The First Baptists, The Last Gnostics

Here’s a recording of the talk I gave about the Mandaeans yesterday to an audience of faculty, staff, and students at Butler University, as part of the Faculty Brown Bag series. [Read more...]

Marcus Borg 1942-2015

The news has been breaking that Marcus Borg has passed away. Borg was an important figure in two areas that I also live and work in: Biblical studies, with particular focus on the historical Jesus; and progressive Christianity. Borg wrote a number of excellent books, including ones which illustrated the ability of people who disagree [Read More...]

Christians Under Attack

This political cartoon is old, but it came to my attention recently and it clearly has not lost its relevance. We can debate whether Christians are “under attack” in any meaningful sense anywhere in the English speaking world – being disagreed with is not an attack, and while there are instances of harassment, discrimination, and other kinds [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars

Pyramids of Mars is one of the great classic examples of the ancient aliens trope on Doctor Who. The episode focuses on a British explorer who, in exploring an Egyptian tomb, is taken over by the Egyptian god Sutekh, better known as Seth. The self-described servant of Sutekh, Ibrahim Namin, speaks of gods, unbelievers, and a [Read More...]

Believing is Easier

The above quote is from a blog post by Chuck Queen. True religion is not about believing doctrines. It’s about falling in love with God and learning how to love everyone and everything the way God loves everyone and everything… It is much easier to believe doctrines, perform rituals, and enforce policies than actually live [Read More...]

American Christians Celebrate Paris Massacre

The title of this blog post is the equivalent of what the Christian Broadcasting Network recently offered, when it reported on a radical cleric in Pakistan who managed to get a grand total of 40 people to attend a funeral honoring the terrorists who killed people at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. The headline they [Read More...]

Yoda Buddha

CNET shared a link to and examples of Chris Milnes’ productions, for sale on Etsy, made using a 3-D printer. Yoda is a much more natural fit for a Zen depiction than some of the other figures. But all of them deserve to be checked out, and they include figures not just Star Wars but [Read More...]

BioLogos Conference on Evolution and Christian Faith

Thanks to RJS for pointing out the conference on Christianity and evolution, to be held in Michigan this summer by Biologos. I’ll share the call for papers here, but click through for more information.   Call for Papers BioLogos invites oral and poster presentations from a variety of disciplines about topics at the intersection of evolution [Read More...]

Exterminating #FoxNewsFacts

I’ve been wanting to blog about the hilariously idiotic suggestion, made by someone purportedly an expert on Fox News, that Birmingham is a city inhabited only by Muslims, with non-Muslims simply not going there. This is a case of someone saying something which is not merely an error, but indicates clearly that they are making things up [Read More...]

Downton Abbey and Churches

Recent episodes of Downton Abbey have focused a lot of attention on the way changing society in Britain led to the economic collapse of many estates owned by landed gentry. It struck me recently that this is a nice picture of the situation confronting churches in our time. Society has changed dramatically, and that doesn’t [Read More...]

Speaking about Religion

I am teaching a class this semester which focuses on speaking about religion. It will focus on integrating (1) effective communication, (2) the skills that pertain to finding accurate information about religion, and (3) navigating the controversies about religion in the present day. The “readings” for the course will all be recordings of people speaking. And I [Read More...]


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