She was stabbed to death on a sunny, Saturday morning in a suburb near Austin, Texas. It was April 18th … Read More “Infinitely Entangled: A Story of a Murder and a God Who Cried”
It’s a Saturday night somewhere. A warm summer breeze caresses a chiseled male jaw. The middle-aged man with grey … Read More “A History of Virginity: Purity Culture’s Ideals, Feminist Critiques, and a Philosophy of History; Or, How in the Hell Did We Go From Virginity to Hymens to Purity Balls?”
Is purity culture correct when it assumes that premarital sex is immoral due to a loss of virginity, which is … Read More “The Ethics of Virginity: The Bible, Purity Culture, and Feminist Critics”
Ancient copies of the New Testament attest to the fact that humans, as always, exaggerate the deeds and actions of … Read More “From “Behold the Man” to “Jesus the God”: An Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism and the Corruption of the Bible”
In the middle of the second-century there developed within Christianity a rival movement that would consume virtually the whole of … Read More “Marcion and Tertullian: A Tale of a god Who Wouldn’t Be”
For Schleiermacher, Jesus was the embodiment of tangible God-consciousness. Jesus came to earth to help restore our God-consciousness. He did this by allowing us to participate in Him (in participating in Christ, Christians participate in God-consciousness). Once that occurs, three things happen: (1) The person is immediately aware of his or her state of sin; (2) The person becomes aware of the need for a savior and the need for grace; and (3) The person then responds by having the feeling of absolute dependence restored. Redemption occurs only by means of God’s grace and His revelation. His revelation of Himself is entirely gracious. Our response must be nothing but humble thankfulness.
Sin—and its ugly cousins, guilt and atonement—are not very popular topics. Christopher Hitchens called the atonement—that “ancient superstition”—Christianity’s most immoral … Read More “Sin, Guilt, and Atonement in Judaism: Why Jesus is Not the (Jewish) Answer”
I am thoroughly convinced that Kierkegaard is right in arguing immediately that love is subjective. That does not mean that love is not absolute. It is absolute, and has its grounding in an objective God. However, love is subjective in the sense that we can all be hearing the same thing from a particular person and only one of us may react in a loving reciprocal manner. That is, only one may actually subjectively feel love being conveyed. Romeo may objectively be verbalizing feelings of love—feelings which none of us could subjectively relate to. An objective event may be taking place (in fact, it is) but not all of us have subjective access to that objective reality. We all know that Romeo directed his loving words, carried on sound waves, to one person and one person only: Juliet. While those sound waves could have been recorded and examined objectively by a team of empirical scientists, love would never be conveyed in their thorough analysis. Not a single scientist would fall in love with Romeo. Not a single scientist would intuitively and subjectively know and experience the love contained in those words. In this sense—in this thoroughly Kierkegaardian approach—the love which is ejected from the innermost part of a human being is specifically directed, like a beam of light, at a particular person in a particular moment.
People the world over like to know about ultimate meaning in life. They want to know whether God exists, whether … Read More “Predestination and Free Will in Islam and Christianity: A Comparison”