Christianity in a Nutshell?

I probably should have saved this until Christmas, and called it “Christmas in a nutshell” – with or without the question mark. But the picture appeared on Reddit, and came to my attention today, and so I thought it best not to wait. Surely it is always worth asking – and especially at a time [Read More...]

The Sequel to the Good Samaritan

Rev. Brian Konkol recently wrote a guest post at Faith Forward about the parable of the Good Samaritan. Here is an excerpt: While the Parable of the Good Samaritan is brilliantly effective for what Jesus seemingly sought to promote, one can argue that out-of-context misinterpretations have since initiated numerous incomplete social movements, which in turn [Read More...]

Diet Gospels?

Jim West posted the above photo featuring personalized Coke bottles available in the UK. I knew that Jim had really gone off the rails lately, but I had not realized quite how badly. Matthew and John as (according to the label colors) diet Gospels? Hmph!   [Read more...]

Statistics and the Synoptic Problem

Statistics tell us… well, even though they are numbers, statistics do not automatically provide answers to questions. And 73.2% of all statistics are made up on the spot – as that one was. But sometimes statistics can tell us something important. They can quantify what otherwise may seem vague and merely impressionistic. I regularly cite [Read More...]

Jeffrey Gibson on the Disciples’ Prayer

I had the privilege of taking a look recently at a draft of a book Jeffrey Gibson has been working on, about the Lord’s Prayer, or as he prefers it be called, the Disciples’ Prayer. He has a very interesting take on it, suggesting that a key background to the prayer is to be found [Read More...]

Ken Ham, Moses, and Jesus

Ken Ham has posted a reaction on Facebook to an image I shared on my blog yesterday (you can read the comments from his cronies there). I’ll share the text of his Facebook post here and then discuss it: Come on James McGrath, do you really think stooping to such lows befits a professor at [Read More...]

Synoptic Length Comparison

I chuckled when I read this in a student assignment today: A common argument,  analyzes the lengths of each of the synoptic writers. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never come across an attempt to compare the lengths of the writers of the Synoptic Gospels. I don’t know how one would go about undertaking such a [Read More...]

Mostly Dead

I just saw this on Facebook and had to share it. Every time I talk about the parable of the Good Samaritan, I always throw in a Princess Bride reference along these lines!   [Read more...]

Young-Earth Creationists vs. the Parables of Jesus

A commenter pointed out something which I've also said in the past, but which bears repeating. Young-earth creationists are adamant that there must be one creation story in Genesis, and it must be chronologically coherent and factually, historically, and scientifically true. Ironically, Jesus, the one whom most of them claim to follow, taught primarily in [Read More...]

Jesus the Gene Therapist?

I think that one reason some people insist that Adam in the Bible was a literal historical individual, and the genealogies in the Bible are literally factual, is that they understand sin as some sort of genetic defect. This is a terrible distortion of the Bible, not only because its ancient authors did not understand [Read More...]

Take Up Your Cross

I received a question in an e-mail that seemed worthy of a blog post rather than just a private response. The question was about the depiction in the Gospels of Jesus telling people to not simply follow him, but to take up their cross and follow him. One question is obviously whether Jesus can be [Read More...]


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