Theological Influences: The Churches of Christ — Experimental Theology

I think I jumped too quickly to college and George MacDonald when thinking about theological influences. I should have started with my faith tradition, the Churches of Christ.The most profound and lasting theological influence in my life has been being a lifelong member of the Churches of Christ. To be sure, if you know anything…

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Quiz Show: Bible Contradictions! — Triablogue

Normally I wouldn’t bother commenting on something this sophomoric: considering the fact that it’s approaching 2.5 million views, with over 32,000 comments and 95,000 upvotes, I’ll make an exception. Do you find my videos offensive?Actually, atheists should be embarrassed by the intellectual quality of his videos. If anyone ought to be offended, that would be atheists,…

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Church Write-Up: Atoning for Betrayal

At the LCMS Lenten service today, the pastor preached about Judas, who betrayed Jesus. The pastor said that Jesus bore our sins of betrayal and our failure to live up to our obligations to people on the cross. Judas, however, tried to solve his guilt problem by himself, by returning the thirty pieces of silver that he was paid to betray Jesus. The result, of course, was disastrous, since Judas committed suicide. By contrast, Peter, who had denied Jesus, was restored by Jesus himself.

The pastor said that Jesus atoned for our sins, but that does not necessarily mean that our relationships with people will be as they were prior to the sins. People’s impressions of us may remain the same. He referred to the view that, when James in James 1:6-8 refers to a double-minded man who is unstable in all of his ways, James has in mind Peter, particularly Peter’s denial of Jesus. Peter could not live down the betrayal, according to this view. I don’t know. James says that a double-minded man will not receive anything from the Lord. Would James say that about Peter, a man whose ministry God blessed?

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Was the American Civil War About Slavery?

Thinking Pacifism

Ted Grimsrud—March 20, 2019

As I continue to read and think about the American Civil War, I find many questions to struggle with. A significant one is on the surface fairly simple: Was slavery the main issue over which the war was fought? Of course, this question turns out to be anything but simple. A lot depends on where one stands in relation to the Civil War itself.

Two different viewpoints

Clearly slavery was a contentious issue during the first half of the 18thcentury. However, a related issue was also central: How much freedom to pursue pro-slavery policies would individual states and regions have? This question led many, especially in the South, to pose the issues as centering on what came to be called “states rights,” or the relation between the self-determination of specific states and the authority exercised over states by the federal government.

So, in the…

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How “Case for Christ” Author Lee Strobel Fabricated His Best-Selling Story—An Interview with Religion Critic David Fitzgerald

Reblogging for future reference:


Case for Christ MovieMany Evangelicals think of Lee Strobel as the man who can cure your doubts about their religion. His 1998 book, The Case for Christ, has sold millions of copies, was made into a 2017 movie by the same name, and was recently re-issued in a “new and updated” edition.

The story that Evangelicals find so convincing and delicious is this: Strobel, a tough-as-nails atheist journalist and his atheist family are out to dinner when his daughter is saved from choking to death by an evangelical nurse who felt called by God to go to the restaurant that night. Strobel’s wife converts, and Strobel sets out to prove her wrong, using the same strategy that made him a fearsome investigative journalist. He lines up scholars and theologians and confronts them with the hardest possible questions about their faith—and comes away convinced that the Evangelical view of the Bible and Jesus is…

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The Devil’s Redemption — Triablogue

Given longstanding Christian opposition to universalism, how has it gained so many adherents in recent times?The change was a long time coming. As I show in my book, from the time of Origen onward there were individual Christian thinkers who held to some version of Origenist universalism. 430 more words

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Book Review: The War That Made America

Edge Induced Cohesion

The War That Made America:  A Short History Of The French And Indian War, by Fred Anderson

This is the sort of short history of the French and Indian War that makes for compelling reading and plenty of material to think about.  When the American colonists and the English government were racking up huge debts to decisively defeat the French and later the Spanish in such areas as the West Indies and North America and India, among other places, the English did not think to wonder what differences they and their settler colonists had in mind when it came to the meaning and legitimacy of Empire.  But they should have paid attention to these matters.  The author does a particularly good job at discussing the importance of the various indigenous peoples from the six nations to their unwilling tributaries to the Cherokees to the war plans of both the French…

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