Religion, Reform, and Retention

On Facebook, Karl Giberson shared a link to a blog post with statistics about retention in religious and areligious groups, i.e. their effectiveness in passing on their worldview and communal identity to their children. Here is the relevant chart: There is a lot that is interesting and potentially worth talking about. I suspect that for [Read More...]

Why There Are No Guns In The Bible

Today in my Sunday school class, in mentioning the depiction in Nehemiah of armed Israelites wielding both weapons and tools, inadvertently said “guns” instead of “swords.” This led to an important observation: if the Bible were not a collection of texts constrained by the knowledge available to its authors, but included revelation of information not [Read More...]

Jezebel in Thyatira: Join Our Sunday School Class to Learn the Deep Teachings of Satan!

Today in my Sunday school class we continued our study of Revelation. In looking at the message for the church in Thyatira, we considered the figure of Jezebel, and why the author of Revelation might have labeled a certain prophetess in that church by the name of the famous/infamous Phoenician princess by that name, whose [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Macra Terror

The lost Doctor Who episode “The Macra Terror” features that classic sci-fi trope, which had already appeared in Doctor Who prior to this, of a society that seems too perfect, and which in fact conceals a dark secret, as well as inevitably using mind control to keep people content. The scenario will likely also bring [Read More...]

Save the Mandaean Refugees Petition

Wisam Breegi, a Mandaean whom I know, forwarded me a link to a petition, asking the United States government to do more to ensure that Mandaean refugees from Iraq can resettle here, and do so in such a way as to help preserve this unique culture and its heritage. Please consider signing the petition. Here’s [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Rob Asghar)

“Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson gained great fame not by demanding that Christians live their lives differently, but by sanctifying the lives they were already inclined to live…[T]o maintain or restore the integrity of the evangelical American church, its culturally conservative leaders and adherents would seem to need to make a choice: all of Christ’s [Read More...]

What Can You Assume People Know About Jesus?

Those of us who teach are aware (or should be aware!) of the relevance of prior knowledge to education. One of the things I wrestle with most is the fact that, in the same class, I may have students who have never read the Bible before ever, and some who read it regularly for devotional [Read More...]


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