This is the third in a series of posts on Understanding the Bible in the 21st century. It is important we begin not with what people say about the Bible, but what it says about itself.
I have argued (Everyone disbelieves some parts of the Bible) that, while most christians say we follow the Bible as our standard of what to believe and do, in fact all of us make exceptions for certain parts. So how do we decide how to interpret the tricky parts of the Bible?
Christians have probably argued more about the Bible, and how to interpret it, than almost anything else. Many churches say they believe the “Bible alone”, echoing the Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura. Yet I believe there is always a gap between the claim and the actual belief. I am a christian who believes the Bible […]
I’ve been a Bob Dylan fan since 1963, when he was often described as a “protest singer”. But after only a few albums of “protest music”, he turned his back on it all, and wrote a song with the refrain: “Ah but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” Sometimes I […]
Christians disagree, and sometimes argue, about many things. Current hot topics include: homosexuality, divorce, hell, evolution and Genesis, the place of women in the church, Biblical inerrancy, war, climate change, and the importance of ‘good works’ like social justice and social welfare. Some christians get very worried about the failure of many of their fellow […]
I am looking at some of the core convictions of the Anabaptists, not because I am an Anabaptist, but because I think we learn from them. We have seen that they emphasise following Jesus, not just believing in him or worshiping him. What does this mean for how we read the Bible?
Jesus is arguably the most influential person who ever lived. But what is his influence? How should we understand him, and how should we respond to him? I think the Anabaptists have something worthwhile to tell us here. (See my previous post on the Anabaptists.)
The Anabaptist are a often forgotten part of the christian church. We know about the split which separated the eastern Orthodox churches from the Roman church. In the west we are more familiar with the Reformation, where the Protestant churches split from the Roman Catholic church. But there was a third group in the Reformation, […]
The battle lines used to seem so clear. Religion taught that we earned favour with God by “being good” or “doing good works”. Christianity, on the other hand, taught that we received favour from God by grace, through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9. QED.
I have previously posted on the various views christians have on who will be saved (Can only christians be saved?). The exclusivists say only those who specifically believe in Jesus. The universalists say everyone, eventually. And the inclusivists say anyone who follows whatever light they have been given. Recently I came across a quote that […]