Forgiving Darth Vader

Today in my religion and science fiction class, we brought together earlier discussions of Star Trek and Star Wars as mythologies for our era. In order to provide a humorous introduction to a comparison and contrast of these mythologies, I started things off with this video: We ranged far and wide, but one interesting theme, [Read More...]

Talking Tech

It has been a while since we’ve had a conversation about technology here. At present I use a number of devices that are antiquated if not obsolete, including a laptop which I rarely use because the battery doesn’t charge and the hard drive freezes if it is on for too long. And so I hope [Read More...]

The Bible and the Environment

Today another colleague in religion and I made a guest appearance in a class on environmental biology. I covered primarily the Jewish and Christian traditions (with the main focus on Scriptures and the use to which they are put), while my colleague focused on Hinduism and Buddhism. We were both able to talk about our visits [Read More...]

Shadows of Doubts

The title of this post comes from Naked Pastor’s illustration posted today: One can obviously proof-text for views like those expressed by Pat Robertson about Haiti. But Father Matthew offers a well-rounded response that is more profoundly Christian and Biblical: This is relevant to faith and doubt, because for some, accepting complexity and being critical as [Read More...]

Waiting For Answers From LOST

There’s now a theme song for those waiting for answers from LOST and doubtful that all the unanswered questions and mysteries can be addressed in the one season remaining: A few seem to me to be things that have been addressed, don’t need to be addressed, or we can work out from what we already [Read More...]

The Kingdom of God

I have a student who is hoping to do summer research on the subject of the kingdom of God in the teaching of Jesus, with particular focus on (1) the Jewish background of the concept, and (2) reconstructing as closely as possible the earliest form of kingdom parables with a high probability of authenticity. This [Read More...]

Doubt and Uncertainty

I was going to make this a “quote of the day” post, but then found that more than one blogger had tackled this subject. Scot McKnight offers a response to a letter about doubt. He has many wise things to say, such as the following: you will never go back to where you were and [Read More...]

JohnDave Reads John’s Apologetic Christology

JohnDave Medina has been reading my first book, John’s Apologetic Christology and shares some thoughts and quotes. . [Read more...]

Child Care and Religion in Indiana

It is rather dismaying to find one of my local representatives, Rep. Vanessa Summers, being harrassed and maligned by other Christians because she wants to ensure that even religiously-affiliated child care centers are held to the same basic standards of best practices as all other such institutions. The proposed legislation is available online, and I for one [Read More...]

God, Bears and Hairs

Today the story of Elisha and the she-bears (2 Kings 2:23-25) came up in Sunday school class. Some people there hadn’t encountered the story before. It led to an interesting discussion about the fact that some use the rhetoric of “believing the whole Bible” even when they aren’t sure what it would mean to “believe in” [Read More...]

Pentateuch as Diatessaron

A commenter on my recent post about the Documentary Hypothesis suggested a possible analogy to the activity of the redactor of the Pentateuch, namely Tatian’s Diatessaron, the first attempt to create a single life of Jesus from the four Gospels. I wonder whether the scenario of creating a single narrative from multiple sources, however unusual [Read More...]

Rachel Barton Pine Performs Vieuxtemps’ Souvenir From America

I heard Joshua Bell perform this piece as an encore on Live From Lincoln Center on PBS last night, and was reminded of hearing the amazing virtuoso Rachel Barton Pine perform the piece live. A quick search on YouTube turned up this recording of her performing the same piece, Henri Vieuxtemps’ Souvenir d’Amérique, op.17. If [Read More...]

Memory, Orality and the Documentary Hypothesis

Deirdre Good shared a link to an article about memory research, and mentions its relevance to (among other things) the ending of Mark’s Gospel. Despite my avid interest in that subject, the first thing that came to my mind was the subject of a class I taught today: the Documentary Hypothesis. On the one hand, everything [Read More...]

LOST: The Loophole and the Double Resurrection

I think I just had an “a-ha” moment regarding LOST – and I’m wondering whether I’ve had a flash of insight, a flash of misunderstanding, or am just noticing what is obvious to everyone. We’ve been so focused on the “resurrection” of John Locke this past season, that most fans have failed to connect this [Read More...]