It’s Not Just the Kids

Episcopal Church Memes shared this cartoon on Facebook. It is from Rev. Jay Sidebotham's St. Swithin's cartoon series. We can all chuckle at the way new technological and other assumptions change the perception of the Christmas story. But the proposal of the vicar in the cartoon – to go back to the King James Version [Read More...]

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Keep (Only) Christ in Christmas

A letter to yesterday's Indianapolis Star had an interesting response to the annual “keep Christ in Christmas” hubbub. What if Christians kept just Christ in Christmas, and let go of all the stuff that is not specifically Christian? What if they let go of the trees, and the gifts, and Santa, and secular Christmas music, [Read More...]

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#ProgGOD 2: The Incarnation

I was putting off responding to Tony Jones’ recent provocation to progressive Christians to answer the question “Why an Incarnation?”, but this cartoon a friend shared on Facebook made me decide to get to it sooner: As someone who is not only a progressive Christian, but also a New Testament scholar, the conversation for me [Read More...]

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The Eternal Gospel

In Revelation 14:6-7, the author says that he saw an angel bringing the eternal gospel in order to proclaim it to every nation, language, and people. Futurist interpreters claim that this shows that by that stage all Christians have been raptured or killed, and so an angel has to deliver the message. But anyone who [Read More...]

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Doctor Who: The Power of Three

Whether you enjoy Doctor Who for the humor or the drama, or both, and whether you share my interest in religious themes in the show or not, there was a lot to love about tonight's episode, “The Power of Three.” There were no fewer plot holes than in the holiest of previous episodes. But if [Read More...]

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Christ of Jerusalem Lost the Election

The New York Times has an article today about the tendency of candidates in Brazil to adopt creative and at times outlandish pseudonyms. From that article I learned that “Christ of Jerusalem” lost an election back in 2008, while Batman and a couple of James Bonds are currently on various ballots. The appearance of a “Christ” [Read More...]

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Arguing for Jesus

A Facebook conversation (if one can call it that) in which I recently became embroiled reminds me of how I used to approach discussions with those who disagreed with me. It was OK to lump my opponents with the worst behavior among those who agreed with them, but any attempt to reverse that logic was [Read More...]

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Before The Bible Was Written

On Facebook I came across this funny depiction of what the first Christians had to resort to holding up at sporting events, before they had written texts they could reference: “Me 3:16″ – Nice one, John! But as someone involved in teaching Biblical studies, I also thought this was a nice reminder of a serious [Read More...]

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Review of Sacred Space by Douglas E. Cowan

I am grateful to Baylor University Press for sending me a free review copy of Douglas E. Cowan’s magnificent book, Sacred Space: The Quest for Transcendence in Science Fiction Film and Television. I cannot believe how long it has taken me to get around to reviewing it. But there is a good reason. This is [Read More...]

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Anush-Uthra vs. Jesus: Smackdown in Jerusalem

I just posted another draft of a chapter from the Mandaean Book of John. In this chapter, chapter 76, there are a few places where the meaning of the text is not entirely clear (do I need to mention this when it is true of pretty much every section of every Mandaic text?). But the [Read More...]

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Letter from Ned Ludd to the Mythicists

This important historical document seems to me to be relevant to something mythicists often say, and so I thought I would share it… Dear mythicists, I, Ned Ludd, am writing to request that you kindly stop using my name as though it provided support for your nonsensical ideas. If you don’t, I expect that I [Read More...]

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