Thinking Christian

Thinking Christianity for church, home, and community

The Jealousy of God (Reading Paul Copan Together)

Posted on Dec 16, 2014

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Reading Paul Copan

Paul Copan was more patient than I might have been in his chapter on the jealousy of God. He opens with three mini-vignettes:

Recall Richard Dawkins’s put-down of God, claiming that he breaks into a “monumental rage whenever his own chosen people flirted with a rival god.” Popular TV icon Oprah Winfrey said that she was turned off to the Christian faith when she heard a preacher …

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Bill Nye, Deniable Guy: Promoting Science and Rationality, He Blunders On Both

Posted on Dec 14, 2014

Science Guy Bill Nye says he stands for excellence in thinking skills and scientific reasoning. Recently, however, he violated both of those values in the very act of promoting them.

HuffPost reports him as saying,

The biggest danger creationism plays… is that it is raising a generation of children who “can’t think” and who “will not be able to participate in the future in same way” as those who are taught evolution.

Later the article adds,

Speaking on MidPoint, Nye said he blames …

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The Dogmatically Self-Assured Reza Aslan

Posted on Dec 08, 2014

Book Review

I’ve been doing some work recently on the theory that Jesus Christ was a legendary figure, so I thought I should read Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Plenty of other people have been reading it. It’s a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and has been named one of the year’s best books by Good Housekeeping, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Bookish, according to its Amazon web page.

I’ll say this much for it: it’s a well-crafted tale. …

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Further Thoughts On the Question of Jesus’ Faith in God

Posted on Dec 07, 2014

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Did Jesus Have Faith In God?

I wrote a couple days ago that there is nothing in the Bible to indicate that Jesus had faith in God, and that this only makes sense if Jesus was himself God.

There are a number of other considerations that provide necessary nuance to that argument. None of them change its basic meaning, however, unless I’m misunderstanding something.

1. Jesus …

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How Jesus’ Not Having Faith In God Affirms His Deity

Posted on Dec 04, 2014

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Did Jesus Have Faith In God?

I was looking over my bookshelf the other day when Fulton Oursler’s The Greatest Faith Ever Known caught my eye. I’ve never read it (like too many other books I own), but I know it’s about the apostle Paul. And it got me wondering: didn’t Jesus have the greatest faith ever known?

No, he didn’t, at least not according to the …

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Cracking Open or Cracking Up: When Someone Who Can’t Not Write Can’t Write

Posted on Dec 04, 2014

Jerry B. Jenkins once said you might be a writer if “you can’t not write.” Jeff Goins said the same thing, as did Richard Price. So have a bunch of people on the Writer’s Digest forums. Even Alanis Morrisette has said it, apparently. If you listen to enough writers you’ll hear many others echoing the same.

I’m saying it too. For most people, I suppose, writing is hard. I don’t want to compare woes—it’s impossible in any case—but I wonder if …

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Giving Thanks for the Privilege of Following the Good and the True

Posted on Nov 28, 2014

I’ve been insanely busy the past two or three months, working at a pace I wouldn’t advise anyone—myself included—to keep up much longer than this. It’s been worth it, though, and today, the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., I want to express my thanks to God for the privilege of serving him.

It’s too easy to let the work of apologetics, including a blog like this one, turn into a sort of academic exercise, or worse, a game to see who can score the …

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David P. Gushee: The Scholar Who Should Have Been Hard To Ignore

Posted on Nov 22, 2014

It’s hard to ignore when a top evangelical ethicist urges believers to change our minds about homosexual relationships. David P. Gushee, who co-wrote the widely used textbook Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context (IVP Academic, 2003), has just released Changing Our Mind: A call from America’s leading evangelical ethics scholar for full acceptance of LGBT Christians in the Church.

It is the most thoughtful work I have seen so far in favor of gay and lesbian relationships. Gushee’s skill as a …

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Different Is Better

Posted on Nov 17, 2014

Different Is Better:

“As Ruden says, ‘Paul was not a 20th-century feminist . . .  but [modern women are] the beneficiaries of a very long list of reforms. [And] Paul, I think, got all that started.’

To understand why that’s the case, it helps to remember that much of the sexual activity Michael Kruger refers to was far from-consensual. It was little more than ‘institutionalized violence,’ which included ‘the rape of slaves, prostitution, and violence against wives and children.’

Paul’s denunciation of …

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