Abraham’s Test Updated

Yesterday in my first year seminar class, we talked about the story in which Abraham sets out to sacrifice Isaac. Since first-year university students tend not to have children, I wondered what could be as precious to them as a child would have been to an aged patriarch. I jokingly suggested their phones, and the idea for [Read More...]

Which Came First? Thoughts about Jesus and the Binding of Isaac

I’ve been reading a wonderful book about the Isaac story, James Goodman’s But Where Is the Lamb?: Imagining the Story of Abraham and Isaac. It is a history of interpretation, but written in an unconventional manner – as though the author of the Akedah story were surveying what future readers would say and do in response [Read More...]

Abraham and Isaac Live

As you will gather from the video above, the title of this post indicates not that these two patriarchs live, but that the video is a live performance of Benjamin Britten’s canticle “Abraham and Isaac.” See Bob Macdonald’s blog for another performance, and the text that Britten set here. Of related interest (since the story is one [Read More...]

Respecting Beliefs

I came across this image on Pinterest, on the same day that the Pope excommunicated the entire Mafia from the Roman Catholic Church. Religion can be a powerful force to do harm or to combat those who do harm. And the line between the two sorts of religion is not one that lies between different [Read More...]

A Close Shave

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Abraham “Heard Voices”

It is important to tread carefully when something tragic is in the news, such as Aaron Alexis' recent shooting rampage at a Navy yard. But my students are continuing to discuss the Abraham story and the Euthyphro today, and we simply cannot bypass the question of how one would react to someone in our time [Read More...]

Gentiles and Crap

As we continued working our way through Hebrews today in my Sunday school class, the mention of the curtain (separating the holy place from the most holy place or “holy of holies”), and the lack of mention of the temple (the author focuses instead on the tabernacle), led us to a broader discussion of the [Read More...]

Sorry, The Correct Answer Is…

HT Unreasonable Faith [Read more...]

Fringe: Philip Broyles did not Spare his Only Son

There was a lot of God-talk in the episode of Fringe “The Consultant.” Discussing a case which (like almost all of them on Fringe) involved someone dying under unusual circumstances, the subject comes up whether God killed the man in question, as Walter quotes from Romans 1. Walter adds that some would say that God [Read More...]

Abortion and Child Sacrifice in the Bible (From The Archives)

There is an interesting irony in the fact that a tradition that apparently once practiced child sacrifice has evolved into one in which (in certain segments, at least) is adamant in protecting the rights even of the not-yet-born. The teachings on the unborn found within the Bible are somewhat ambiguous. Exodus 21:22-25 appears to make [Read More...]

In Abraham’s Shoes Without a Bible (From The Archives)

When I wrote this, I had been reading some student assignments that discussed the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22, and was struck by how many are ready to say that Abraham did the right thing in being willing to kill his son. They said this, presumably, because the story is in the [Read More...]


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