Music For 8 Year Olds

Tonight I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a concert by the Carmel Symphony Orchestra. I didn’t realize I would know several people in it, including my son’s current violin teacher and the teacher of his first teacher. I only found out about the concert yesterday, and quickly made plans to attend. The main reason [Read More...]

Ironic Quotes of the Day (Roger Olson)

“The irony should not escape us. Many conservative Christians oppose biological evolution while implicitly and unconsciously promoting a form of social Darwinism” (Roger E. Olson, How to Be Evangelical without Being Conservative (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008) p.137). “Luther is a hero to most conservative evangelical theologians. But the ironic tragedy is that too often they [Read More...]

Palin’s Apocalypse

The following video from the American News Project highlights the religious beliefs typical of the Assemblies of God tradition with which Sarah Palin is connected, and the need for voters to ask her about beliefs which have political ramifications. Many were, I am sure, pleased to learn that her understanding is not that it is [Read More...]

The Guild of Biblical Minimalists

Apparently I have been granted the sublime honor of being considered an associate member of the “Guild of Biblical Minimalists“. New Testament scholars cannot be full members, since we have too much useful historical material in the texts we study for it to be possible for us to attain to full-blown minimalism in our field. [Read More...]

Tina Fey Debates Joe Biden

I’m watching the vice presidential debate. While McCain’s running mate is coping better than I expected (although just as I tuned in, she was saying that she isn’t going to answer the question posed but focus on something else she thinks is more important), I still can’t distinguish her clearly in my mind from Tina [Read More...]

Oral Tradition in Cyberspace

As I searched online for some resources on oral tradition and the New Testament, I came across a couple of things that seemed to be worth sharing. First, the site for a course on world religions called “The Sacred Journey” has several scholarly articles. Since most of the names were misspelled on that web page, [Read More...]

A Perfect Gift?

Richard Carrier, the famous atheist who writes and speaks about historical matters related to early Christianity, has added my book The Burial of Jesus to his Amazon wish list. If any regular readers have always wanted to make his aquaintance, why not buy it for him and take the opportunity to introduce yourself? On his [Read More...]

Mandaeans in Australia

The Mandaean community in Australia has been particularly active both in creating a web presence for the Mandaeans and in publishing printed facsimiles of Mandaean texts. There will be a radio show about the Mandaeans in Australia this coming Sunday: ABC Radio National, Sunday October 5 at 7.10am (repeated on Wednesday October 8 at 7.05pm) [Read More...]

Looking for Evil in our Robot Offspring

This week’s episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles introduced some new and interesting twists, although perhaps this won’t be enough to improve its ratings. Potentially most interesting is the idea that some of the machines want peace. Is that who the mysterious shapeshifting robot from the future represents? Does “her daughter” know that her [Read More...]

Mind Meld

I’m one of the participants in today’s “Mind Meld” on SF Signal. The topic for this one is the question “What’s Your Favorite Sub-Genre of Science Fiction and/or Fantasy?” Try guessing what I picked before heading over there… [Read more...]

Amazon Bestseller!

I must offer thanks to those who decided to pre-order The Only True God. I just looked and it was ranked as a bestseller, coming in at #53 on in the category Books > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > History of Religion Of course, I initially suspected that perhaps there were only 53 [Read More...]

What We Know

We are part of something greater than ourselves, something that may well be infinite. It gave rise to us – “created” us, if you will, through the unfolding of various processes. We cannot see it from the outside, cannot know if referring to it as “it” fits less well than using a personal pronoun. Does [Read More...]

The Only True God: pre-order discount

You can pre-order The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context at a significant discount on I’m not sure what kind of offer University of Illinois Press has at SBL, but it is hard to beat 34% off the list price! [Read more...]

Review of Swearengen, Beyond Paradise

Review of Jack Clayton Swearengen, Beyond Paradise: Technology and the Kingdom of God (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2007). Review published in Teaching Theology and Religion 11:4 (2008) p.236. Jack Clayton Swearengen’s book Beyond Paradise: Technology and the Kingdom of God is intended as a primer on the ethics of technology and engineering from a [Read More...]