Martin Luther King and the Quest for a Just Society

This semester, my freshman seminar course “Faith, Doubt and Reason” focuses on utopias, dystopias, and the quest for community and a just society. Since we start tomorrow, the day after Martin Luther King Day, I moved the readings – in fact, viewings – up to the very first day of class. Most people are familiar [Read More...]

Jesus: “Hitch Didn’t Hate Me”

HT The Lead While there have unsurprisingly been arrogant, misguided and unhelpful comments from Christians, there have also been some particularly appreciative ones. Here’s an example from Bo Sanders: “Hitchens helped me by rabidly critiquing that false god of Empire and cutting open the giant bloated carcass of Christendom with razor-sharp clarity.”   [Read more...]

Biblical Studies Carnival 69 at Remnant of Giants

As a Doctor Who fan, I was tempted to call this “Carnival of Giants” as a mash-up of two episode titles, “Carnival of Monsters” and “Planet of the Giants.” But even though I didn’t, there is still a giant carnival over at Deane Galbraith’s blog Remnant of Giants. There are some posts from here and [Read More...]

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus: How to Ask Hard Questions

This is the third installment in my blog review of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus, which is part of the blog tour organized by the publisher. In my experience, students are less daunted by or opposed to the asking of really difficult questions when those questions are seen to be posed or raised by the [Read More...]

Doctor Who and Exodus: On Discovering Your God’s Limitations

Perhaps the most significant thing that we have known all along but were reminded of forcefully in “The Girl Who Waited” is this: the Doctor is not infallible. It is not a given that he will make everything right by the end of the episode or the end of the season or the final episode [Read More...]

Sooner or Later It Comes Down To Faith

In one of my classes, after discussing a number of difficulties and issues related to the creation stories in Genesis, a student chimed in that sooner or later one simply has to have faith. I didn’t disagree, but instead asked: What sort of faith, and faith in what? We had already read part of Paul [Read More...]

Are Atheists Basically Just Like Liberal Believers?

The title of this post is intentionally provocative. It reverses the similarity that some conservative religious believers (and some atheists) will at times use polemically, claiming that liberal believers are, for all practical purposes, no different from atheists. I don’t want to deny that there is a distinction, or that there are similarities. What I [Read More...]

Is God Bald?

I heard from a relative today a story about a younger child in our family who asked her parent if God has hair. The parent had at least enough theological sophistication to recognize that it is inappropriate to say “yes” in response to such a question, and so answered “No.” The child looked puzzled, and [Read More...]

Judas and the Field of Blood (From the Archives)

As I mentioned in a recent post, there is great difficulty fitting together the information in Matthew and Acts about Judas’ death and his connection with a field known as “The Field of Blood”. One has him buy the field, while the other has the authorities do so with his money. One has Judas fall [Read More...]

Salvation by Gullibility?

When does an openness to ‘taking things on faith’ become gullibility? Why should God view people favorably because they show themselves open to falling for claims that do not have evidentiary support? And if God does indeed value belief of that sort, why would a willingness to believe without sufficient evidence that an individual was [Read More...]


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