Over the years, I've participated in discussions on USENET and had interesting e-mail exchanges. Some of the following material is adapted from that electronic correspondence, and some is original for this web site.
One reason I feel urged to write is what I perceive as the one-sidedness of issues discussed on the Internet. Here I attempt to achieve some balance, correct bad facts, but most of all to promote understanding between differing groups. Toward that end, comments from others about these pages have been added.
When trying to characterize the approach I take on these pages, two scriptures from the Bible came to mind:
(Matthew 10:16 NRSV) "... be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."
(2 Corinthians 3:6 NRSV) "...for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."
Articles posted here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization I may be associated with.
- Faith and Works
- Well which is it? Faith or works? St. James and St. Paul fight it out.
- In the continuing attempt to think through the tension between faith and works, this article looks at one kind of "faith" that definitely has works.
- Feelings: A study of Mark 6:10-12
- Can one select what to live by from the Bible based on one's feelings, or are there better tools around?
- Bible Primer
- A basic introduction to the Bible for those who know nothing about it.
- Which Bible Translation
- My recommendations on which Bible translations to use and which not to rely on.
- The King James Version
- Is it "God's Word perfected in English"?
- The New International Version
- "Mum, Dad! Don't touch it. It's evil.2"
- The Cursing of the Fig Tree
- Is the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree really a parable disguised as a historical narrative?
- Why Inauthentic? A study on Matthew 5:17-20
- Were all the words attributed in the Gospels to Jesus actually spoken by him, or did the Christian community say things in the name of Jesus because they believed they knew what he would have said?
- Why have you forsaken me? (Mark 15:34)
- The words of Jesus from the cross signal admission of defeat according to scoffers, or testify to the inability of God to look upon sin for some Christians. But is this what Jesus really meant? This essay discusses the words of Jesus from the cross in light of Psalm 22.
- Two versions of the Flood of Noah
- You didn't know there were two versions of Noah's flood in the Bible? Well here's the whole story...
- Bible Dates
- Here is a tabular compilation of the books of the Bible, when they were written, and by whom.
- Was Jesus a Historical Person?
- Well I think so, but you might want to look at the "evidence."
- The Historical Jesus
- The first of two articles exploring the dilemma of the historical Jesus. Who was he and why cannot modern scholars agree?
- More Historical Jesus
- More on the Historical Jesus
- The Jesus Seminar
- The Jesus Seminar (a group of about 50 New Testament scholars who meet and discuss the historical Jesus) is a subject that just won't go away. Seldom is there any subject which invokes such un-Christian and un-scholarly attacks from Christians and scholars. On the occasion of the publication of two articles on the Seminar in the April 1997 issue of Bible Review, I have dusted off some of my old USENET postings on the subject. At the end of the article is a link to the essay from Bible Review.
- The Jesus Seminar (2)
- Another article on the Jesus Seminar.
- Law and Sanctification
- This article (one of the best of this set in my opinion) deals with personal growth as sanctification increases and law becomes irrelevant.
- The Atonement: A critical appraisal
- A standard Christian understanding of the life and death of Jesus is that he brought salvation to mankind by taking the place of animal sacrifices. Can the death of Jesus be meaningful in some other way?
- Animal Sacrifices
- In the Old Testament, there are descriptions of bizarre and bloody rituals of animal sacrifice. Is this what God wanted?
- A Field Guide to Heresies
- Here's a thumbnail description of various early Christian heresies.
- I Prefer Roses to Tulips
- This article points out my problem with Reformed theology.
- Are billions of human beings headed for eternal torture? Is the Bible plain on this subject? Warning, graphic depictions.
- Addressing a difficult subject, this article notes that biblical inerrancy is not scriptural and suggests that the doctrine is not a good idea either.
- Did Jesus Die?
- A look at the Christian doctrine of death and the death of Jesus in particular.
- Left Behind?
- My comments on a "Novel of the Earth's Last Days".
- Different views on the must misused book of the Bible.
- Differences Between Christians, a Primer
- An atheist once asked me to explain why there were so many Christian denominations and to explain what makes them different. This is my attempt.
- What is a Cult?
- What is a Cult? Here is a list of characteristics of a cult that I have found useful. Source unknown.
- Christian Unity
- Isn't Christianity unity a presumption?
- The Parousia
- Whether it's a century with three zeros in it or something else, many Christians seem convinced that these are the "end times" and that the world is coming to a close. Is this a new phenomenon?
- Of course the Bible is clear in its condemnation of homosexual practice, isn't it?
- First International Conference on Sexuality
- A remarkable billion-year-old document chronicling the first primordial conference on sexuality.
- All Male Priesthood?
- Why I don't agree with the all-male priesthood. This article is primarily addressed to Orthodox Christians, but applies generally.
- My Story
- A word about my own faith journey.
- The Saint Lays Dying (poem)
- A poem about dealing with death and suffering.
- The Letter Kills
- Why literal-mindedness is the greatest threat to Christianity in the world today.
- The King James Only Controversy
- Why has a Bible translation, wonderful in its day but now rather out of date, become the only real Word of God for many and why do some demonize all modern translations? The King James Only movement (perhaps next to Creation Science) is one of the biggest purveyors of misinformation from those who call themselves Christian.
- Was the Apostle Paul a Historical Person
- Huh? Yeah, that was my reaction.
- Luther and the Jews
- A look at the anti-Jewish writings of Martin Luther.
- Was Hitler a Christian? [Revised Feb. 2003]
- It is surprising to me that there is debate on this topic on the net, but there is. This article gives a definitive answer to the question, "Was Hitler a Christian?".
- The Verdict: A Reply to Josh McDowell
- To paraphrase Hugh Nibley 1, "No Sir, That's Not Evidence".
- Bumper Sticker Religion
- Favorite religious slogans seen on t-shirts and bumper stickers. (Material wanted.)
- The 666 Cover-up
- The Mark of the Beast is in places you never realized.
- Marx's Criticism of Feuerbach and its Application to Kierkegaard
- I guess the title says it all.
1. Hugh Nibley is a Mormon scholar and apologist who wrote No Ma'am, That's Not History, a critical book review of Fawn Brodie's biography of Latter-day Saints founder Joseph Smith, No Man Knows My History.
2. From the movie, Time Bandits.
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