In 19th century England, Atheists knew more about the Bible than most Christians do today. So did Liberal Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics, Unitarians, and Agnostics. So claims Timothy Larsen in A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians (Oxford, 2011). Larsen makes a convincing case that Victorian England was saturated with the Bible. Nineteenth century English people in general cared … Continue reading Even Atheists Knew More About the Bible Than Christians Do Today
Word meanings sometimes shift. I have begun to wonder whether one commonplace word has begun to shift recently—aiding certain contemporary Christians who want to minimize their sin and justify ongoing sin patterns. There’s nothing new, of course, about Christians searching for ways to avoid feeling bad about sinning. But modern Christians have become remarkably adept … Continue reading “Broken” as an Excuse for Repetitive Sinning
Sometimes people skeptical of Christianity claim that the Apostle Paul, not Jesus, was the primary innovator of many things we think of as “Christian.” Some take it even further and claim that Paul so radically changed the teaching of Jesus that he, rather than Jesus, should be viewed as the true founder of Christianity. I’m … Continue reading Did Paul Invent Christianity?
I remember sitting in my office with a student who was thinking about moving out of evangelical Protestantism and into a different church tradition. He began thinking this way after he started reading widely in the writings of Christian authors from earlier eras. After being exposed to various authors who sometimes expressed divergent viewpoints from … Continue reading Is the Bible Clear?
The key insight of the Enneagram that Christians seem most attracted to—and that, in many people’s opinions sets it apart from other personality and strengths-finding tests—is its diagnosis of people’s sinful tendencies (what some Enneagramites refer to as “passions” and “fixations”). In other words, the Enneagram is supposed to help us identify nine detrimental paths … Continue reading Rather than the Enneagram: Let the Bible Highlight Your Sin Tendencies
About four years ago, politically conservative news commentator Dennis Prager (Jewish in his faith) posted 11 short videos about the Ten Commandments. Since then Prager has received an astonishing 2-4 million views on each video. A friend at my church recently asked what I thought of these videos. So, for his sake I listened to … Continue reading Dennis Prager on the Ten Commandments: A Few Reflections
Recently, Trudi and I hosted six of my current college students for dinner. (Note: as is our custom, we invited all my current students, but this time only six came). In addition to those six were my wife, Trudi, and my daughter, Grace. The nine of us had a great time together, and a wonderful … Continue reading What kind of person do you hope to be in twenty years?
Several of my college students in recent days have asked for my opinion about the Enneagram of Personality. It turns out that while I’ve had my nose stuck in my Greek New Testament, the Enneagram has become all the rage. So I decided to hunker down and educate myself about the Enneagram. My initial take … Continue reading The Not-So-Sacred Enneagram: A Book Review of The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher L. Heuertz
“But that’s legalism!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard those words. A Christian friend suggests that it’s unwise to smoke marijuana, and they get blasted with: “But that’s legalism!” A pastor preaches on the importance of generosity, and he receives a terse note with three words on it (or four, if you … Continue reading “But that’s legalism!” What Legalism Is and Isn’t
I’ll bet you’re curious to know what this post is about! Actually, I love curious people, and find those who lack curiosity to be a bit boring. Still, there are some things that are good to be curious about, and others that vie for our attention that are not edifying. Here are two things worthy of … Continue reading Morbid Curiosity