Hypernormal Christianity: a Legacy of Fear

Alexei Yurchak, in his book Everything was Forever, Until it was No More: The Last Soviet Generation, describes what it was like to live in the Soviet Union prior to its collapse. He argues that its flaws were readily apparent to everyone, and that people could see that the system was failing them. But because... Continue Reading →

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So What ABout Isaiah 53?

Last week I outlined some of the key reasons why I cannot accept a penal substitution understanding of the cross. In other words, I do not believe that what happened at the cross was God punishing Jesus in our place. Now don’t misunderstand me. That does not mean I reject the idea of Jesus dealing... Continue Reading →

10 Reasons Why I have Rejected Penal Substitution

Penal Substitution Atonement theory has almost become synonymous with Christianity. So much so, in fact, that I suspect most Christians in the West are not even aware that there are alternative ways of understanding Jesus. I say “in the West” because the Eastern Orthodox churches do not (indeed, never have) understood the Passion of Christ... Continue Reading →

Father, Forgive Them…

Arguably the single most important concept in Christian theology is that of forgiveness. In fact, I am willing to suggest that without the uncompromising prioritisation of unconditional forgiveness, Christianity is only one more brutal expression of the kind of divisive religion that has plagued humanity since the beginning of our history.   Now anybody who... Continue Reading →

Jesus: The Word of God

A friend of mine made the following statement to me last week: "The difference between Catholics and Protestants is that Catholics believe in "Jesus and..."; Protestants believe in "Jesus only". He's wrong, of course. Nobody believes in Jesus only. We all add something. And if I were to be cynical, I would argue that Protestants don’t worship... Continue Reading →

None So Blind

One of my favourite television series is The Big Bang Theory. If you are unfamiliar with the programme, one of its central characters, Dr Sheldon Cooper, is a freakishly intelligent physicist who has absolutely no social skills. As brilliant as his mind is, he simply cannot relate appropriately to other people. Sheldon regulates his relationships... Continue Reading →

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