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Genesis 1:28 and Same-Sex Marriage

I recently had someone quote Genesis 1:28 to me as though it were an argument against gays and lesbians being allowed to marry, since they cannot fulfill what it commands. This is how I replied: If you are referring to reproduction, then they have the same options available to them that infertile heterosexual couples have. If you [Read More...]

Thanks, Google

A student pointed out to me that, if you ask Google “Who wrote the Pentateuch?” you get the answer, in big, bold letters, “Moses.” I decided to click the “feedback” button and indicate that this is incorrect. Here’s what I wrote as explanation for why I thought so: There has been extensive research on this [Read More...]

A Test it is Better to Fail

Rachel Held Evans blogged about the story of Abraham trying to sacrifice Isaac, on the same day that I was scheduled to speak to a group of local artists about the story. She said what I personally consider the most appropriate response: I’d like to think that even if those demands thundered from the heavens [Read More...]

Sin of Omission

A recent comment on a post of mine related to homosexuality sparked a realization related to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis. On the one hand, what conservatives do in making that story into ammunition against homosexuals is disturbing enough. There is no reference anywhere to the people of that city having had [Read More...]

Conservative Illustration of Pentateuchal Composition

I recently read an assignment which drew on sources critical of the Documentary Hypothesis. Ironically, the assignment was in fact plagiarized from a number of online sources. And at least one of those sources in turn clearly plagiarized from another. Here’s a bit of text: The J, or Jehovahist, document (usually known as the Yahwehist [Read More...]

When Abraham Met Socrates

In my first year seminar class “Faith, Doubt, and Reason,” students read part of Genesis and the Euthyphro dialogue before being asked in an assignment to retell the Abraham story, putting themselves in Abraham’s shoes and wrestling with the question of what makes actions morals. This semester, I had a student start the dialogue this way: Socrates: [Read More...]

Abraham’s Test Updated

Yesterday in my first year seminar class, we talked about the story in which Abraham sets out to sacrifice Isaac. Since first-year university students tend not to have children, I wondered what could be as precious to them as a child would have been to an aged patriarch. I jokingly suggested their phones, and the idea for [Read More...]

Which Came First? Thoughts about Jesus and the Binding of Isaac

I’ve been reading a wonderful book about the Isaac story, James Goodman’s But Where Is the Lamb?: Imagining the Story of Abraham and Isaac. It is a history of interpretation, but written in an unconventional manner – as though the author of the Akedah story were surveying what future readers would say and do in response [Read More...]

RIP Wolfhart Pannenberg

I thought I would share this to mark the passing of Wolfhart Pannenberg, the famous theologian. The quote image comes from Michael Roberts’ blog.   [Read more...]

Noah and Spider-Man

This response to a common argument from conservative Christians is brought to you by the blog God of Evolution. [Read more...]


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