Thinking Christian

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Jesus Christ

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 …

 

Why “Jesus Saves” Is So Much Better Than “Jesus Approves”

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Jesus Saves

Yesterday I wrote, with examples,

There was a time when people knew what it meant that “Jesus saves.” The punsters’ follow-up, “at First National Bank” degraded the concept when the concept was still known widely enough for the pun to work. In most of Western culture now, though, neither the biblical phrase nor the pun is heard anymore. The concept now (if not the wording) is Jesus approves.

“Jesus saves” means almost nothing to most people …


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From “Jesus Saves” to “Jesus Approves”

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Jesus Saves

There was a time when people knew what it meant that “Jesus saves.” The punsters’ follow-up, “at First National Bank” degraded the concept when the concept was still known widely enough for the pun to work. In most of Western culture now, though, neither the biblical phrase nor the pun is heard anymore. The concept now (if not the wording) is Jesus approves.

As one who still honors the idea that Jesus saves, I know the idea …

 

Jesus Christ and Mr. Spock

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

I’m geeky enough to have been a fan of Star Trek most of my life, and I’m seriously saddened by Leonard Nimoy’s death last week. So was the famous Jesus mythicist Robert Price, who wrote a eulogy, The Second Death of Mr. Spock.

“Anyone remotely familiar with the Star Trek episodes and movies,” he says, “knows that Mr. Spock was a Christ figure.” The tenor of his piece is reflected by a comment left there by “BiologicalBert”, which reads in part, “I wonder if …

 

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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Book Review: How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test for Faith, by David Marshall

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Book Review

How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test: The Inside Story by David Marshall.

(Full disclosure: David Marshall is a friend and a contributor to True Reason, in which he wrote an early, brief form of part of the argument in How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test. This review is based on a draft David sent me before final editing, so I will not be quoting much from it.)

In the earliest days of the church there was a skeptic named Celsus whose …

 

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 …

 

God With Us!

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us).

(Matthew 1:23)

I’ve just blogged again about the New Testament’s treatment of Jesus as God. This is relevant to the day; it is at the heart of the Christmas story: Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. As my favorite Christmas-and-Easter passage, Philippians 2:5-11, puts it:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in …


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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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