How It Could Have Ended: Return of the Jedi

This is not “How It Should Have Ended” but a mash-up that illustrates the potential dangers of blowing up a space station when it is close to an inhabited forest moon…. [Read more...]

Encountering the Alien around the Blogosphere

Several posts around the blogosphere have something to do with encountering the alien – whether in the realm of science, religion, or science fiction. Tom Verenna linked to an article asking about the effect of discovering alien life. Science and Religion Today links to an article about preparing for encountering extraterrestrial intelligent life – including [Read More...]

What Do You Think About Paul?

In an off-topic comment on a recent post, I was asked what I think about Paul. That is such a broad question that I’m not sure how to begin to answer it, but I think that it is certainly a good question. And I suspect that most people who are not committed to Paul’s inerrancy [Read More...]

Open Access Teaching of Modern and Ancient Languages

Recent articles in Inside Higher Education - focused on the field of modern languages – discuss the subject of open access scholarly publication and open access teaching. I have been wondering whether it would be possible for us to offer languages like Greek and Hebrew at Butler University even when we cannot persuade the administration that it [Read More...]

The Tower of Babel as Satire

A couple of posts about the Tower of Babel story have appeared in the blogosphere recently. Terri discussed telling her children that it is not literally true, while DoOrDoNot shared a humorous story about a child being offered a possible literal interpretation. In the past I’ve mentioned the story briefly, such as in a parody of the [Read More...]

Frivolous and Serious Deities Around the Blogosphere

Daniel McClellan has a post on the Hebrew plural Elohim, in which he explains that it served as an abstract plural, and thus meant something like “the deity.” Jim Linville has an entertaining post featuring the sorts of LOLcats that demanded worship from humans both ancient and modern – and often received it, or at [Read More...]

Mark Goodacre on the Existence of Jesus

Ari’s blog has some awesome links. He spotted Mark Goodacre’s latest NT Pod, on the question whether Jesus existed, before it even popped up in my feed. I agree with Mark on the useful positive role mythicists can play for New Testament scholars in keeping us honest. And I obviously also agree with Mark’s criticisms [Read More...]

Responding to David Fitzgerald

David Fitzgerald kindly let me know that he has posted a response to my critical post about his talk at Skepticon. In the spirit of dialogue that he expresses in his post, addressing me directly, I will do the same here. I would like to begin by clarifying that I was not in any sense [Read More...]

Gnosticism and Science Fiction: Philip K. Dick

Gnosticism has turned up regularly in science fiction – The Matrix and The Golden Compass providing just a couple of recent examples. It also profoundly influenced the religious views of Philip K. Dick, and in following a link to an interview about the Gospel of Thomas and Secret Book of John with Stevan Davies, I [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Joel Watts)

“[R]reading the text as if it was as plain as the nose on your face only gets you that far into the text – to the bare tip of your nose.” – Joel Watts, “Rules for Studying Genesis – Marv Gets It Wrong“ [Read more...]

Atheism, Animal Apocalypse, Apophaticism and Assorted Other Stuff around the Blogosphere

Dennis Venema tells part one of a tale of three creationists. P. Z. Myers explains how Ken Ham encourages atheism (and gay marriage). Greg Laden explains that what is happening at present is not that unusually large numbers of animals are dying, but unusually large numbers of media outlets are reporting it. On the other hand, a [Read More...]

Evolutionary Links that are NOT missing (from around the blogsophere)

Here are some links related to evolution, and the interaction of biology and theology, from around the blogosphere: Several blogs quoted Albert Mohler on why he doesn’t accept scientific evidence. Arni Zachariassen responds with a post criticizing Mohler’s theology of creation. Scott Bailey calls it “intellectual bait and switch.” Greg Laden posts on creationist quote-mining [Read More...]

Uhura’s Fan, Star Trek, and Christianity

There was a nice brief article in the Indianapolis Star yesterday about Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek series. In it she tells of how she was considering leaving the show at the end of the first season, and was persuaded not to by a very famous fan. This is [Read More...]

Response to Nick Norelli’s Review of The Only True God

As mentioned previously, Nick Norelli posted a very detailed and, from my perspective, very fair and useful review of my book, The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context. There have been more positive reviews that did not leave me feeling as satisfied with the level of engagement as Nick’s did. I am sure [Read More...]