Rest or Rules?

The above cartoon by David Hayward seems to me to make much the same point as Dostoyevsky’s famous parable of the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov. Some people find freedom to be a burden, and prefer what rules offer: in particular, the sense that we are passing the responsibility for our views and our decisions to [Read More...]

Proof Atheists Have Morals

Gavin Rumney shared the above, and it made me chuckle. Given that at least most atheists don’t take advantage of the gullibility that characterizes at least some Christians (and clearly some people who at least claim to be Christians do take advantage of that gullibility for their own profit), does this prove clearly and unambiguously that the line [Read More...]

Is Your Religion an Idol?

The quote from Henry Sloane Coffin’s book Joy in believingwhich appears in the image, as well as the background image from Olivia Bell, came to me via the post “Faith Without Apologetics” on Kevin Davis’ blog. Here’s a bit of the larger context: To us likewise the prophet [Isaiah] would say that a burdensome religion is a [Read More...]

The Unity of Truth

The quote comes from a blog that I had drawn to my attention for the first time yesterday, and more specifically a post on it with the title “Evil-ution (Part 1).” For those interested in the intersection of science and Christianity, it is a blog that looks like it will be worth keeping an eye [Read More...]

Maps for Teaching Paul

The site “Vox” shared a set of “40 Maps that Explain the Roman Empire.” A number of them are interesting for those who teach Biblical studies. Since I am teaching a class on Paul and the early church this semester, a couple seemed particularly relevant. For instance, this one seems like it might help students in [Read More...]

If You Could Only Pick Two Episodes

I will be giving a guest lecture at another university in October, on the subject of Doctor Who and religion. I was asked to pick two episodes that it might be worth watching in between now and my lecture, which might be shown at student events between now and my talk. I have a couple in mind, but [Read More...]

Generalizing about Religion

Sabio Lantz has shared some insightful comments about the problem of generalization in discussion of religion. There’s an extensive quotation below, but click through to read the entire post. Religions around the world nurture conflict and are used as tools for great suffering and nonsense. But religion can also be used in wonderful ways. It is [Read More...]

Christians and our Critics

The quote is something that Arni Zachariassen said on Facebook, and which I have quoted here with his permission. Very often I come across atheist critiques of Christianity that are shallow, uninformed and pretty much not thought through at all. Especially, it seems, in reference to the Bible. I often feel the exacerbated need to [Read More...]

The Outsider’s Test and the Golden Rule

Jerry Coyne shared the cartoon below, which illustrates the tendency we have to consider that the culture, religion, species, and everything else we are brought up with is the best, rather than the more likely scenario which is that we think they are the best because they are what we were brought up with. Ironically, some [Read More...]

Come As You Are

David Hayward shared the above cartoon he created, which depicts a rather literal cookie-cutter type of entrance to the kingdom. The fact that the kingdom’s inhabitants are thus low-budget robots is not without symbolic significance. Once they get in, they sing “Just as I am” – but obviously they have only been accepted “just as [Read More...]

One Church Fits All?

In response to an insightful comment on my post “Church Cocoon” I wrote the following: It may be that we are being unfair to individual churches when we expect them to be everything Christians need throughout their lives. Maternity wards are great places to be born, but may not be the best places to grow up. [Read More...]


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