Baptism for the Dead: Paul and the Mandaeans

A student who gave a presentation on the Mandaeans in my “Heresy” class used the phrase “baptism for the dead” to describe the masiqta – more frequently translated as “mass for the dead” or something similar in English. The masiqta proper, of course, is a ritual meal which takes after someone has died, and not an [Read More...]

Breaking News: Discrimination Illegal in Indiana

For the first time in its history, there is a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in Indiana. Here is the language that has been added to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Sec. 0.7. This chapter does not: (1) authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public [Read More...]

The Fragility of American Christians

Paul Flesher shared thoughts on religious freedom and American Christianity that I think need to be read widely. Here is an excerpt: Are Christians so fragile that they are harmed by being employed in weddings they do not theologically agree with? Jesus taught his followers to be tougher than that. Should they be oppressed through [Read More...]

LOST Rewatch: Dead is Dead

The episode begins with Charles Widmore as a younger man complaining that Richard had brought one of the Dharma Initiative people there. Richard says that Jacob wanted it, and the island chooses whom it chooses. Charles then introduces himself to young Ben. Ben says he doesn’t wantto go back, but wants to stay and become [Read More...]

Our Religion Requires It

An interesting take on the legislation in Indiana. It manages to combat selective literalism and conservative picking and choosing on the one hand, while offering an example of authentic lived Christianity on the other, while at the same time challenging the false dichotomy that views gays and Christians as though they were non-overlapping circles. Responding [Read More...]

March 2015 Biblical Studies Carnival

Jacob Prahlow has posted the latest Biblical Studies Carnival. Click through and enjoy! It includes lots of interesting things from the biblioblogosphere, including calls for papers and more. Thank you to Jacob for hosting the carnival!   [Read more...]

Schroedinger’s Cat Goes to the Vet

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Complicit in Evil

  The quote comes from a recent post of mine, and when a commenter said they wanted to share it, I thought it might make sense to make a meme image for that purpose. [Read more...]

Does Evangelicalism Make You A Better Person?

In a recent post about why Evangelical Christianity doesn’t make you a better person, Neil Carter wrote the following: Evangelical Christianity Has Messed Up Priorities The evangelical Christian vision of heaven is based on right belief, not on right behavior.  For evangelicals, it’s not the loving, caring, hard-working people of the world who get into [Read More...]

LOST Rewatch: Whatever Happened, Happened

Jin finds Ben, who had been shot, and brings him back. Juliette operates, but she says Ben needs a real surgeon. Hurley looks at his hand expecting to disappear like Back to the Future, because little Ben is dying and so big Ben can never have brought the, back to the island. Miles says that [Read More...]

A Slight Gust of Wind

  From Pictorial Theology. In case you can’t read the sheet that blew away, it says, “But, remember folks, these are just useful allegories until you figure it out for yourselves. The End.”   [Read more...]

Jesus Burdens Our Religious Freedom

I think this political cartoon makes an excellent point. Various things may or may not be legal, but if one is a follower of Jesus, it can be argued that his teachings burden our religious freedom. To quote Paul, “All things are lawful – but not all things are beneficial.” Christians may have the right [Read More...]

A Decade of Doctor Who

IO9 shared this video which is a tribute to the ten years of Doctor Who since it started up again ten years ago. Enjoy! [Read more...]

Nerd Fundamentalism: What Do Space Can(n)ons Have To Do With Biblical Canons?

The Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship section will have a session in November focused on comparing the canons of science fiction with Biblical canons, and the ways that fans/adherents of each navigate them. I’ve had a proposal accepted for the session, and here is the abstract: “Nerd Fundamentalism: What Do Space Can(n)ons Have To Do With [Read More...]


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