Israel and Palestine in Sunday School

I was asked by my Sunday school class to help them understand what is going on in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and how if at all this connects with the Bible. I was going to try to make a video with a brief overview of the history of Israel, providing maps and illustrations. But I have [Read More...]

I Will Not Stand By Quietly While History Repeats Itself

When it is pointed out, whether by myself or others, that the methods of interpreting the Bible used by today's conservatives are the same ones that have been used in the past to justify slavery and discrimination, I am sometimes told that I am exaggerating the situation and the dangers. They sometimes insist that the [Read More...]

Touring Auschwitz

A former student of mine, Rev. Jill Moffett Howard, will be taking a trip to Auschwitz, and will be blogging about her experience. She’ll be traveling with Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, who established the CANDLES Holocaust Museum here in Indiana. The blog is called Touring Auschwitz, and the address is: http://touringauschwitz.wordpress.com/ [Read more...]

In the Absence of Information Literacy

I recently had a conversation with someone on Facebook who was persuaded that students can be expected to learn for themselves how to discern good information from bad on the internet, and that their instincts will serve them well without their needing to worry about whether the sources they turn to reflect the work of [Read More...]

Stuff Mythicists Say: “Q Was Real, Jesus Wasn’t”

Mythicists say a lot of ludicrous things, and perhaps it would be useful to highlight some of the more astonishing and laughable ones from time to time. Mythicists like Earl Doherty will accept the existence of Q – a hypothetical source the existence of which is deduced from the common material shared between Matthew and [Read More...]

Differentiating Between Debate and Denial

IO9 (in an article entitled “How to distinguish crap denialism from legitimate scientific debate”) linked to an article on the NIH website by Wendee Holtcamp, with the title “Flavors of Uncertainty: The Difference between Denial and Debate.” Both focus on the challenge the media and the general public faces in our day and age, when (to quote [Read More...]

Tackling Denialism With Painful Logic

Compared to historians and scholars dealing with Jesus mythicists, those who tackle other forms of denialism seem to have it somewhat easier – or would, if denialism could be combated with logic of the sort illustrated in this XKCD cartoon: In related news, while I myself have used the comparison between the tactics used by [Read More...]

X-Men First Class: Never Again, Ever Again

I finally got around to watching X-Men First Class, and found it not only an enjoyable superhero action movie and a satisfying prequel exploring the earlier lives of the X-Men, but also a challenging parable about the danger of history repeating itself when we most want to avoid it doing so In the first X-Men [Read More...]


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