Rest or Rules?

The above cartoon by David Hayward seems to me to make much the same point as Dostoyevsky’s famous parable of the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov. Some people find freedom to be a burden, and prefer what rules offer: in particular, the sense that we are passing the responsibility for our views and our decisions to [Read More...]

The Rule of Love

The quote comes from Jonathan Bernier’s recent post, “Paul, Conversion, and Homosexuality,” and I highly recommend clicking through to read the whole thing. And after two millennia the world has reached the place in its pilgrim journey that it is submitting the matter of same-sex attraction to the rule of love, and the Church is [Read More...]

Religion and Recession

A recent piece in the New York Times highlighted statistics that suggest majors in religion and philosophy will make significantly less their first year after graduation if it is during a recession. Here is the chart from the article: While in a sense this is not surprising, it is also worth highlighting that university graduates [Read More...]

Gay Wedding Cake Discrimination

In comments on my post yesterday about standing against discrimination and other forms of injustice, the issue was brought up about the religious freedom of those who want to be able to refuse services to those they object to – in this instance, to refuse to cater for a same-sex wedding. That is when it [Read More...]

You Have Heard Them Called Antitheses, But I Say To You…

Doug Chaplin has posted about the extraordinary antitheses in Matthew’s Gospel. I disagree with his way of understanding them, and so thought I would write a post in response. I regularly tell my students that it is unlikely that these sayings should be understood as meaning “You heard God say in the past, but I [Read More...]

Was Child Sacrifice Once Common?

As modern people, we often find it hard to believe that ancient people lived as they did. And in the case of some practices, like human sacrifice, we may suspect that reports are exaggerated. In a discussion in a comment thread, this subject came up. Ezekiel 20:25-26 seems to suggest that child sacrifice in Israel [Read More...]

Vridar Returns (and a Review of a Review of a Review)

Before Vridar had been shut down as a result of a copyright complaint from Joel Watts, I had begun to respond to something Neil Godfrey wrote there. Now that his blog is back (at the different address of Vridar.org), I will do so. But let me first direct readers to some discussion of the events that [Read More...]

Retelling Romans 3:21-31

And now, God’s justice has been manifested apart from the Bible (though the Bible testifies to it): God’s justice through the faithfulness of Christ Jesus to all who trust. For there is no distinction: since all have sinned and lack God’s glory, all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption accomplished in Christ [Read More...]

N. T. Wright and James D. G. Dunn on the New Perspective on Paul

HT Cliff Kvidahl on Facebook [Read more...]

It Is Written vs. God Has Shown Me

Fred Clark has an excellent post highlighting the contrast between two different outlooks reflected in Acts 10:28, which reads as follows:  You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. On [Read More...]

The Ten Recommendations

When I saw yesterday’s Non Sequitur cartoon, it reminded me of something that I run up against regularly in class: For today’s students, the Ten Commandments have always been ten “recommendations” or “suggestions.” No matter how strongly they were ingrained in them from an early age, they have not had the status of law – apart from [Read More...]


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