Category: Systematics

Do All Roads Lead to God?

First, if it’s really true that Jesus is the way to Father and that no one comes to the Father except through him, (Jn 14:6) then it seems that no other religious leader or religious doctrine can bring us to the Father. “The” is a definite article, and it implies …
The post Do All Roads Lead to God? appeared first on Greg Boyd – ReKnew.

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The Alien Argument Against Naturalism

Christians might have reasons to suspect that aliens don’t exist – one could reasonably expect God to say such a thing if it were true in His holy Word – but naturalists generally have no need to reject the possibility of E.T. existence. There might be naturalists who personally find it unlikely, but very few would claim that it is impossible or that belief in aliens is like believing in Santa.
However, this seems to be incompatible with naturalism. If there is no way for an atheist to exclude the possibility of intelligent life in our universe, how can s/he exclude the existence of intelligent, spiritual life outside of it? Openness to alien life seems to be necessarily combined with an openness to the supernatural.
The naturalist might respond that we have no objective reference point to non-physical persons, while aliens can be viewed as simply animals that happened to evolve elsewhere. To this objection I would point out that we can imagine vastly different aliens in out universe, and if we add possible parallell universes – that most naturalists are open to – there’s really no limit to what creatures we can conceive as possible.
Hence, openness to alien life seems not to rest on references to earthly animals but on what’s logically possible. And there is no logical contradiction in imagining non-physical, spiritual beings. To those who think that non-physical beings are impossible I would simply point out that that’s a circular argument that presupposes naturalism.
We have no evidence for the existence of alien life, or the existence of other universes. Yet most atheists would say that it’s entirely possible for aliens or other universes to exist. I find it arbitrary to view the existence of supernatural entities as impossible due to (perceived) lack of evidence when one does not draw that conclusion concerning aliens.
So just to be clear: I’m not saying that I know that aliens exist, or that God is an alien. What I’m saying is that a naturalist either must say that alien life is impossible, or cease to be a naturalist. There is no middle ground.

BGWG 14: Farewell

Ebony and Steve return for one more episode of Black Gal, White Guy to say farewell to the show as they move on to focus on other things. Some of the topics include:

Steve’s recommendation: the podcast VS. (1:38)
Ebony’s recommendation: Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown (3:55)
Ebony and the Kinky Curly Theological Collective (8:20)
Steve and Village of Hope leaving Portland (14:45)
Ebony’s concerns (23:55)
Steve giving space for other voices (27:50)
Ebony’s parting words for listeners (31:25)
Steve’s parting words for listeners (35:15)

Note: they did actually record this a while ago and I (Ryan, the editor and distributor) did not realize it until recently – I had stopped regularly checking after they told me they were wrapping up, so I didn’t realize they had recorded one more episode a few weeks later. Oops.

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Interview: Carol Penner, Feminist Theology and More

Carol Penner joins the podcast to discuss a few topics with Katelin, including feminist theology, abuse, pastoral theology, and writing worship resources. From Carol’s bio:
Carol Penner teaches and writes in the area of practical theology.  After many years as a pastor in various Mennonite congregations, she is joining the faculty of CGUC [Conrad Grebel University College] this year. Her research interests include feminist theology and Mennonite peace theology, and abuse issues. She has a popular blog of her worship resources at www.leadinginworship.com
Some of the topics covered include:

Carol’s background in both pastoring and academia. (1:23)
How Carol’s pastoral experience is used in academia and what the average person is thinking about as theological questions. A major one is money. (5:38)
Violence on a personal level, especially violence against women, not only seeing violence as “what would you do if called to war?” (14:21)
How our theology and our Scripture contribute to questions of abuse. (17:41)
Things Carol found helpful in feminist theology. (21:33)
Pastoral abuse and how Mennonite churches don’t do a good enough job talking about it. (32:34)
Why Mennonite churches talked more about abuse in the 90s but then stopped. (39:59)
Why Carol writes worship resources online. (44:15)

Links
Leading in Worship blog by Carol Penner
Carol’s academic bio from University of Waterloo
MennoNerds Interview: Into Account (YouTube)
Mennonite Central Committee Canada – Abuse Prevention
Our Stories Untold
 
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Interview: Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God (Part 2)

Image via Waterbrook Multnomah
Brian Zahnd joins the podcast to discuss his new book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God. In part 2, they focus on understanding the cross and Hell through the lens of a loving and nonviolent Jesus:

The idea tracing back to Anselm that God is satisfying his wrath, punishing Jesus, in order to gain the capital that allows God to forgive. (0:16)
The kind of justice which takes place at the cross. (6:42)
The view of wrath striking Jesus on the cross, and how we should see wrath instead. (14:11)
Hell and its various meanings which are not from Scripture. (23:16)
The parables of the sheep and the goats and of Lazarus and the rich man. (32:52)
How Brian preaches Hell. (36:48)
Interpreting the book of Revelation. (41:04)
The centrality of love. (45:31)
Brian’s hope for the book. (49:46)
Closing prayer. (50:42)

Links:
Word of Life Church
Brian Zahnd (website)
Brian Zahnd (Twitter)
Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God
http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-BrianZahnd--SinnersintheHandsofaLovingGod-Part2.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God (Part 1)

