A Better Way to be a Biblical Literalist

If you're determined to be a Biblical literalist, or at least to pretend to be one (since no one is really one), you don't have to deny evolution. Indeed, there is a better option, that accepts that evolution occurred and says that God miraculously does evolution better than natural causes could! Since there is no [Read More...]

The Evolution of Language

In a post about five jobs a creationist cannot do, linguistics was included. Since some might be surprised, I thought I’d comment a bit more on that. Creationists deny linguistics, just as they deny evolution and astronomy and geology, because of an approach to Genesis which they think is literal. In this case, the story [Read More...]

Young-Earth Creationism vs. the Plain Meaning of the Creation Stories

Having recently addressed a number of points of incompatibility between young-earth creationism and Christianity as most Christians understand it and have understood it down the ages, I was asked if I could address the common young-earth creationist objection that  “No one simply reading what the words clearly say would EVER suppose God/Moses were describing a development [Read More...]

Jesus and Paul were not Literalists when it comes to Genesis 2-3

It is interesting how some modern readers simply assume that ancient individuals and authors shared their supposed literalism, and their focus on facts and history and science, all of which are thoroughly modern concerns. If we look at what Jesus is depicted as saying about Genesis 2 in the Synoptic Gospels, he points to the [Read More...]

Jesus the Gene Therapist?

I think that one reason some people insist that Adam in the Bible was a literal historical individual, and the genealogies in the Bible are literally factual, is that they understand sin as some sort of genetic defect. This is a terrible distortion of the Bible, not only because its ancient authors did not understand [Read More...]

That’s Not Taking Revelation Literally

One media outlet described the man who quit his job over a form with the number 666 on it as taking Revelation literally. Fred Clark had this to say, with his characteristic combination of sarcastic wit and religious insight:   No. No, no, no, 666 times no. Believers like Slonopas do not “take the book [Read More...]

How Can We Tell That Genesis 1 Doesn’t Offer Scientific Information?

Someone asked a question along these lines on Facebook recently, asking what one piece of evidence in particular persuades people to adopt the view that they do. There are multiple things that I find particularly indicative. The reference to a dome in Genesis 1 is itself significant. But the point becomes even clearer if one [Read More...]

Theistic Heliocentrism

In a Facebook group I really love, one member has been doing a fantastic job of exposing the selective literalism of someone who rejects “theistic evolution” and any other form of accommodation to modern science, in the name of the literal truth of the Bible's creation stories. The person in question accused the self-proclaimed literalist [Read More...]

Grumpy Cat on So-Called Biblical Literalists

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The Meaning of Christmas

For a great many conservative Christians and their atheist counterparts, Christmas is about believing that angels really told shepherds about the birth of a baby, and that a star did the same for Persian astrologers – and the annual seasonal activity of fighting over the literal truthfulness or falsehood of those stories. For some, Christmas [Read More...]

Reading Philo in Greek

I just recently started meeting with some colleagues and a student in a Greek reading group. I suggested to a colleague in Classics that it might be interesting to read Philo of Alexandria together, and she got very excited about the idea, and some other colleagues in Religion also expressed an interest. And so lately, [Read More...]


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