Does God Slam His Fist On The Coffee Table?

From Pearls Before Swine. The cartoon gets at the heart of the matter, which isn’t the religious language that people use or views that they hold per se. The real problem is that people use such language and adopt viewpoints without thinking seriously about what it means and what the implications are. [Read more...]

Religion Across Time and Space #CFP

A couple of calls for papers, which share in common the idea of crossing time and space, albeit in different ways. One is from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Area of the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association, looking for proposals about Doctor Who and Torchwood. The other is for a graduate conference at Duke University on the theme “Across [Read More...]

Fighting Fundamentalists vs. Fighting Fundamentalism

Dealing with an exploitative dictator by overthrowing that ruler and replacing them with oneself as dictator is fighting the dictator, but not dictatorship. Likewise, one can fight fundamentalists in a manner that is equally fundamentalist and so does not fight fundamentalism. This was a comment I left on a recent blog post about diagnosing and [Read More...]

Time and Relative Dimension in the Gospel of John

Another great cartoon from Spike Davis. [Read more...]

Discussing Mythicism

My recent posts about mythicism, responding to Larry Moran and Jerry Coyne, has sparked discussion on other blogs. See the posts by Don Burrows, Tim O’Neill at a brand new blog called “History for Atheists,” and Chris Eyre. I also had a piece by Brent Lyons drawn to my attention, in which he discusses the [Read More...]

They Will Know We Are Christians

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If Coffee Cups Define Your Christmas

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The Perpetual Orwellian War On Christmas

The “war on Christmas” is Orwellian in character. It never ends, and is manufactured not by the purported enemy but by conservative cultural Christians, as a means of giving people an ideological focus that makes them prone to manipulation. Presumably you have seen the latest version, complaining about plain red cups at Starbucks? John Pavlovitz [Read More...]

What I’m Telling My Students Luncheon #aarsbl15

If you’re a student who will be at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in Atlanta in November, why not RSVP for the “What I’m Telling My Students Luncheon” that the Student Advisory Board is holding on November 23rd from 11-12:45? If you attend, and have seen the old headshot of mine that was [Read More...]

Music From the Sorrowing Earth of Qumran

Jim Davila mentioned this piece, “From Sorrowing Earth” by Nigel Butterley, on his blog recently, indicating that the composer was inspired to write another piece, “In the Head the Fire,” by the War Scroll from Qumran. I have not tracked down a recording of the latter piece – if anyone can point me in the [Read More...]

Faith and Skepticism

Paul Malan recently wrote an article about skepticism and conservative religious views thereof. Let me provide some samples of how it approaches things: Companies have learned that organic and natural say more about the mind of the consumer than they say about the product, and they sell more potato chips when they use words that make us feel good about [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Zygon Inversion

“The Zygon Inversion” is an instant classic, one of those episodes that immediately adds itself to my list of all-time favorites -and possibly my absolute favorite episode, just because of the speech the Doctor gives at the end, which you can watch in the video below. Spoilers ahead. This episode concludes the two-parter which brilliantly introduced a [Read More...]

Interpolation Mythicism

Commenter arcseconds made this useful observation in a discussion about whether Galatians 1:19 might be an interpolation, as mythicists hope: [I]t requires the existence of a copyist prepared to make clarifying interpolations, who thinks this clarification is needed, who actually made this interpolation, at a point where they could influence the manuscript tradition, and who [Read More...]

Diagnosing and Treating Unreformed Fundamentalism

Allan Bevere wrote a blog post highlighting the problem of the fundamentalist who rejects one kind of fundamentalism merely to replace it with another. He writes: If there is one thing that can be asserted without proof (that’s a tongue-in-cheek comment meant for literary effect), it is that those who are reformed out of a habit [Read More...]