
Another illustration of the deep problems with imputation theories of atonement
In the past I have pointed out the problems with the concept of guilt imputation upon which penal substitution depends. (See for example, “The Death of Jesus, the rape of a woman, and a concept called ‘Imputation’” and “A footnote on guilt imputation.”) The problem is that guilty is not transferable between parties. If Jones […]
The Surprise of Judgment? A Review of The Skeletons in God’s Closet (Part 2)
Joshua Ryan Butler. The Skeletons in God’s Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War. Thomas Nelson, 2014. This is part 2 of my review of The Skeletons in God’s Closet. For part 1, click here. The second section of the book turns to the topic of judgment and […]
Solitary Nation: A foretaste of hell?
Yesterday I watched the latest documentary from the wonderful PBS program “Frontline”. The documentary is called “Solitary Nation” and it is part of a two-part series on the criminal justice system in America which is called “Locked-Up in America.” You can watch the documentaries online here. The film focuses on several months in the solitary […]
God knows when you tip (and other benefits of providence)
Christopher Hitchens famously (or infamously) objected to divine providence because the idea of God, by his estimation, was akin to that of a despot cruelly tracking every action of the beleaguered citizenry. The comparison Hitchens drew was with North Korea. Had he lived long enough, he might have substituted the NSA. Today I was shopping […]
Why do conservative Christians think everything is getting worse?
The answer is simple: eschatology. Eschatology is the doctrine of last things, and most Christian conservatives these days continue to be premillennial in their eschatology. Premillennialism is often described as a pessimistic eschatology, one that expects conditions to get progressively worse until Jesus comes back and establishes his millennial kingdom. (In contrast, postmillennialism is often described […]
How long, O Lord? An Advent meditation on suburban injustice
“Americano. Grande. Extra room.” The emphasis was crucial. Failure to include it and “extra room” could easily become mere “room” resulting in three shots of espresso hopelessly diluted in excess hot water with no room for cream. It was a delicate balance, one that I thought I’d secured by the carefully placed emphasis. “Americano. Grande. […]
Does evangelical pessimism need a makeover?
When I was growing up I was taught dispensational premillennialism, an eschatology (theology of last things) that has as one of its hallmarks an unshakeable pessimism about the imminent future. Basically, things will keep getting worse until Jesus returns and establishes his kingdom. Dispensational pessimism continues to form a broad swathe of North American conservative […]