Thinking Christian

Thinking Christianity for church, home, and community


Christians Are Called to be Great

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

While I learn my new position as senior editor with The Stream, I’ll  be re-posting older, “evergreen” blog posts that were written on an older blogging system and aren’t directly accessible from this one. This one was originally published in 2005. It’s a long study, admittedly. It’s also been extremely influential in my own thinking and in others’ from around the world.

Called to be Great

This message is intended primarily for people who don’t think it’s for them: those who will look at the …


Sources for “Where the Gospels Came From”

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Someone on Facebook asked for a footnoted version of my satire, “Where the Gospels Came From. Here it is. The links I’ve placed in here are representative of many, for these beliefs are widespread. I doubt you could find one single atheist source that makes all these claims about the source of the gospels, but they’re all floating freely “out there” on the atheist Internet. RS is shorthand for representative source material.

Back in the Bronze Age the world was naive. People knew nothing …


Where the Gospels Came From

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Have you ever wondered where the gospels came from? Here’s your answer, compiled from Bart Ehrman (for the telephone game) and too many atheist Internet sources to list. (Yes, this is satire.)

Back in the Bronze Age the world was naive. People knew nothing of the sciences of reproduction, decay, entropy, metabolism, genetics–and therefore they didn’t know that babies are never born to virgins, and men who die never rise from the dead.

One of those naive tribes was the Jews, living under subjugation …


My Personal Opinion On This Passage Is…

Friday, August 7th, 2015

I got an email a while ago asking for help promoting a crowd-sourced study Bible called everyword. Maybe my mention of it here will count as promoting it, but that’s not my intention; rather I want to challenge the concept while exploring the worldview that seems partly to be motivating it.

(Here’s a PDF of the Kickstarter page in case the link goes dead someday.)


The project description includes,

By crowdsourcing Biblical commentary, everyword seeks to bring people of diverse faiths and …

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The Judgment Has Been Delivered. The Debate Is Settled.

Friday, June 26th, 2015

The Supreme Court has ruled on gay marriage in the U.S. Does this mean it’s all over? That the debate is settled?

Yes and no.

Yes, it’s settled. No, it’s not because the Supreme Court has ruled on the matter, and it’s not settled in the way the court ruled.

Court rulings are often overturned. This one should be. The justices have created for themselves the right to create rights. The circularity there should be obvious. It’s an invention out of vapor, an action based upon nothing. …


Was Jesus Wrong About the Time of His Return?

Friday, February 27th, 2015

This is just a short snippet out of a larger discussion, but I thought it might be worth including here anyway. In Luke 21:20-28, Jesus speaks of the end times. As I was reading it just now, it almost seemed in the first four of those verses as if Jesus was speaking of the fall of Jerusalem as the end of all things, “to fulfill all that is written.”

If that was what Jesus meant, he was centuries (at least!) wrong about the time of …

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Ehrman Errs on Jesus’ Authority To Forgive

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

I ran across this charming nugget from Bart Ehrman yesterday:

When Jesus forgives sins, he never says “I forgive you,” as God might say, but “your sins are forgiven,” which means that God has forgiven the sins. This prerogative for pronouncing sins forgiven was otherwise reserved for Jewish priests in honor of sacrifices that worshipers made at the temple.

Ehrman, Bart D. (2014-03-25). How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (p. 127). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

That’s right. Jesus merely says …


Responding to Dale Tuggy on Jesus and Faith

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Did Jesus Have Faith In God?

I got a bit of pushback from Dule Tuggy, professor of philosophy at SUNY Fredonia, on my posts about Jesus and faith. Dr. Tuggy’s series on my posts begins here. His view is that although Jesus is never spoken of as having faith, nevertheless he demonstrated faith:

I’ll stick to this point: the gospels don’t need to say that Jesus had faith in God, because they clearly portray Jesus’s …

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The Dogmatically Self-Assured Reza Aslan

Monday, December 8th, 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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