God as Absentee Landlord

I was very struck by Allan Bevere’s recent post, “God is not an absentee landlord,” because that very image of God appears in one of Jesus’ parables, assuming the historic understanding of that parable is correct. Absentee landlords have been hated by ordinary people down the ages. I’ve long wanted to do a study of the negative images [Read More...]

God’s Government

It seems that I have reached the point in my life where I am doing scholarship even in my sleep. A few nights ago I had a dream in which I was looking into the possibility that “God’s government” would be a good way to translate the New Testament phrase “the kingdom of God.” I [Read More...]

Octavia Butler and the Parables of Jesus

David Gowler has been blogging through the reception history of the parables of Jesus. Recently he surveyed Octavia Butler’s science fiction stories named after the parables. Here are links to the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth posts in that series. There is also a call for papers for a conference in February 2016, celebrating [Read More...]

A Chorus of Voices

David Gowler of Emory University is currently writing a book about the reception history of the parables. He has decided to blog through the process of writing the book, and has set up a blog for this purpose, called A Chorus of Voices. I know it will be of interest to some readers of this [Read More...]

One of Jesus’ Parabolas

Via Facebook   [Read more...]

Did Paul Have a Distinctive Christology? Did He Think of Jesus as a Pre-Existent Human Being?

In a recent blog post, Larry Hurtado noted Morton Smith's observation that Christology never turns up as an issue between Paul and the more conservative Jewish Christian groups that he interacted with directly and indirectly, centered in Jerusalem. And so this seems to confirm that Paul did not take a Jewish Messianic figure and turn [Read More...]

Young-Earth Creationists vs. the Parables of Jesus

A commenter pointed out something which I've also said in the past, but which bears repeating. Young-earth creationists are adamant that there must be one creation story in Genesis, and it must be chronologically coherent and factually, historically, and scientifically true. Ironically, Jesus, the one whom most of them claim to follow, taught primarily in [Read More...]

Shmi Skywalker the Mother of Batman

I apologize for the wacky title, but if a movie is made which features August Pernilla as Mary and Christian Bale as Jesus, then one simply has to make some sort of reference to their other roles along the lines of the title to this post, and get it out of one’s system. Or perhaps [Read More...]

The Not-So-Social Gospel in Pictures

James Martin recently shared some parables which illustrate what Jesus might have said if his views were more like those of some of his modern-day followers (I mentioned them last week). The Facebook group Christians Against the Tea Party turned some quotes from them into pictures, and I thought I should share them here, for your [Read More...]

“Jesus Taught Generosity and Charity, Not Government Assistance”

I've heard this claim a lot lately, and it seems to me bizarre, particularly when it focuses on an example like the Good Samaritan. A friend actually told me recently that the Good Samaritan didn't rely on the government to take care of the man, appealing to that as if it were an argument against [Read More...]