In his remarks at this year’s Presidential Prayer Breakfast, President Obama talked about violence done in the name of religion: Remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. Michelle and … Continue reading Name that quote: the Bible vs. the Quran
This year I’m planning to write more regularly for Onfaith, mostly about the Bible and how we use it. (I’ll still be writing other posts here.) My first piece is a somewhat belated response to Newsweek cover story on the Bible last month. (Thanks to Dan Chappell for encouraging me to share these reflections.) Where are all the moderate Christian … Continue reading How Newsweek got the Bible right… and still got it wrong
It was a crucifix that caught my daughter’s eye during ArtPrize this year. There’s no shortage of crucifixes to be found at the annual art competition. From the 2011 popular vote winner, depicting a bored looking, white American Jesus backlit by a Kinkade-esque sunset, to one of this year’s installations, “The Moment, Endured,” a more … Continue reading What an atheist’s crucifix taught my child about faith
“God gave Israel the land. Unconditional. Everlasting. Period.” For some evangelicals, that’s the definitive answer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. End of discussion. This sentiment was echoed in some of the comments to my recent post on why we shouldn’t equate modern-day Israel with the ancient biblical kingdom. It’s what came to mind as I listened to the appointed readings … Continue reading The problem with using the Bible to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Someone shared this quote with me from Peter Enns’ preview of his forthcoming book The Bible Tells Me So (HarperOne, September 2014): What if God is actually fine with the Bible just as it is? Not the well-behaved version we create, but the messy, troubling, weird, and ancient Bible that we actually have? Maybe this Bible has … Continue reading The Bible is messy, troubling, and weird. And that’s OK.
In a previous post, I mentioned Joshua 10 and 1 Chronicles 16:30 as “problem passages” for those whose view of inspiration depends on the Bible being accurate in everything it says (or seems to say) about astronomy, geology, biology, etc. Joshua 10 claims the sun temporarily stood still during a battle between the Israelites and the … Continue reading The Bible is not “scientifically accurate”: why that’s good news for Christians
Former Growing Pains and Left Behind star Kirk Cameron is getting into the parental advice business. In a recent post, Cameron shared the “train, don’t explain” childrearing philosophy of author Jay Younts. Basically, this approach says you don’t owe your kids an explanation. Ever. You tell them what to do/think/believe and demand their unquestioning, unhesitating … Continue reading 3 things in the Bible you’ll want to avoid if following Kirk Cameron’s parenting advice
Fifty years ago, Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. The legacy of this war is hotly contested, and there are at least three competing views. Some argue the War on Poverty created a culture of dependency, while pouring massive amounts of money down the drain. They point to official government figures, which show the poverty … Continue reading Should we even be fighting the War on Poverty?
So…the debate on Capitol Hill turned biblical the other day. Democrats and Republicans took turns quoting Scripture during a debate over a proposed $4 billion cut to the welfare program formerly known as food stamps (now the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP). Kicking things off, Representative Juan Vargas (D-California): There are starving children in … Continue reading How this is about context (and not botching the Bible)
Leslie Leyland Fields’ latest feature on Christianity Today, “The Gospel Is More Than a Story,” starts by expressing ambivalence for an unnamed but “much-hyped” story version of the Bible. I’m pretty sure she’s talking about one of my old projects. I helped create The Story in 2005, intending it to be an easy way for … Continue reading Is Story all there is?