Paranoid Hype in Political Discourse

I wonder how many of those who make ridiculous paranoid claims about presidential candidates actually believe them, and how many of those who originate them do so knowing full well that they are false, but hoping that enough gullible people will fall for them to help swing the election. Fred Clark has a nice round-up [Read More...]

Mandaeans and Other Marsh Arabs

Via Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources, I learned of the Marsh Arabs Heritage Project, which looks at the cultural, religious, and social life of the marshlands of Southern Iraq, including the Mandaeans, but also Muslims, Jews, Christians, Yezidis and others. The pdf downloads appear not to have been added yet, but there is in [Read More...]

Religion and Science: The Bigger Picture

The blog of the British Center for Science Education shared slides from a recent talk which make a really important point about the way young-earth creationists want people to think about evolution, and a different and arguably more accurate perspective. Here is how young-earth creationists (and some atheists) try to depict the situation: Here is a [Read More...]

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...]

Revelation 7: The Seal of God, the Earth’s Corners, and Tribal Errors

This past Sunday in my Sunday school class, we talked about Revelation chapter 7. Given my sense of humor, you won’t be surprised that I mentioned that Revelation 7:2 doesn’t mean this: We also talked about how the chapter illustrates problems with both literalism and inerrancy. With literalism, not just because someone reading in English [Read More...]

The Gamification of Online Discourse about Religion

One doesn’t have to spend much time online, whether on a blog like this one o ever more so a site like Reddit, to experience what I am talking about. There seem to be more people than ever before who treat their interactions with other people, things that might well have been conversations had this [Read More...]

“Jesus Taught Generosity and Charity, Not Government Assistance”

I've heard this claim a lot lately, and it seems to me bizarre, particularly when it focuses on an example like the Good Samaritan. A friend actually told me recently that the Good Samaritan didn't rely on the government to take care of the man, appealing to that as if it were an argument against [Read More...]

How to Make a Liberal Bible Scholar

Today’s “Quote of the Day” comes from Greg Carey: The best way for conservative churches to produce “liberal” biblical scholars is to keep encouraging young people to read the Bible…Reading the Bible is a terrific cure for fundamentalism. That’s exactly how many of us so-called liberal Bible scholars got our start. Those quotes are from [Read More...]

Young-Earth Creationists Substitute Words of Men in Place of the Word of God

Time and time again I have heard young-earth creationists say that one has to choose between what humans say about the origins of the cosmos and of human beings on the one hand, and the Word of God on the other. From a Christian perspective, this is exactly right. And young-earth creationists have chosen the [Read More...]

All Worldviews Have Holes

First, a quote, and then some reflections on it: Sincere seekers are often painfully aware of holes in their current philosophies — and every worldview that pretends to answer every important question does indeed have holes somewhere because it’s overreaching. So a worldview that seems to fill the irritating holes in a previously held philosophy [Read More...]

Ken Ham Reads the Bible Like an Atheist (and he’s proud of it!)

Richard Mason Williams Jr. drew the following quote from Ken Ham’s Facebook page to my attention: I spoke to a couple of guys last night who claimed they were atheists (although there are no true atheists). One of them said he totally agreed that Christians need to believe a literal Genesis if they are to [Read More...]


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