Childish Literalism

What kind of childish literalism reads the anthropomorphic language of Genesis and concludes that the Bible can only be read as an historical rendering of the origins of the universe? – Rev. Joseph Phelps, “Religion and science call for dialogue, not debate”   [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...]

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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Admiral Ackbar on Genesis 3

Joel Watts shared the above photo on Facebook. I remember some people not getting the point when I shared the meme image with Admiral Ackbar at the Last Supper warning “It's a trap!!!” I wonder whether this one will be any different. As soon as I saw the image, it reminded me of another image [Read More...]

Is Your Theology Weighing You Down?

Two humorous images that appeared on other blogs this morning provide helpful fodder for thinking about theology. The first, from David Hayward, reminds us that the only legitimate use for theological language is as a pointer towards a transcendent reality. The more weight you give to the actual words, understood not as sacraments or symbols [Read More...]

Quotes for Ascension Day

Since Dănuţ Mănăstireanu offered a reminder that it is ascension day, and Ken Brown linked to some of my older posts on the subject and offered some thoughts and reflections of his own, I think it will be enough just to share a couple of my favorite quotes from scholars that are particularly relevant today. [Read More...]


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