Music for Spiritual Exploration

When I need to be persuaded yet again that reality includes transcendence and the spiritual, I usually turn to music rather than opening the writings of some theologian or other (although those help a lot too!). Here are a few pieces I’d recommend for this purpose… Peteris Vasks’ Lauda which I was listening to earlier [Read More...]

How did Mark’s Gospel originally end?

For me, one of Croy’s strongest arguments (in his book The Mutilation of Mark’s Gospel) that Mark originally continued beyond 16:8 (where it ends in our earliest manuscripts) is a comparison with Moby Dick. Apparently, the English release omitted the epilogue, with the result that it appeared no one survived. As one reviewer appropriately asked, [Read More...]

Intelligent Design: Philo vs. Ken Ham

One can trace the origins of intelligent design’s type of argument back into the ancient world. Naturally, before there were scientific explanations for various phenomena, there was a tendency to identify all sorts of “natural phenomena” (in our terms) as literally “acts of God” or acts of the gods. What is intriguing in these early [Read More...]

The Mutilation of Mark’s Gospel

In response to a question asked on the List-serv X-Talk, I’m sharing a review I wrote of The Mutilation of Mark’s Gospel by N. Clayton Croy. In short, I found the suggestion that Mark’s Gospel may have lost its originalbeginning as well as ending plausible, and certainly agree that the evidence points to Mark’s Gospel [Read More...]

The Two Doctors (arguing with oneself)

For many fans of Doctor Who, among our favorite episodes are the ones where the Doctor encounters his earlier selves – which inevitably leads to arguments! Although intended primarily for comic value, I presume, there is an important insight in these episodes. If I were to meet an earlier me, I would encounter a person [Read More...]

Burning Down The Temple

One particular detail in the Gospel of Peter has long struck me as a sure sign the author had authentic early oral traditions passed down to him apart from or in addition to the canonical Gospels. The reference to the disciples being in hiding after Jesus’ arrest because it was feared they would set fire [Read More...]

On A Hill In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…

I’ve finally begun watching the latest season of Doctor Who. I will not post any genuine spoilers in this post – you won’t learn what the Face of Boe’s secret is from me! But the last episode I watched, “Gridlock”, raises questions that I’ve asked before in other contexts. Can we imagine our descendents 15 [Read More...]

Will America Be Left Behind?

No, I’m not asking about a fanciful apocalyptic scenario based on a few texts taken out of context. Last night, my church showed the animated movie Cars. I found the movie moving (both literally and metaphorically, I suppose), but I was particularlly struck by the way themes from the movie intersected with ones I have [Read More...]

Matthew Accuracy

In their book on Rumor Psychology Nicholas DiFonzo and Prashant Bordia mention the concept of “Matthew Accuracy”. Deriving its name from the principle in the Gospel of Matthew that “to the one who has more will be given, but from the one who does not have even the little he has will be taken away”, [Read More...]

God’s Rivals?

Gerald R. McDermott’s second book on world religions from an Evangelical perspective was published this year, entitled God’s Rivals. Both books seem to be part of a larger project, and there are many respects in which this volume is logically prior to his first, Can Evangelicals Learn From World Religions? That first book focused more [Read More...]

St. Theresa of Banyan – A Mystical Exegesis of Her Most Famous Parable

It is time to reveal the truth behind the urban legend regarding “Theresa Banyan” and the question of hell’s endothermic/exothermic nature. This legend in fact derives from a real incident in the life of St. Theresa of Banyan, the famous Indian saint and mystic, known by this name because of her custom of meditating and [Read More...]