The Prophets of Our Time

We had an interesting discussion of prophecy in my Sunday school class recently, as we continued working our way through 1 Corinthians. I’ve often heard people suggest that preachers are the closest equivalent today to ancient Israel’s prophets. I’ve often viewed that as a problematic stance, since it seems designed to add to the authority of [Read More...]

Americans – Prepare for Nonsense

Did you see the above advertisement in today’s USA Today? This quote from an article by Quassim Cassam on conspiracy theory thinking: It is in the nature of many intellectual character traits that you don’t realise you have them, and so aren’t aware of the true extent to which your thinking is influenced by them. [Read More...]

Myth and Memory

On his blog Genealogy of Religion, Cris Campbell talks about reading Colin Calloway’s book One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis and Clark. The crux of the post can be summed up by quoting Campbell: I have no doubt that indigenous oral traditions are remarkable repositories of deep history and ancient knowledge. They are [Read More...]

Time Asked, Globe Answered

This photo of Harry Fear's is several years old, but I had not seen it until today. The correlation between the two, there on the newsstand, is poignant, although it looks like the Time issue was placed in the Better Homes and Gardens slot for the purpose of the photo.   [Read more...]

The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Capitalism

Talking about George Orwell's 1984, and the book within the book, is always interesting. But this semester the discussion took some turns that seem to me worth sharing. The book by Emmanuel Goldstein, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, is an intentional parody of Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto. It represents a plan to [Read More...]


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Patheos Public Square

There’s a relatively new feature on the Patheos website: Patheos Public Square. The current topic is “Does America Need a Civil Religion?” [Read more...]

Restarting America

HT Jerry Coyne [Read more...]

My Fellow Americans

I found this cartoon yesterday on the Polyp website when I was working on my recent post about conspiracy theories and Margaret Atwood’s novel The Year of the Flood. I appreciated its satirical treatment of our tendency to think of Jesus as one of us, one who could address us in this way with no sense [Read More...]

The Ten Recommendations

When I saw yesterday’s Non Sequitur cartoon, it reminded me of something that I run up against regularly in class: For today’s students, the Ten Commandments have always been ten “recommendations” or “suggestions.” No matter how strongly they were ingrained in them from an early age, they have not had the status of law – apart from [Read More...]

Religious Diversity and Alienation

I have been struck by the language some atheist bloggers I read have used in recent days, in reference to how they felt about President Obama’s speech/sermon in Newtown. Alienation. As a progressive Christian, and as someone who has studied Biblical studies, theology, and philosophy of religion, I often feel something that could be described [Read More...]