Infinite Mass

Of late, I have become fixated on a curious yet dreary task, still in its infancy, of understanding the type of person who drives a car with a loud engine. I’m talking about the ones that rev and split the night like a steam-punk thunderbolt, interrupting both audible and internal conversations with indiscriminate malice. 

As someone who navigates the spoken word as though it were an uphill ice slope, struggling with gasping efforts at articulation should I find the grace of your undivided attention, you can understand how I might feel about such interruptions.

You can understand me when I say: it would not strike me as unjust to round up these renegade road warriors and detain them for questioning. But I promise this sentiment is academic; I mean them no harm.

And you know that whenever someone says, “I promise,” you can bet grandma’s farm that they mean it.

Continue reading Infinite Mass

Biblical Christianity in Four Parts – Part II

Disembodiment: The Great Lie

For listeners: Listen on Anchor FM.

Note: if you haven’t yet, check out Part One of this series here.


Contents

  1. Intro
  2. The Assumptions
    1. Assumption 1 – Salvation
    2. Assumption 2 – Platonic Dualism
    3. Assumption 3 – Innate Immortality
  3. The Errors
  4. Death Defeated
  5. Models and Semantics
  6. Outro

Intro

“If you died today, do you know where you would go?”

If you have ever lasted until the end of a typical church service, I assume you have heard one of the elders ask this question, usually as one of the worship leaders plays the piano or guitar softly in the background. And before I expound on the question, I want to point out that this is not a bad way to end a Sunday morning service, at least in terms of cadence and structure.

Quite the contrary, it is an ideal denouement, a chance for those visiting and even the regular members to reflect on their standing with the God whose only passphrase for granting them salvation is that they merely believe. 

And the journey we start after believing, with its sudden turns and pitfalls, convinces me it is never wrong for us to pause and reflect on our standing with God. However, if such reflection leads us anywhere, it ought to lead us to inspect the question of “where we go when we die” within a biblical framework. As we reflect, we might discover that beneath the question’s surface lies a set of untested assumptions and at least two resulting fundamental errors.

Continue reading Biblical Christianity in Four Parts – Part II

Biblical Christianity in Four Parts (Prologue & Part I)

For listeners: Listen on Anchor FM.

Prologue

What follows is a layman’s attempt at a theological argument, which I suppose makes it a shot in the dark. By taking this shot, I risk the assumption that no stray dart will cause harm. But I think my assumption is low-risk for the following reasons:

  1. I will only be read by a few people.
  2. These same people are confident in their faith but not so arrogant as to avoid a challenge.
  3. Metaphorical arrows fired into a metaphorical abyss don’t usually derail someone’s life-size relationship with their Creator. 

As for the writing itself, I share ideas I’ve wrestled with for many years. In the contest, I’ve come to such a point of mental and physical exhaustion that I feel the only way to find rest is to publish the work in its current, incomplete form and allow more educated people to obliterate it. The gnawing reminder that I am not a studied, credentialed theologian has kept me from my writing desk, and perhaps that is not terrible. Like any sober person, I am persuaded that shooting anything in the dark is unwise. 

Continue reading Biblical Christianity in Four Parts (Prologue & Part I)

An open letter to America’s false prophets

Troubling signs…

About a week before the 2020 election, while driving home from Orlando, I saw a sign that read, “In Trump We Trust.” And all I could think was, “that’ll have to be answered for, and probably sooner than we expect.”

God will not be mocked.

Now, seeing America’s Charismatic and Evangelical Christians teetering on the cusp of an existential crisis fills me with hope. Perhaps I need to see a pastor and, you know, get that looked at…

Continue reading An open letter to America’s false prophets

Circumcision, you say? Why not go one further and cut your whole **** off!

Note: this post assumes that most biblical translations are correct. That said, the KJV interprets Galatians 5:12 without specifying anything to be “cut off” except “themselves” (i.e., those who insist on circumcision). Either way, Paul’s choice of words here reflects the subject in question. For further reading on why Paul may or may not be telling his opponents to emasculate themselves, see this document and this article. If the translations that point to emasculation are wrong, then so is my post (at least from a literary standpoint). But maybe I can still contribute to the ongoing debate. Happy reading.

A Defense of Shocking Satire

“No dark sarcasm in the classroom!” – Pink Floyd

Within the community of believers (I shun the term “Christianity” because of its vast connotations), I’ve noticed a crippling and unwarranted dread of satire. Yes, we should detest Swift’s modest proposal of cannibalism just as we should detest C.S. Lewis’ “Saracen’s Head” on a pedestal. But we should also detest what these things deride. That is what satire is all about.

But perhaps a central question remains: is shocking satire ever appropriate for those of us who aspire to whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy? Well, let’s take a look at what Paul (the man I just paraphrased) has to say when he feels like being sarcastic:

Continue reading Circumcision, you say? Why not go one further and cut your whole **** off!