Showing posts from December, 2011

Bill Maher's Twitter and the Fear of God

Bill Maher, the irreverant (and increasingly irrelevant) host of some poorly watched show on HBO called "Real Time with Bill Maher", is, according to Sue Naegel of HBO , "a fearless, funny and totally original observer of the modern world." In fact, his show is so interesting that for the latest rating period I could find (October 24, 2011) , his show was beaten in the 10:00 pm time slot by such notable television programs as " Sanctuary " on SyFy, " Diners, Drive-ins and Dives " on the Food Channel, and the memorable " Hairy Bikers " on the History Channel. (Actually, it appears that Maher's program was beaten by every cable competitor in the 10:00 pm slot. I guess people just aren't that invested in Mr. Maher's original observations of the modern world.) Anyway, Mr. Maher is no friend to Christianity. As I noted in a blog entry in 2006 entitled "Dr." Bill Maher's Unenlightened Diagnosis , Maher (in his origin

Defeating the “Problem of Evil”

The problem – intellectual and emotional – of why what we call 'evil' exists is age-old, and an issue that every human being, whether atheist or Christian, ultimately is confronted with. Philosophically and intellectually, it seems to be fairly easily overcome (as I will hopefully try to explain below) in a Christian worldview, but pastorally and emotionally, it is terrible and devastating upon us all, from atheist to devout Christian. My argument would then be that the Christian worldview, in fact, provides both a much more hopeful answer and decent solution  to the pastoral issue, as well as coping intellectually with the problem.  We can start with the intellectual response, where we can split the 'problem' into three forms: logical, evidential and emotional/pastoral. See more >>

Is Jesus Never Called "The" God...? Addendum on Heb 1:8

Remember how long the articles in this miniseries were? (Starting here?) Did you ever wish I could have just trimmed some discussion out and moved along? Well... I did. Specifically on Hebrews 1:8, which I ranked at the top of the list of examples where Jesus is called {ho theos} in the New Testament. There's a mind-scrummingly dull textual transmission issue there which I tried to spare my readers from since (1) it would have been a digression of exceedingly minor importance, and (2) it would take me a lonnnng slogging way to demonstrate why and how it's an exceedingly minor digression. At the end of an already-lengthy entry, in the middle of other lengthy entries?? What would be the point?! So of course, since it was the top of the list, someone quickly brought up the textual transmission issue. {facepalm} Dr. BW, offsite, asks: "Isn't there a textual variant with most translations providing the alternate, '...of the son, God is your throne... as the sceptor of

Is Jesus Never Called "The God" In The New Testament? (Part 7 of 7)

Ho, weary readers! The end of this series is here! This will be a handy summary page for my results. But I'll link to prior articles when speaking of each example, so that the argument can be seen in detail.

Is Jesus Never Called "The God" In The New Testament? (Part 6 of 7)

We're running out of groups of New Testament texts where Jesus isn't on rare occasion called {ho theos}! (Or {ton theon} or {tou theo} or some grammatic equivalent that still would translate to "the God" in English.) Several times in the Johannine texts ; at least once (maybe twice) in the Petrines ; at least once (maybe two times) in Hebrews ; at least once in the Pauline Pastorals (Titus) ; most likely once in Acts. It's starting to look like the popular understanding on the topic may be reversed--Jesus might be called {ho theos} more often in the New Testament than He is called merely {theos}! (Although neither is particularly common of course.) But these texts seem so late in composition. Maybe that makes a difference? (Actually, the supposed lateness of their composition hinges routinely on scholars recognizing high Christological characteristics in them and using that as evidence for late composition! Acts is the exception; its theories of late compositi

Is Jesus Never Called "The God" In The New Testament? (Part 5 of 7)

Yes, Jesus is called {ho theos} on occasion across the Johannine texts. And at least once (maybe twice) in the Petrine texts. And at least once (maybe two times) in the Epistle to the Hebrews. At this point, someone denying Jesus is ever called the God in the New Testament is in serious trouble. But fortunately for such a person, Paul of Tarsus, the one NT author no one can get around (as C. S. Lewis used to call him) can be called on to save the day! For surely (unless Paul wrote EpistHeb) someone identified as Paul never calls Jesus {ho theos}! (The reader expecting this had better be familiar with disappointment by now.)

Is Jesus Never Called "The God" In The New Testament? (Part 4 of 7)

Soooo, okay, maybe Jesus is (occasionally) called " the God" ({ho theos} and grammatic variants thereof) in the Johannine texts ( Part 1 and Part 2 ), and in the Petrine texts ( Part 3 ). But what about the Pauline texts, huh?! None of them ever call Jesus "the God"!--right?!! Your week, my reader, is about to get longer...