Book image via Waterbrook Multnomah
Brian Zahnd joins the podcast to discuss his new book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God. In part 1, they focus on Brian’s story and the nature of the Bible:

Brian’s work with Word of Life Church in St. Joseph’s, Missouri. (1:09)
Writing theology at a pastoral level. (4:39)
The artwork on the cover of Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God. (9:21)

Brian’s fascination with the infamous sermon of Jonathan Edward, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, including how that sermon is not representative of Edward’s ministry. (12:59)
Why we should not see God as angry, spiteful and abhorring of sinners. (22:50)
How we got to this place where the Bible is understood the way it is. (29:26)
Interpreting the Transfiguration. (37:20)
What the Bible is, if it isn’t an end in itself. (44:44)

Links:
Word of Life Church
Brian Zahnd (website)
Brian Zahnd (Twitter)
Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God
http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-BrianZahnd--SinnersintheHandsofaLovingGod-Part1.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Vlog 36: Future Hope

In the final vlog topic, Steve introduces by asking about hope for the future and whether we are progressing the world toward something better, worse, or pretty much the same. Micael provides the only response and discusses the impending collapse of Western civilization due to factors like nuclear weapon stockpiling and climate change.
This is the final vlog topic. Please stay tuned as we try out a new idea soon.
http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Vlog36-FutureHope.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Wesley Rostoll, Seeing the Cross with New Eyes

Fellow MennoNerd Wesley Rostoll joins the podcast to talk about his new book, Seeing the Cross with New Eyes, with host Paul Walker. The book description is as follows:
“Why did Jesus have to die on a cross? Was it to appease His Father’s wrath or was it to undo the effects of the fall in Eden? In his first book, author Wesley Rostoll tackles the tough questions surrounding the atonement, eternal life, the Book of Revelation and more; offering us fresh perspectives into the cross that will transform our understanding of the gospel message.”
http://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/podcasts.mennonerds.com/Interview-WesleyRostoll--SeeingTheCrossWithNewEyes.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Vlog 32: Cross and Atonement

For this vlog series, the participants follow up on the Easter season by discussing the cross and atonement. Steve opens the discussion asking the question. Deborah responds by suggesting that the different atonement theories are more complementary than contradictory. Micael wraps up the topic by questioning the common belief that the earliest Christians believed in a Christus Victor theory.
https://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/archive.org/download/Vlog32CrossAndAtonement_201705/Vlog32-CrossAndAtonement.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Interview: Greg Boyd, Crucifixion of the Warrior God (Part 2)

Greg Boyd joins the podcast to discuss his newest book, Crucifixion of the Warrior God. In this part 2, the conversation focuses primarily on the nature of the cross. If you missed part 1, you can check that out here.
The book description (taken from Amazon):
Renowned pastor-theologian Gregory A. Boyd proposes a revolutionary way to read the Bible in this epic but accessible study. His “cruciform hermeneutic” stands as a challenge to the field of biblical studies and to all thoughtful Christians.
A dramatic tension confronts every Christian believer and interpreter of Scripture: on the one hand, we encounter Old Testament stories of God commanding horrendous violence. On the other hand, we read the unequivocally nonviolent teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. Reconciling these two has challenged Christians and theologians for two millennia.
Throughout Christian history, various answers have been proposed, ranging from the long-rejected explanation that these contrasting depictions are of two entirely different “gods” to recent social, cultural, and literary theories that attempt to dispel the conflict.
The Crucifixion of the Warrior God takes up this dramatic tension and the range of proposed answers in an ambitious constructive investigation. Over two volumes, Gregory A. Boyd argues that we must take seriously the full range of Scripture as inspired, including its violent depictions of God. At the same time, he affirms the absolute centrality of the crucified and risen Christ as the supreme revelation of God.
Developing a theological interpretation of Scripture that he labels a “cruciform hermeneutic,” Boyd demonstrates how the Bible’s violent images of God are reframed and their violence subverted when interpreted through the lens of the cross and resurrection. Indeed, when read in this way, Boyd argues that these violent depictions bear witness to the same self-sacrificial nature of God that was ultimately revealed on the cross.
https://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/archive.org/download/InterviewGregBoydCrucifixionOfTheWarriorGodPart2/Interview-GregBoyd--CrucifixionOfTheWarriorGod-Part2.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Vlog 29: Lent

The vloggers discuss the season of Lent. After Ryan introduces the question with some inspiration from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Steve responds with why he is fasting from Lent (not fasting for Lent) this year. Deborah concludes by talking about the 40 Acts practice she took part in last year, learning from and participating alongside activists.
https://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/archive.org/download/Vlog29Lent_20170328/Vlog29-Lent.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

Vlog 20: Impact of Theology

In a short vlog series*, 3 of the vloggers look at how theology impacts our lives. Deborah opens the topic by discussing disability theology and how that can harm others. Curtis responds by asking about how we evangelize after moving away from “turn or burn” theology, to which Micael discusses what sharing the Gospel looks like when it is not driven by that fear-based “Gospel”.
Participants:

Deborah-Ruth Ferber
Curtis Snell
Micael Grenholm

*Why was this one short? We’re moving to a new format!
https://media.blubrry.com/mennonerds_audio/p/archive.org/download/Vlog20ImpactOfTheology/Vlog20-ImpactOfTheology.mp3Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

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