biblical interpretation

Petitionary Prayer

There are passages of scripture that will mess up your thinking if you take them at face value. Take, for example, Mark 11:24. The verse says, “So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” If you take this verse to be stating a simple fact, then making a prayer request sounds like writing an already-signed blank check where you simply fill in the amount.

Did That Really Happen?

There is a better way than adopting the literalist readings of either Dawkins or conservative defenders of everything ascribed to God in biblical stories. Just as we might acknowledge that a biblical writer can have an overly anthropomorphic view of God, we can say that a biblical writer can have a view of God that is morally deficient, which comes from common ways of thinking about deity at the time.