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Strange Fire: John MacArthur, Mark Driscoll, the Holy Spirit, and the Satan

I first heard about the Strange Fire controversy when my Twitter feed started tweeting up a storm on Monday. The drama centered on a confrontation between two conservative mega church pastors, John MacArthur and Mark Driscoll. Most of my Twitter friends are theological liberals, and we liberals love it when our conservative brethren get in fights. Woo-hoo! A scandal! This scandal, like most scandals, was ov ...

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July 4th and the Table of Demons

On July 4th I will be attending the annual party at my son and daughter-in-law’s home. They will be serving up smoked chicken and spare ribs while fireworks from neighboring towns inscribe a nearly 360° circle around their backyard. While we are waving our flags with differing degrees of enthusiasm, one member of my family will not be with us: my sister the Jehovah’s Witness. As much as we’ve tried to persu ...

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Same Sex Marriage, the Supreme Court, and Three Reasons Christians Should Not Marry

What Paul said is true, “those who marry will experience distress,” but those who marry will also experience great joy. Christian marriage is about two people reflecting the unconditional love of God to the world. We need more people doing that. The Supreme Court’s decision last week was a sign that God is making this institution new. And I say thanks be to God. ...

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Star Trek: Into Darkness and Changing Course

Star Trek: Into Darkness is a fascinating and complicated story that is well worth watching. Instead of providing a summary, I want to explore three related aspects of the movie that have to do with mimetic theory: sacrifice, blood, and hope for a more peaceful future. Live Long and Prosper – The Sacrificial Formula In a reference to my favorite Star Trek movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the current ...

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Flight: Denzel Saves Jesus from a Fate Worse Than Death

And this is gonna sound really stupid coming from a man who’s in prison... but for the first time in my life... I’m free. Denzel Washington in the movie, Flight   I found Jesus in an alcoholic airline pilot. I know. It's not your normal place for a Jesus sighting. Mostly we see Jesus as a superhero, the way Mel Gibson portrayed him in the The Passion of the Christ. Someone had to save Jesus from that simpli ...

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Jesus Gives a Reading Lesson

God renews Creation from a cross where Jesus would take the worst we have to offer one another – the ridicule, the beatings, the shame and horror of public execution – and offer not vengeance but forgiveness. Luke’s good news is that the high Priest has returned to make the Great Atoning Sacrifice on our behalf and the impact of that sacrifice has been working its way through human history for 2000 years. ...

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Halloween, God, and the Monster Within

Adam discusses the theological and anthropological implications of Halloween. It is the day when it is socially acceptable to dress up and identify with what is socially unacceptable. One example is monsters. On Halloween we identify with our monsters. This is interesting because it is easy to identify others as monsters, but difficult to identify our own monstrous behavior and tendencies. The anthropologis ...

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Kristen Stewart: Modern Sex Scandals and Ancient Sacrifice

Last night someone asked me if I’d heard about the Kristen Stewart sex scandal. Unfortunately, I had. Because I check my email. I go through yahoo.com to get to my email, in part because yahoo.com is a quick way to catch up on news. Apparently, the folks at yahoo.com thought the story, with the headline “Stewart Cheats with Director,” was news. Stewart, as you may know, plays the lead character in the Twili ...

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Voices of Peace Talk Radio with theologian James Alison

Theologian James Alison joined the Voices of Peace Talk Radio (formerly called Playing for Keeps) on May 4, 2012 to explore how The Hunger Games and chapter 7 of the Old Testament book of Joshua have something very important in common: a lottery in which the winners get to die for the sake of the community. Many people joined Adam and Bob in the discussion with James to explore how lotteries are used as vio ...

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