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Posted by on Jun 16, 2016 | 3 comments

The Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God…”

The Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God…”

**This post is part of a series reflecting on the Nicene Creed** << Previous post View series Next post >>   We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. The catalyst for the Nicene Creed, as Alex detailed in his introductory post, was the question: WHO IS THE SON OF GOD? To enter into this historical discussion is to wade into a truly complicated and often descriptively oversimplified discussion of the Christological debate in the early Church.[1] The central question revolved around the issue of the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God—was the Son a divine soul embedded within a human body? a moral exemplar, the best of what it is to be human but not divine? a divine person who only appeared to be human, but was not? To begin the creed with the affirmation of one God, Father, and Creator, might appear at first glance to be concerned with something other...

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Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 | 4 comments

There Is No “Evidence for the Existence of God”

There Is No “Evidence for the Existence of God”

One of my most intelligent childhood friends abandoned his Christian faith at age 20, telling me that he couldn’t find a single scrap of evidence for God’s existence. It would be an insult to both his friendship and his intelligence to call such a view ridiculous, and my friend is far from the only person I know who says such things. Besides, with religious belief (or its lack) a lot more usually goes on than rational weighing of probabilities. But it is probably worth something to show that the kind of God described by Christianity is not the kind whose existence “evidence” could ever prove or disprove – that it is rather like Othello demanding evidence for Shakespeare’s existence, or Harry Potter asking whether there is a magical spell so powerful it can reveal J.K. Rowling to him. The Christian definition of ‘God’ is not that he is an invisible spiritual being who is extremely powerful and has the ability to produce stuff out of nothing, who once produced the...

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Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 | 1 comment

Noah’s Righteousness Contra the Wicked

Noah’s Righteousness Contra the Wicked

This post is not yet another assessment of the recently released movie Noah. Others have done a good (and not so good) job of evaluating how this movie harmonizes with the biblical account. Instead, this post is using the excuse of a new and popular movie to return to a key biblical theme that carries water in our current age: wickedness and righteousness. In Genesis 6:5 it is written: The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. (NRSV) The language at the start of this verse should be familiar. Where have we heard it prior in the book of Genesis? The last time the verb “to see” (ראה) contained God as the subject of seeing is in the creation account. God saw the light, the vegetation, the beasts, and the human, that is, all that he had made and it was very good. The next time the text points to God’s seeing...

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Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 | 1 comment

Does God Watch While You Have Sex?

Does God Watch While You Have Sex?

How do you imagine God engaging your world? Does he answer your prayers? Does he stand back and watch? Does he hide himself behind natural law and science? Does he perform miracles? Does he wait for the end times? What does he do? For centuries, God was imagined to be active in all the mundane aspects of life. He was there when we harvested and cooked and ate, he was there when we built our houses or forged our tools, and he was most certainly there when we had sex. Most of us don’t feel that way anymore. Most of us think that God stands at a distance looking down on the creation – that he rarely, if ever, intervenes – much like a Victorian English matron, certainly not interested in sex. Even those of us who don’t believe this at a cognitive level live as though it were gospel. For instance, where does your food come from? We all understand the life of the vegetable: there is a...

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Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 | 0 comments

Salvation is not the point.  The point is what we do with Salvation.

Salvation is not the point. The point is what we do with Salvation.

At this moment a 450 ton, 385 foot long, monstrosity of mining equipment is parked in southern Idaho. This so-called “mega-load” is headed for the tar sands oil operations of Northern Alberta and thus has another 1300 miles to travel before it is used in the most energy and water demanding mining process in the already-black history of oil drilling. A profoundly well argued critical analysis of the dangers and costs associated with the mega-loads can be found in David James Duncan and Rick Bass’ The Heart of the Monster. Sitting here in Idaho, the local papers document, rather, the crawling 60 mile-per-day progress of the load: mostly to inform us about the impending traffic closures. The Christian community has responded in its typical fashion—with silence: silent about the tar sands, silent about our backyard mega-load corridor, silent about clear-cutting, dam building, and fracking—silent. Christian political discourse in this county has become so warped that you would think God cared more about stopping gay folks from having sex than...

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