Dealing With the Problem of Sin

Metaphors matter. The ways that we understand ourselves and our place in the world are firmly grounded in the pictures we design to represent key abstract principles. Plainly speaking, in order to make sense of an overwhelming universe, in an attempt to create order out of the chaos, we tell stories, we develop languages, we [...]

Advertisements

Did Jesus Meet Satan in the Desert?

After I argued against the existence of Satan as a “person” in my last post, someone asked me how I would then account for Jesus’ encounter with Satan in the desert. I confess I have been at a bit of a loss as to how to structure an answer. That is not to say that [...]

A Very Brief History of Satan

The truth is that I have not spent much time incorporating the satan into my theology. So when a commentator requested last week that I explain my beliefs regarding the satan, I was a little anxious, to be honest. The request makes sense, though: if I am dismissing the notion of hell as a literal [...]

A Hermeneutic From Below

The problem with believing that God was punishing Jesus on the cross for our sins, as Michael Hardin points out, is that it doesn’t take sin nearly seriously enough. It limits the power of sin to the personal. In other words, it implies that the primary problem with sin is that I will be harshly [...]

Atonement as Liturgy: The Cross Re-examined

In recent weeks, I have explained why I feel compelled to reject the Penal Substitution Atonement philosophies that underpin many of the theologies and practices in the Western church. But if PSA is no longer adequate for explaining atonement for me, then I need to re-evaluate some of the key questions (Why did God choose [...]

Putting my Jesus on Trial

I am a bit of a Thomas. When Thomas was told that Jesus had risen, he refused to believe it unless he could see Jesus with his own eyes, and touch the terrible scars (John 20:24-29). I, too, refuse to accept the Jesus presented to me by the Western church, until I can be certain, [...]

Sin: Failing the Test

I have heard it preached from too many pulpits. Well-meaning preachers, who have never really taken the time to reflect on the analogy properly, depict Jesus on the cross as the bridge spanning an impassable chasm between us and God. Alternatively, we are at the bottom of a ladder, trying to attain God’s impossible standards [...]

Sinful Thoughts

There are times I am embarrassed to call myself Christian. Not because I am ashamed of Jesus. Not at all. He makes sense. But the picture of Christianity the world gets has become so antithetical to everything I stand for that I don’t want to be associated with it. So much internet real estate and [...]