According to vast millions of Christians, the Bible is the Word of God. Mathematically and linguistically, we could formulate the following: The Bible = The Word of God. And, The Word of God = The Bible. To those millions who hold to an inerrantist view of the Bible, arguments over the validity of a scripture passage can come down to the following: “It says it, I believe it, that settles it.”
Along comes independent scholar Rodger Lawson Cragun, who not only challenges the Bible equals the Word of God, but audaciously and provocatively claims this doctrine is a harmful “ultimate” heresy.
We can only understand Jesus’ teaching in the context of his gospel of the kingdom. Jesus taught that the long-expected messianic kingdom was actually breaking into history in a powerful way in his actions and disciples. And Jesus’ teaching explained how Jesus expected his followers to live in that new kingdom.
It is clear that Jesus intended his ethical teaching to be for everyone, not only some little group. At the end of his gospel, Matthew reports that Jesus sent his disciples into the whole world not only to baptize those who believe but to teach them “everything I have commanded you” (28:20). —Ron Sider, (September 2021)
It was my great privilege to mentor under Ron Sider as a student and as an intern with Evangelicals For Social Action. Sider “walks the talk” in his personal life.
In this recent post on his own blog, Sider presents why followers of Jesus in the early Christian era did not participate in war. And why disciples of Jesus today should love enemies, even national enemies, rather than trying to destroy them. Hard teaching, yes. But Jesus, yes.
“I just cannot believe that Christian leaders and churches aren’t talking about this in every congregation in every corner of the [United States]. Boko Haram killed more Christians than ISIS in the year of the height of ISIS. This is the worst place in the world, at least in the northeast, where these terrorists are.” –Johnnie Moore (Christian Post, Feb. 28, 2020
The “Prosperity Gospel” is a seductive syncretism of orthodox traditional Christian belief with idolatrous Baal worship. In this, the new Baal priests promise prosperous lives of health, wealth, and security to followers if they sacrifice to them lots of their money.
Nothing is worse than the use of the name of Jesus to prey on the vulnerable.”
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
If there is one good thing about the plethora of sexual abuse revelations in church bodies, it is that some of the wolves preying on the sheep are being caught.