10 years of freelance theology

Freelance theology is ten years old on 29th January 2014.

Read the press release!

A lot has happened in 10 years.

Freelance theology is now on Facebook and Twitter. The website gained a mini-blog (on the right hand of your screen).

And people all over the world have asked questions – if you are one of those people, then thank you!

The baptism of Jesus – was it necessary, what did it mean?

Question 196, from Richard

Why did Jesus need to get baptised? He was sinless so he didn’t need to repent. Also he didn’t need to make a public statement of commitment to God because he was God.

This was a question asked by one of the young people during a youth talk on baptism.

The account of Jesus being baptised appears in Matthew, Mark and Luke and is hinted at heavily in John’s gospel, although it is not explicitly stated there. The account in Matthew chapter 3 includes John the Baptist’s initial refusal to baptise Jesus. Luke chapter 3, verse 21, mentions Jesus’ baptism, but does not mention whether it was John who baptised him, although it seems likely. Mark is very matter-of-fact about it (chapter 1, verse 9-11), while John’s gospel contains two prophetic statements made by John the Baptist about Jesus, including calling him the ‘Lamb of God’ twice (chapter 1, verse 29 and 35).

All four gospels agree that this marks the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and include a reference to the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus in the form of a dove – a detail that is common across all four accounts. There is also a revelation that Jesus is ‘God’s Son’, although that is only found in Matthew, Mark and Luke. (more…)

The curse laid on Ham by Noah in Genesis 9

Question 195, from Karahn, USA

Why was Ham cursed in Genesis chapter 9, verse 25?

Ham was one of Noah’s three sons who were saved alongside their father from the great flood, according to the account in Genesis chapters 6-9.

After the flood subsides, Noah is said to have planted a vineyard, harvested the grapes and fermented wine. Drinking the alcohol causes him to fall asleep naked (chapter 9, verse 21), and Genesis chapter 9, verses 22-27, record what happens next: (more…)

A brief introduction to baptism

This is based on a short youth talk, and is about Baptist-style baptism, i.e. of a professing Christian by full immersion.

Baptism is a symbol of change and that you want to live differently; the death of the old life, and the resurrection into new life. (more…)

The lack of Scriptural evidence for an immortal soul

Question 194, from Laurie, Canada

I recently read in a Jehovah Witness booklet that we have no immortal soul, we do not go to Heaven or Hell and that when the body dies, no spirit leaves it, we’re just gone until we’re resurrected to a new life on earth. This goes against everything I’ve ever been taught, yet they seem to have scriptures to back it up. Who is right and why?

This question has been partly addressed before on freelance theology. It would appear from the question that the booklet in question has raised some interesting issues, which are worth examining. (more…)