Thinking Christian

Thinking Christianity for church, home, and community


The Overwhelming, Mysterious, Multi-dimensional Glory of God’s Goodness

Friday, August 28th, 2015

I don’t know how to speak this well enough. It would take a poet. God is good, and his way is good. It’s very good. It’s rich, it’s beautiful, it’s mulit-dimensional, it’s mysterious where it ought to be, and it’s plain where it should be. It’s dizzyingly satisfying. It’s glorious. It’s right.

I don’t know how to say that well enough, partly because there’s an aspect in it of “you had to be there.” You could go there, actually, because what I’m talking about is …

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Why “Jesus Saves” Is More Real Than “Jesus Affirms You”

Friday, August 21st, 2015

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Jesus Saves

Jesus saves vs. Jesus affirms: which is the better answer for the moral questions of our day?

A whole lot of people are telling us Jesus Christ approves of homosexual practice and gay marriage. That’s one way of solving a moral issue: find a way to hear Jesus saying it’s okay after all.

I don’t think much of that, and the reason I’m going to give probably isn’t what you think it’s …


The Jealousy of God (Reading Paul Copan Together)

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

This entry is part 3 of 4 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 affirm that God is jealous. …

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Five Reasons In One We Can’t Judge God By Human Standards

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Ebaur was wondering about why I set up one of the decision points in this chart the way I did, and asked yesterday,

God doesn’t pass muster against human moral standards. I don’t understand why we should be required to only judge God’s actions by the standards God puts forward. If the consensus of most humans is that some action is morally objectionable and God does just that thing… then can’t we still conclude God is immoral?

This is a very important question, …

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To Make the Charge Stick (Reading Paul Copan Together)

Monday, November 10th, 2014

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Reading Paul Copan

The first chapter of Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster raised very little reaction. It won’t always be that way in this Reading Paul Copan series.

I thought it might be helpful to do some advance work on what it would take to make the charge of God’s immorality stick. This flowchart presents a graphical view of what’s required to get there.

This should be useful in two …

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Reading Together: Is God a Moral Monster?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Today only(?) on Kindle: Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God  for only $2.99!

A few weeks ago Keith suggested we read through this book together, and now, after a long hiatus due to travel, meetings, and conferences, I’m ready to kick off the discussion. It seems providential that this sale is on today–you can download your copy of the book and start reading. You can use your computer or smartphone to read it if you don’t own …

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If not the Bible, then how did we come to know that slavery is wrong?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

That WWJTD’s response to my August 24 post, Ten Reasons the Bible Has It Right On Slavery, was scornful is hardly surprising. First, he caught me legitimately in an error: I misused the word “condone” where I meant “heartily affirm.” I should have said, “Note that the Bible does not heartily affirm everything that it recognizes, nor even everything that it regulates (divorce being one other example).”

JT notes correctly that the Bible does condone slavery, which is to say, it allows that …


Wake Up! Wake Up!

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Wake up! Wake up to this! Wake up to that! Can anyone realistically wake up to everything? No. To try would be to exhaust yourself right back to sleep. What then shall we do with all that’s going on in the world? As I’ve written in this month’s BreakPoint column, that’s the Crisis of the Caring Conscience.

While I’m mentioning articles, I’d like to direct your attention to an interesting one from a blogger who says he doesn’t know much at all. I …

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Who Is the Bigot?

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Who is the bigot?

Mark Joseph Stern proposes an answer to that question in a recent Slate article, taking his cues from a new book by Stephen Eric Bronner, titled The Bigot: Why Prejudice Persists.

Stern makes it amazingly simple: “Anybody who opposes equal rights for gay people” is a bigot by definition. That much is easy. As we’ll see in a moment, though, it’s hard to understand what moral basis he builds that belief on.

I’ll come to that shortly, but first, for context, …


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