I Don’t Understand Jim West

There are plenty of things that I do understand about Jim West. He has no feelings – I know this because after I made a jibe at him, he told me himself, “If I had feelings they’d be hurt.” And so really what I’m saying is that I understand that he has a sharp wit, [Read More...]

Review of Richard C. Carrier, Proving History

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to review Richard Carrier’s latest book, Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. I am grateful to Prometheus Books for sending me a free review copy. Carrier emphasizes from the outset that this is the first of two books, the second of [Read More...]

Approaching Scripture as Jesus Did

Morgan Guyton has an excellent post on what should be the Christian approach to Scripture, namely approaching it as Jesus himself approached it. And so he takes Jesus’ Sabbath healing, and his principle that “the Sabbath was made for human beings, and not human beings for the Sabbath” as a criterion by which to evaluate [Read More...]

Even Fred Phelps is not Completely Useless

From the post “Fred Phelps: Why it is not possible to believe that you ate Chick-fil-A because of ‘freedom of speech’” on the blog Slacktivist. Poster courtesy of “Christians Against the Tea Party” on Facebook. [Read more...]

Doctor Who: The Mind of Evil

This Doctor Who episode from the Jon Pertwee era, “The Mind of Evil,” offers interesting explorations of religious themes, as well as some intriguing connections with (or perhaps disconnects from) more recent episodes. The Doctor and Jo Grant go to see a demonstration at a prison of a device called the Keller Machine, which supposedly [Read More...]

Arguing for Jesus

A Facebook conversation (if one can call it that) in which I recently became embroiled reminds me of how I used to approach discussions with those who disagreed with me. It was OK to lump my opponents with the worst behavior among those who agreed with them, but any attempt to reverse that logic was [Read More...]

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

I borrowed the movie Salmon Fishing in the Yemen from my local library, having seen the trailer on another DVD. I don’t remember hearing about the movie anywhere else, and so I suspect that many readers may likewise never have heard about it. The movie focused on religion and faith more than I expected it to. [Read More...]

AAR and SBL Sessions 2012

The program book for the Society of Biblical Literature 2012 Annual Meeting and the program book for the American Academy of Religion 2012 Annual Meeting, which will take place together in Chicago in November, are both now online. I’ll be reading one paper and serving on one panel at the SBL conference, and will be part of [Read More...]

Biblical Faith is not Avoiding Doubt, nor is it Feeling Certain

The Bible itself raises challenges to the way conservative Christians in our time tend to understand what the Bible is, as supposedly an inerrant text that can eliminate doubt from one's life. The Bible itself tells story after story about people for whom doubt was part of their spiritual life. There is something profoundly ironic [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Vorjack)

One of the most annoying things about dealing with Protestants is their insistence on Biblical authority paired with their inability to agree on what the Bible says. Combined with the tendency to simply assert their supposedly biblical doctrines without “showing their work,” so to speak, leaves one with the feeling that the Bible is simply [Read More...]

Childlike Faith Poster

The quotation comes from my previous post. [Read more...]


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