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Toasting Jesus

At an evangelical gathering on a New Year’s Eve, someone stood to announce that he wanted to toast us all. We sipped from our glasses of sparkling apple cider as he expressed his wishes for our collective good health for the coming year. Then someone else spoke up: “Now please join me in a toast to Jesus!” Continue Reading »

Slaughtered Sons

We like the story of angels proclaiming peace on earth and good will toward men. But we too often forget a darker side of the Christmas story: the slaughter of Bethlehem’s infant boys. Continue Reading »

Jesus's Challenge: Stand and Deliver

Both of my sons are wordsmiths and the elder one has a particular facility for delivering groan-inducing puns with such lightning speed that even as you roll your eyes, you can’t help but be a little impressed—or terrified—by how dexterously his brain can associate many things with many other things… . Continue Reading »

The Trial of Jesus

For the last four years, I have been conducting, at New York University’s School of Law, a seminar on the trial of Jesus. The Wall Street Journal inveighed against it as educational inanity: if not exactly corrupting the youth, then at least leading them astray and squandering their tuition . . . . Continue Reading »

Bailing out the Problem of Evil [6]

The last time we mentioned that if Joseph had never been sold into slavery, he would have never been in a position to become what he became.And the wily atheist — the one who admits, btw, that even he might be willing to suffer for the sake of something, like being part of the 60 million who . . . . Continue Reading »

Bailing out the Problem of Evil [1]

The problem is what to do about pain. See: the common argument here — which Loftus plainly uses to dismiss God — is that all pain ought to be stopped whenever possible. A universe with suffering in it precludes the Christian God (he says), so the onus is now on John or anyone else who sees pain to stop pain.
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Jesus was crucified

It’s obvious, I hope, that I’m writing here for people who say to themselves, “There is something irresistible about Jesus.” For some of you, that’s a point which you make into an ideological cathedral — a point of doctrine which lines up in an acronym that summarizes the faith, your faith. For others, it’s a nagging thought — as you work out your faith on your own, you keep coming back to this Jesus, and you can’t make sense of him all the way, but you also can’t accept everything he says because it seems somehow too hard to live that way, or too complex, or too simple, or merely out of your grid of experience. Continue Reading »

A Different Kind of Party

It’s funny because Linus makes the grave reading of Luke 2 for Charlie Brown and says, “That’s what it’s all about, Charlie Brown,” and we feel like something really important® has been said by Dollie Madison cakes and Coca-Cola. But Luke 2 isn’t in a vacuum. The matter of what happened on the night in question in the city of David when there was no room in the inn is not really about anything – unless there is something more to this child than a birth in poverty into an indifferent world. Continue Reading »

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