Can University Walls Keep Out The Internet?

This is my conference paper for the Metacriticism of Biblical Studies section at SBL: ______ Can University Walls Keep Out The Internet? James F. McGrath, Butler University   ABSTRACT Statements can be found on the websites of many sectarian educational institutions, indicating that faculty and students are required to subscribe to a particular doctrinal statement. [Read More...]

Conservative Christian Approach to Everything Difficult

Chris Nelson said in a comment on a recent post: The conservative Christian approach to most everything difficult is to deny difficulty. I’m not sure if that speaks to an appalling lack of insight or an appalling surplus of denial. That seemed to me meme-worthy. [Read more...]

The Harrowing of Hell House

Fred Clark has come up with a response to the phenomenon of conservative Christian “hell houses” for Halloween. His post literally made me laugh out loud. Here’s how it starts: Hell Houses are an irredeemably bad idea — a combination of the very worst forms of evangelism with the very worst forms of community theater. The [Read More...]

Conservative Illustration of Pentateuchal Composition

I recently read an assignment which drew on sources critical of the Documentary Hypothesis. Ironically, the assignment was in fact plagiarized from a number of online sources. And at least one of those sources in turn clearly plagiarized from another. Here’s a bit of text: The J, or Jehovahist, document (usually known as the Yahwehist [Read More...]

Love Your Loopholes as Yourself

Benjamin Corey has a post about how many conservative Christians justify violence. He says, Bottom line: if you think that “love your enemies” is fair game for a thousand loopholes and can’t be taken at face value, then you probably shouldn’t be drawing hard lines on any other issue in scripture. Because, if “love your [Read More...]

Using Jesus to Get Votes

I spotted some conservative organization’s voters’ guides in the room where a very conservative member of my church leads a small Sunday school class. I was struck by the way the pamphlet tries to hijack conservative religious concerns to garner votes. A couple of points seem worth noting. First, there is a consistent record of Republican and other conservative [Read More...]

The Word You Are Looking for is “Moderate”

Michael Patton shared the diagrams below. What strikes me about them is the attempt to define “Evangelical” as the stance between liberal and fundamentalist. The word that he is looking for, where there is a balance between the essential, important, and non-essential, is “moderate.” Some Evangelicals are moderates, but most are conservative, in between the [Read More...]

Jesus Didn’t Think He Was God

I mentioned a few posts about Bart Ehrman’s recent book yesterday, and there are already a couple more. Larry Hurtado offered some amendments to his post, in light of feedback from Bart Ehrman himself. And Ken Schenck blogged about chapter 3 and whether Jesus thought he was God. In it he writes: I think we [Read More...]

Klingon Christians

Morgan Guyton has proposed “Klingon Christians” as a better designation for the Gospel Coalition's brand of conservative Christianity than other labels. I think that the association is deeply offensive…to Klingons. Guyton's point, building on observations by Pete Enns, is that this is a brand of warrior Christianity. And that is an unimportant point to make, [Read More...]

Review of God and the Gay Christian

I’m happy to be part of the Patheos Book Club about Matthew Vines’ book, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. Patheos will be hosting a live chat with the author on May 14 at noon EST, with other guests to include Rachel Held Evans and Tony Jones. This [Read More...]

Betty Bowers’ Handy Bible Interpretation Guide

Via Mrs. Betty Bowers on Facebook. This is a new version of something of hers that I shared a couple of years ago.   [Read more...]


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