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Why Did God Require Animal Sacrifice in the Old Testament?

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Question: I have a question about the atonement. Why did YHWH in the OT demand that people sacrifice animals? And if these sacrifices anticipated the ultimate sacrifice of the Messiah, as the author of Hebrews says, doesn’t this imply that Jesus’ death was necessary for God to forgive us? But…

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Finding Christ Behind the “Letter” That Kills

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“The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” Paul (2 Cor. 3:6) The Odd Way NT Authors Use the OT Have you ever noticed the rather strange way authors in the NT tend to use OT citations? Whereas most western Christians today stress the importance of seeking the “original…

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The Image of Cross-Like Love: God’s Self-Portrait, Part 6

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In the previous blog I argued that God is cross-like love. In this blog I’d like to take this a step further by demonstrating why the cross alone could function as the definitive revelation of God’s true character and by showing how this revelation weaves together everything Jesus was…

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A Dialogue with Derek Flood Part 2: Is ALL of the Bible Inspired?

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Image by TheRevSteve via Flickr Yesterday, I offered the first part of my response to Flood’s comments regarding my review of his book. Today I’ll finish up my thoughts. Scripture and Its Interpretation Flood confesses that he is confused as to how I can claim that “in the light of…

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Responding to Driscoll’s “Is God a Pacifist?” Part I

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I’m sure many of you have read Mark Driscoll’s recent blog titled “Is God a Pacifist?” in which he argues against Christian pacifism. I’ve decided to address this in a series of three posts, not because I think Driscoll’s arguments are particularly noteworthy, but because it provides me with…

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The Cruciform Center Part 2: How John’s Gospel Reveals a Cruciform God

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In the previous post, we looked at how the Synoptics illustrate the centrality of the cross. While the Gospel of John varies in its structure and language from the Synoptics, the cross remains at the center. This centrality is expressed in a number of different ways. 1. The role…

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The Final Battle in Revelation

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I will conclude this series on the violent imagery in Revelation by addressing the infamous eschatological battle scene found in 19:11-21, for it is this graphically violent section of Revelation that is most frequently appealed to by those who argue against the claim that Jesus reveals an enemy-loving, non-violent God…

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How Job’s Suffering Points to Jesus

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As I introduced in my previous post, when we read the book of Job we must refute the common assumption that Yahweh is a Machiavellian deity who is controlling all that transpires in his creation, including Job’s suffering. At the same time, we must ask why the prologue (1:11-2, 2:3)…

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Who is Responsible for Job’s Suffering?

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In the prologue of the Book of Job, the author seems to ascribe the responsibility for Job’s affliction to Yahweh. For instance, Satan challenges God to “stretch out [his] hand and strike everything he has,“ believing that this would incite Job to curse God to his face (1:11). The fact…

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The Cruciform Center Part 1: How Matthew, Mark and Luke Reveal a Cruciform God

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In the previous series of posts I’ve argued that a merely “Christocentric” approach to God is too general, as can be shown by the widely different conceptions of God people arrive at, despite their claim to be “Christocentric.” The confession that Jesus reveals what God is like is simply…

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Does Hebrews 11 Praise Violence? A Response to Paul Copan (#2)

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Once or twice a week, as time allows, I will be responding to criticisms of Crucifixion of the Warrior God (CWG) that were raised by Paul Copan in a recent paper that he delivered at the Evangelical Theological Society. In my first post in this series I responded to Copan’s…

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A Coming Storm

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There is a storm beginning to brew on the horizon. It is a debate among Evangelicals about the violent depictions of God, stirred up largely by Eric Seibert’s Disturbing Divine Behavior. Here is a post that sounds “the clarion call.” The debate is presently around two options. Option #1:…

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Final Thoughts on Copan’s Critique of Crucifixion of the Warrior God

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I want to sincerely thank Paul Copan for his well-researched critique of Crucifixion of the Warrior God (CWG) that I’ve been responding to over the last several weeks. He exposed areas in my work that needed buttressing up and/or clarifying, and he has helped introduce my ideas into the theological…

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What does the Bible mean when it says God “sent an evil spirit” on certain people?

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Question: In Judges 9:23, I Samuel 16:15ff and 18:10 it is said that God sends evil spirits on people. Doesn’t this support the idea that everything Satan and demons do is under God’s sovereign control? Answer: I’ll make six points in response to this question. 1) If everything Satan and…

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The Cross in the Mirror

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For those who are just tuning in, we are in the midst of a series that is fleshing out the theology of The ReKnew Manifesto. So far I’ve argued that the cross is the definitive revelation of God and that it should therefore be the centerpiece of our hermeneutic (interpretation…

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Rethinking Transcendence

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Going back to pre-Socratic philosophers and running through the major strands of the church’s theological tradition, the conception of how God (or, in ancient Greece, “the One”) was arrived at primarily by negating the contingent features of the world that were deemed inferior and in need of explanation. God transcended…

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The God Who Stoops

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The way that one imagines God can be thought of along the lines of a Rorschach test. That is, I submit that the way a person imagines and experiences God says at least as much about that person as it does God. The more estranged people are from God, the…

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Does Paul Condone Vindictive Psalms? A Response to Paul Copan (#1)

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In a recent paper delivered at the Evangelical Theological Society, Paul Copan raised a number of objections against my book, Crucifixion of the Warrior of God. This is the first of several blogs in which I will respond to this paper. (By the way, Paul and I had a friendly…

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The Non-Violent Jesus Clothed in Violence

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As I’ve argued in several books (for instance, see The Myth of a Christian Nation) as well as in many posts, Jesus refused to use the power that was available to him to defend himself, choosing instead to offer up his life on behalf of his enemies. When we consider…

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Four Principles of the Cruciform Thesis

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In the second volume of Crucifixion of the Warrior God, I introduce how four dimensions of the revelation of God on the cross (as introduced in this post) lead to four principles that show us how to unlock aspects of the OT’s violent divine portraits and thus disclose how a…

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