Consequences of Making the Bible Holy

By treating the Bible as the place to find all of the answers, we have taken away its power to lead us to ask deeper questions. By using the Bible as a weapon, we have weakened its ability to heal. By making the Bible holy, we have stripped away what makes it sacred. Words from a post by Alise [Read More...]

Biblical Inerrancy Makes No Difference

Last Sunday, my Sunday school class began talking about what it means to have a canon that came to us through natural human processes. I suggested that, in one sense, it makes no difference. Those who subscribe to Biblical inerrancy do not agree on what these supposedly inerrant texts actually mean. And so one is left to puzzle [Read More...]

The Tower of Bible

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved southward, they found papyrus in Egypt and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make paper sheets, and bind them into scrolls and books.” They used paper instead of stone, and charcoal for ink. Then they said, “Come, let us write ourselves a book, with a theology that reaches [Read More...]

Have You Seen What They’ve Written About Us?

The above cartoon by David Hayward makes a lot of useful points at once. On the one hand, it emphasizes that the Bible is the work of people writing about God, not something God wrote and dropped down from heaven. It also depicts God anthropomorphically, as three persons surprised when they find out what humans have written [Read More...]

A Defining Feature of Conservative Christianity

This is another instance of me taking the summary I wrote of an earlier blog post, and turning it into a meme. I have been making a point of saying something about each of my posts when I share them, and I find that sometimes the attempt to sum them up in a succinct and [Read More...]

A Thread that Runs Through the Whole Bible

In creating a recent post, I was reminded of an earlier post on the same subject, and decided to excerpt a quote from it. Click through to read the original context of the words above. [Read more...]

Taking the Bible “Literally”

I used a photo of A. J. Jacobs trying to live Biblically as the background image. He at least tried to an extent that few who claim to be “Biblical” or “literalists” or both ever do. See his book, A Year of Living Biblically, which I have mentioned here before. See also Rachel Held Evans’ [Read More...]

Literalism = Misconception and Incoherence

The quote comes from p. xxiii of Nahum Sarna’s book Understanding Genesis. [Read more...]

Sacred Troubling Topics in Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur’an

An interesting call for papers (via Religion CFP and ACLA): Sacred Troubling Topics in Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur’an. Organizer: Roberta Sabbath, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Contact the Seminar Organizers Abrahamic sacred texts continue to inspire a diversity of scholarship that seeks to transform the ancient into the contemporary, the remote into the immediate, and the [Read More...]

Biblical Scholars Fighting Creationism

Hector Avalos has a new article in The Bible and Interpretation about the need for Biblical scholars to be involved in fighting creationism. Here’s a sample: Scientists are not trained to recognize how creationists are distorting biblical texts. Thus, Jerry Coyne’s Faith v. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible (2015) does an excellent job of explaining scientific theory [Read More...]


I’ve had my attention drawn to the Anomaly podcast about hermeneutics and Star Trek. It emphasizes why “It was the 60s” is not a sufficient justification for things like sexism on Star Trek: The Original Series. Here’s a sample: I tend to think there’s also extra pressure on Star Trek because it has a reputation for being progressive. For the [Read More...]