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Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

A God in the Hands of Angry Sinners: How the Evangelical Misconstrual of God and Politics Spells Doom

A God in the Hands of Angry Sinners: How the Evangelical Misconstrual of God and Politics Spells Doom

Many people in the United States are familiar with the famous sermon Jonathan Edwards, the Puritan preacher and scholar in the Massachusetts of the 1700s, preached on the 8th of July 1741. The title of his sermon was “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” As was his custom, Edwards read his sermon out loud. An utterly boring routine for a spiritually inert congregation. But something weird happened. People started shaking and trembling. Some fell to the ground sobbing and moaning. Edwards’ sermon is a good example of the theology of the Great Awakening, a movement of religious fervor and repentance that swept through the thirteen colonies of America and left a permanent mark on the Protestant faith in the North American continent.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

Freedom and Law: Moving Beyond the Secular-Religious Divide

Freedom and Law: Moving Beyond the Secular-Religious Divide

Europe has abandoned religion at a very fundamental level and on a widespread scale. Religion no longer provides an interpretive framework for how the world fits together. It no longer informs social, economic, or political ethics. Religion is still present but either as a largely irrelevant entity that has absolutely no impact on lawmaking, politics, or economy (Christianity) or as a menace that needs to be contained before the genie gets out of the bottle (Islam).

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

I Believe in Predestination But God Has Nothing To Do With It!

I Believe in Predestination But God Has Nothing To Do With It!

Actually, I don’t believe in predestination. We are not robots! I hate predestination and consider it one of the great heretical ideas that have crept into Christian theology, first by the philosophically inclined medieval theologians, but then, in a horribly amplified version of the doctrine, by way of the Calvinists and their double predestination (some are destined for salvation and some for damnation). Through their ardent labor, millions have lived in agony about their whereabouts in the afterlife and have seen, in the misery of their earthly conditions, a sure sign of the divine determination to ransack and haunt them all the way from a hellish earth to a fiery hell.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

My Sister is Doing Chemo while God is Busy Numbering her Hairs

My Sister is Doing Chemo while God is Busy Numbering her Hairs

I know this sounds outrageous, but these were the words that popped-up in my head when I heard that my sister has breast cancer: my sister is doing chemo while God is busy numbering her hairs. That’s what Jesus promises in the Gospels, isn’t it (See Lk 12:7). I wondered what God would do next when my sister would grow bald as a result of the devastating effect of a medicine that is almost worse than the disease itself. Is God just going to stand by as the mayhem evolves?

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

After Easter: Jesus As the End of God

After Easter: Jesus As the End of God

The death of Jesus Christ has been an occasion for theologians and philosophers to speculate about the end of God. With Jesus’ death on the cross, God died and this is the end of God’s story. Jesus is the end of God. But then there is Easter. It is part of the narrative of Jesus Christ and as such cannot be ignored. Resurrection belongs to this narrative. Death of God theologians have trouble integrating this into their theologies.

However, even on the basis of the resurrection we ought to conclude that Jesus signals and acts out God’s end. Here is how this works. In this short piece, I will first side with the theologians and philosophers who have concluded that religion has ran its course and that after its demise, can only signal God’s end. Then, I will argue, that when we abandon self-constructed God-talk we open ourselves to understand the true meaning of God’s end. In Jesus, we find the true meaning of this end.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

“Thank God We Skipped Friday!”

“Thank God We Skipped Friday!”

“He is risen!” read the headline of a newsletter of a Christian ministry I received yesterday. I was taken aback. No! I thought. He hasn’t even died yet. Heck, he hasn’t even been crucified, what’s the rush?

My issue is not so much that not all people follow the liturgical calendar. I am notoriously bad in remembering the important days of Christianity (except Christmas). No, it’s just that too many Christians want to skip Friday. They don’t want to be reminded of it. They desire to relegate the shame of the cross to a historical event in the past. It’s over now, they say, he’s risen! Which is code language for: we live in victory.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

A Worldly Theology for Worldly Christians

A Worldly Theology for Worldly Christians

Theologians think about a lot of things. They think about God, the world, and also the God-world relationship. They call this theology. We theologians have turned this word theology into a verb: “theologizing,” or “doing theology.” This is because theology is an activity. It is the act of shaping the imagination about how the world and God are related and what this means for humanity, not just theoretically, philosophically, or theologically, but especially: practically and ethically. Theology is, together with philosophy, music, and art, about how we imagine and embody time and space.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

Is het irrationeel om te geloven?

Is het irrationeel om te geloven?

Scientias.nl is een van mijn favoriete websites. Juist omdat ik mijzelf ophoud in het kengebied van de geesteswetenschappen, heb ik erg veel behoefte aan toegankelijke informatie uit de natuurwetenschappen die to-the-point is, de boel samenvat en mij in staat stelt een beetje op de hoogte te blijven van nieuwe ontdekkingen en wetenschappelijke doorbraken.

Posted by Josh de Keijzer on

Christ as the Absence of God

Christ as the Absence of God

What I’m going to write here may sound controversial to some. But it is necessary that I do this. Before I plunge ahead, I think it is important to state that a Christian theology cannot talk about God’s absence in Christ without bookending the Christ-event with incarnation and resurrection. If one wants to be a Christian theologian one simply has to do so, standing on the promise of God’s presence (Immanuel) and living in the hope of the last things of which the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a harbinger. Yet, a genuine Christian theology that does justice to the existential realities of humanity, must also acknowledge the ambiguity of both promise of presence and hope of renewal. I believe, good theology will pause where others have often refused to tarry; it will linger where others have refrained to do so out of fear of the unknown.