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Ep. 127 Michael Hardin on Sacrifice vs. the Gospel of Peace

Michael Hardin is a theologian with a radical message of Jesus’ forgiveness and peace. He and Bob have a lively and deep discussion on the true meaning of the gospel and how today’s Christians often misunderstand it.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


  1. Student_of_Scripture on 07/06/2020 at 10:03 AM

    I can only comment on the first few minutes of the Podcast, as this was the first BMS Guest that completely disqualified himself with his opening comments.

    1) Stabbing the host while screaming blasphemy is not Christian behavior. To submit to the listener that ‘showing I have evil in me’ is a justification for this behavior simply adds a layer of perversion to the story.

    Matthew 12:31-32

    “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

    2) Forgiveness of debt and obligation is an act of charity to be exercised when you can afford-to. It is not a justification for violating a contract or an argument that transactions are per-se immoral. To take payment and not deliver is a form of theft and God commands us “Thou shalt not steal”.

    Michael Hardin is, at the end of the day, a ‘pick and choose’ Christian. When encountering something in Scripture that does not seem to comport with his personal feelings of right and wrong he simply rejects it and blasphemes the Lord instead of studying the word and history and trying to understand it.

    This is the error of the modern Churches as well – they bend the knee to the “traditions of Man” (modern, secular, and leftist Dogma) and not to the law of Yaweh. The new Testament is not in opposition to the Old, but rather reveals and fulfills it. But to understand it one must find those teachers who have delved into the scripture and found the mistranslations which have been inserted.

    Due to the delicate nature of the subject, and the power of the enemies of Christ, I will refrain from becoming too specific here.

  2. Scumbag Atheist Not Bob on 07/10/2020 at 2:10 AM

    I try to listen to the Christian episodes with an open mind, but this one pretty much lost me right in the beginning. So the bible is super inconsistent. Why believe any of it at all?

    The life-changing event that revealed the truth of God’s miracle is a dream of a fish? The fish being a symbol that means a lot to you? Do you want to know how often I dream about things I care about? That’s some weak sauce miracle, if I may say so.

    I always get the feeling that some people just really WANT to believe, and they’ll find any excuse to rationalize it. Same here.

  3. J. Hall on 07/10/2020 at 2:57 PM

    I was frustrated by this guest. He was a terrible interviewee. Dr. Murphy couldn’t get a word in edgewise, as he was constantly interrupted, overrun, and steamrolled. Dr. Murphy couldn’t even ask a question before the guy started spouting off his apparently copious knowledge on the topic. This guy needs to take a chill pill and learn how to interview a little (I mean a lot) more graciously.

  4. Jake Hill on 07/14/2020 at 6:48 PM

    Very odd guest. I honestly didn’t understand whether or not he believes God exists. Perhaps more of a Jordan Peterson type who sees the deeper truths in myth. The problem is that he cherry picks the parts he likes, and throws away the rest.

    I don’t follow his scapegoat line of thinking at all. Nowhere in the Bible does a believer sacrifice a human against his/her will. In fact, child sacrifice is specifically outlawed in the Torah. If violent sacrifice of the human first born is the genesis of Yahweh, then why why isn’t it a part of the myth? And it is called a scapegoat specifically because GOATS were used, not human beings.

    Jesus never violated Torah. He understood it and lived it better than anyone. He preached against the Pharisaical perversions of the Law. If you want to point out his iniquity, you need to compare his actions to the Torah, not the Pharisaical traditions. For example, eating a cheeseburger is not a violation of Torah, but it is a violation of Rabbinical law.

    Salvation is not transactional? Then why does Jesus refer to a “new covenant”? A covenant is transactional by definition. Saying a covenant is non-transactional is a contradiction.

    Ironically, his final note on when Jesus was crucified is an important one. The Friday crucifixion does not work. Jesus was crucified on Passover and raised on First Fruits — because he was the Passover sacrifice and the first fruit of God’s harvest.

    • Richard F, from England on 08/10/2021 at 8:53 PM

      Jake hi

      You raise some honest questions which I would like to try to answer from my consumption of Hardin’s output, audio, video and written

      1. Yes, he very, very much believes ‘God exists’ and he believes ‘in Jesus’ and ‘in the cross’.

      2. Hardin’s point is that, in the ANE of that time, it would not be unusual** for Abraham to sacrifice his oldest son to appease the ‘gods’. The difference is that, at the last minute, Yahweh simply requests an animal sacrifice. And centuries later, God says He does/did not really want animal sacrifice either. This whole ‘hermeneutic’ is what might be called ‘God’s accommodation to man’.

      ** Sacrifice? Why does nobody question why Isaac seems to be happy to be sacrificed?! Or do we think that Abraham somehow tricked him, or hypnotised him?!! Here in the UK, our forebears would sacrifice their second sons, in the sense that the oldest son took the inheritance, the estate; the second son went willingly into the army to win honour through valour possibly bravely and willingly dying in the process (and the third son went into the church!). The point that Hardin and Jersak and Zahnd and many others make is that God really does not believe in violence (PS or anger !!)

      3. Scapegoat? Yom Kippur is of course the basis of the ‘scapegoat’ thread in scripture, but to understand how humanity always finds someone to ‘pick on’, some group to discriminate against, then you will have to read Rene Girard’s mimetic theory (Girard was a well-respected anthropologist-sociologist)

      4. ‘Covenant’ means ‘serious commitment’. All God’s promises are ‘unilateral’ covenants (ie not dependent on man’s obedience) except the bilateral covenant that the Israelites would inhabit and keep the land if they were obedient. Salvation is the highest of God’s unilateral commitments and is not transactional. (PS – marriage is a pair of unilateral covenants not a single bilateral one – meaning one party is still bound to their promise even when the other party breaks it)

      5. Your ‘Easter fraud’ link came up for me as a 404 page, but Hardin’s point is that John’s gospel disagrees with the synoptics on the day of Jesus’ death. But we push through the frailties of the writers to find what it is that God wants us to learn there – and along the way, we do have to recognise that we worship the word of God who died on the cross; we do not worship the text.

      I hope this helps enough to encourage you to read/listen to more of those promoting the non-violent which we are all strangely unwilling to accept

  5. Richard F, from England on 08/10/2021 at 8:02 PM

    I am saddened by the comments above. I have listened to much of Hardin’s output including his extraordinarily erudite YouTubes on John’s Gospel. He does not pick and choose in the shallow way suggested. I agree that he had so much that he wanted to, and could, say that this interview was bubbling over much of the time. At the end of the day, it was probably pitched over the heads of the audience but I think it would be hard to blame Hardin alone for that

  6. James Taylor on 06/07/2022 at 3:37 PM

    Like Richard above, I am saddened by the comments above. If you know anything about Michael, it’s that he knows his stuff. COLD.

    But as Michael always remind people in his talks,/teaching, don’t take his word for it:. Go and study and learn for yourself.

    I did. And I am so much the better for it.

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