Showing posts from August, 2018

Jesus Doesn't Save

It seems like the news has been stuck on repeat lately. Every few months, we hear about another mass shooting, another sexual harassment lawsuit, another unarmed black man shot to death by a police officer. Any Christian would find it hard to disagree that our world is in need of Jesus. But in what way? Most Christians confess that "Jesus saves", but few realize this means different things in different types of churches. In fact, there are at least three main theories of atonement (the "how" Jesus saves). And each one will have a significant influence over how you live and interact with the evil in the world. Three Theories of Atonement For most Protestant and Catholic Christians, atonement means Jesus paid our debt. This is known as the satisfaction theory . Our sin offended God, so Jesus satisfied him on our behalf. Catholics, in particular, will say that Jesus paid the price for our sins, whereas many Protestants will say he paid the penalty for our si

Respect Your Spiritual Parents

Guest post for The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews : "That's weird." One of my Jewish colleagues was describing his recent visit to a jewelry website. He was shopping for a necklace to give his daughter when he came upon one with four Hebrew letters: yod , hey , vav , hey . These are the letters that spell God's special name, as given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the rest of the Jewish people. I grew up in an evangelical church where this name was celebrated in song, so the four letters appearing on a necklace did not seem weird to me at all. But it sure did to my friend. Continue reading... Related Posts None of the Law Applies Today (and that's why you should read it) For the Love of God, Read the Whole Bible Liberal Christians are Terrible Theologians You Don't Have to Support Israel Lost in Translation --- Like my page on Facebook for more Christian skepticism.

The Biblical Grounds for Divorce Aren't Biblical

I hate divorce. I've witnessed how it can destroy individuals, families, even entire communities. Sadly, our culture glorifies the unbridled pursuit of self-fulfillment and made marriage little more than dating with paperwork. When relationships are defined by selfishness instead of sacrifice, love becomes another trend to be discarded at the season's end. But I've also witnessed how divorce can redeem relationships. Believe it or not, my family is better off since my folks got divorced. All situations, good and bad, are opportunities for redemption. The church should understand this better than anyone. But just like our culture needs to be re-educated on marriage, the church needs to be re-educated on divorce . If you've been married and a Christian for any length of time, you're probably familiar with the "biblical grounds for divorce" nonsense. Depending on your church's denomination or capacity for compassion, these grounds would include one