Taxation, Charity, and Robbery

I’ve heard the argument made that the government taxing the wealthy and redistributing that wealth to those less fortunate than them is not taxation, but robbery. I wonder how many of those who say such things are Christians or Jews , and would also think Deuteronomy 26:12 was robbery. Israelites had to set aside 10% of [Read More…]

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Quote of the Day (Derek Flood)

We don’t need to fear science — including the social sciences. Science is based on curiosity, hypothesis and observation of the way things are. In other words, it’s about truth, and we should never fear seeking truth — even if that means continually updating and expanding our current level of insight and understanding. We need [Read More…]

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The Life and Teaching of John the Baptist according to the Mandaean Book of John

Now that I have finished at least a still provisional but nevertheless complete translation of the chapters in the “Drasha d-Yahia” (which itself might be better rendered The Teaching of John rather than The Book of John) about the life and teaching of John the Baptist, I wanted to share links to them here. 18. Portents of [Read More…]

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Is Your Theology Weighing You Down?

Two humorous images that appeared on other blogs this morning provide helpful fodder for thinking about theology. The first, from David Hayward, reminds us that the only legitimate use for theological language is as a pointer towards a transcendent reality. The more weight you give to the actual words, understood not as sacraments or symbols [Read More…]

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Live Discussion with Tim Stafford

There will be a live discussion here at Patheos from 2-3pm Eastern Time, with Tim Stafford, about his book Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God’s Power. I reviewed the book on my blog a few days ago. Click through to join the discussion! [Read more…]

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This Is What I Think Prophecy Sounds Like

It is hard to get a sense of what the prophets of ancient Israel might have sounded like or seemed like when delivering their messages. Scholars often make comparisons to poets. The above video seems to me to catch something of their spirit in an actual live poetic performance in the present day – the [Read More…]

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Review of Os Guinness, A Free People’s Suicide

I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in the Patheos Book Club discussion of Os Guinness’ book A Free People’s Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2012). The book raises many important issues, and a vibrant challenge to Americans to not allow our republic to go [Read More…]

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American Christianity’s Blind Spot

The folks in the Facebook group “Christians Against the Tea Party” have made a quote from a recent blog post of mine into a poster once again. I am not used to this! [Read more…]

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“Folks Haven’t Been Reading Their Bibles” – Barack Obama on Religion and Public Policy

  Someone made the above quote from then senator Barack Obama into a poster. It illustrates what those who are intimately acquainted with the Bible and its interpretation see clearly, but religious fundamentalists less familiar with their own Scriptures often miss, namely that it is not at all straightforward to derive a clear set of [Read More…]

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Mike Huckabee and America’s Sin Problem

On his talk show, Mike Huckabee had the following to say about the shooting in Aurora, Colorado (that link goes to the Fox video; there are excerpts in print here): Ultimately, We don’t have a crime problem or a gun problem – or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem. And since [Read More…]

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Rick Warren Responds

In a comment on my blog post about his recent tweet, Rev. Rick Warren has taken the time to leave a comment, clarifying his meaning. Here is what he wrote: TWITTER'S limit on words allows no context for statements. A lack of contxt causes misinterpretation. So when you tweet what’s on your mind, people preassume [Read More…]

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