The perspective on Adam in intertestamental Jewish literature

  I am following with great interest the discussion going on within evangelicalism regarding the relationship between biblical teaching and evolutionary theory. In this regard, Ben Witherington’s series of comments on Adam and the Genome, by Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight has been fascinating. I am particularly attending to the discussion of the historicity of Adam as progenitor of the whole human race because I still think this to be of great importance in both … Continue reading

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The purpose and duration of the conscious suffering of the wicked

Matthew 25 and the difference between traditionalism and annihilationism Traditionalists often cite Matthew 25:46 as irrefutable proof that Jesus taught that the wicked would be eternally consciously tormented. In that section of Matthew, Jesus tells us that “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory” (25:31) and all the nations will gather before him and “he will separate … Continue reading

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Should our kids be playing hockey on Sunday?

Recently, I received an email message from a nephew with a question that I know many Christian parents have asked. Sabbath observance The message was short and sweet, and its questions are important. Why don’t we honour that commandment?  Is there something in the New Testament that ‘overrides’ that?  Jesus healing?  Is hockey on Sunday bad?  Going to a restaurant? My answer Hi _______, You ask an important question, and I’m very pleased that you … Continue reading

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The most read posts on my blog site in 2016

During the year, I pay very little attention to the stats regarding activity on my blog site but, at the end of the year, it is always fun to see which of the posts I’ve written drew the most interest during the past year. In previous years, I’ve listed the top 10, but this year I checked two analyses (Google Analytics and my web host, Siteground) and I did not get completely the same results. … Continue reading

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Of what did the Son of God empty himself in becoming human?

The mystery of the incarnation Christmas 2016 is now over, and once again we have joyously celebrated one of the great moments of redemptive history, the incarnation. In the memorable words of the apostle John, “the Word became flesh and lived among us” (Jn 1:14 NRSV). The baby born in Bethlehem was no mere man; he was God (Jn 1:1), and he had always existed “with God” (Jn 1:2). But he became one of us, … Continue reading

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An Introductory Guide for Readers of N. T. Wright’s Books

I’ve only read a small fraction of what N. T. Wright has written but I always thoroughly enjoy his work, and I find it thought provoking, informative, and very helpful. He is one of God’s great gifts to the church in our time. In honor of his birthday on December 1, The Englewood Review of Books provided a very nice “Introductory Reading Guide” to N. T. Wright’s work, for people who are not familiar with … Continue reading

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Locating N. T. Wright’s eschatology on the spectrum of views concerning hell

While jogging this morning, I listened to an interesting  Q & A with Tom Wright on “Unbelievable?” A question arose about Wright’s view of hell and he enunciated his usual view of the dehumanization of the wicked, who eventually cease to bear the image of God. I got to thinking of the splendid triangle developed by the leadership of Rethinking Hell, and it occurred to me that Wright’s portrait of dehumanization might actually be more … Continue reading

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Does Satan have authority or only power?

Recently, I gave a 2 hour presentation at our church on “Angels and Demons.” The next day, I had a good question from one of the attendees which I am going to answer here. I’ll call the asker of this question Q (for “questioner”). The question put to me Q wrote: You mentioned last night that Satan “has power but no authority.” For some time now, I’ve assumed that Satan actually does have some authority … Continue reading

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What did Jesus suffer “for us and for our salvation”?

A podcast interview with me Chris Date has begun a series of podcasts in which he will interview authors of chapters in A Consuming Passion. I am the first person on deck, and Chris spent quite a long time talking with me about my journey to annihilationism. Whether or not you have read the series of blog posts I wrote, which were an early form of the material in my chapter for the festschrift for … Continue reading

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“Allah,” the God of Arab Christians

In recent discussions such as the one aroused by tensions at Wheaton College last year, one question often arises: “Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?” Because of the important differences between the God of Islam and the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, many Christians instinctively answer “no.” I have argued here before that it is a troublesome question because people answering it are frequently not talking about the same thing, … Continue reading

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