(Mostly Dis)honest (S)crap Meme

Having (thankfully!) never been tagged with the “Honest Scrap” meme that has been circulating, I began formulating a somewhat twisted alternative. The meme works as follows. You post five things about yourself. Four are untrue. One is true. All are so outlandish, implausible or ridiculous that no one would be inclined to believe that any [Read More...]

Silly Buses?

Someone left a link in a comment to a site that explores the complicated issue of the origin of the word syllabus and the related issue of what its plural form should be. I’ll leave that subject to be debated by the English etymologists and Latinists among you. I shouldn’t have to worry in the [Read More...]

Butler University #2

Congratulations to Butler University, to all my colleagues and co-workers, on being ranked #2 in the recent U.S. News and World Report rankings, in its category of Midwestern Master’s level comprehensive universities! [Read more...]

Liberalism and Christianity around the Blogosphere

There are a few recent posts that I thought I’d highlight. First, Celucien Joseph has continued the conversation about Liberal Christianity. I’m not sure if he really gets what Liberal Christianity is (apart from a Conservative stereotype he may have heard), and I suspect he’d be surprised to find how many exegetes he’s read would [Read More...]


As others have done, I’m sharing the syllabi for the classes I’ll be teaching this semester. The Bible The Historical Jesus Students will probably not look at them until classes start next week (some will most likely never look at them, but that is another issue), and so feedback and suggestions for improvement are welcome. [Read more...]

Preview The Only True God

I was looking for a reference (one that I remembered citing before in discussions of the use of “God” in a broader sense in the context of early Jewish and Jewish-Christian monotheism), and found it – embedded in a preview of my book The Only True God on Google Books! So I thought I’d share [Read More...]

Sounds Like…

The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus had this gem of a cartoon today: And Irenic Thoughts shared this quote from Anne Lamott: “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” Meanwhile Notes From Off Center shared an example [Read More...]

Bultmann, Mandaeans and the Gospel of John Revisited

Today is the 125th anniversary of the birth of New Testament scholar Rudolf Bultmann. It is hard to think of another example of an individual who integrated as totally the attempt to address matters of Biblical studies, philosophy, theology and practice. This doesn’t necessarily mean that his attempt to do so does not also expose [Read More...]

Two Sites

Just a quick post to draw attention to two web sites/new posts that were drawn to my attention in e-mails today. The first is by Jim Burklo at the Center for Progressive Christianity site, musing on the question “Who Is Your Jesus?” The second is a web site set up by the United Church of [Read More...]

New Morning for the World

I have long had the habit of working to music. Today as I worked on my syllabi and checked corrections to a chapter I’ve contributed to a forthcoming book, I have been listening to an album featuring the music of Joseph Schwantner, with Evelyn Glennie as soloist. The final track is a piece called “New [Read More...]

The Whole Bible?

I have a question for professors, students, former students and other people with opinions on this subject. If you’ve taught a one-semester course on the whole Bible, did you get students to read the whole Bible, or just some select passages? In the past I’ve done the latter, and I’m inclined to stick with that [Read More...]