Respecting Beliefs

I came across this image on Pinterest, on the same day that the Pope excommunicated the entire Mafia from the Roman Catholic Church. Religion can be a powerful force to do harm or to combat those who do harm. And the line between the two sorts of religion is not one that lies between different [Read More...]

Cain and Abel according to Young-Earth Creationism

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Abraham “Heard Voices”

It is important to tread carefully when something tragic is in the news, such as Aaron Alexis' recent shooting rampage at a Navy yard. But my students are continuing to discuss the Abraham story and the Euthyphro today, and we simply cannot bypass the question of how one would react to someone in our time [Read More...]

Sacrificing Sacrificial Language

The last time my Sunday school class met, we discussed whether the language of “sacrifice” is essential to Christian thinking about the death of Jesus, or is a metaphor or illustration used in New Testament texts precisely because it related the death of Jesus to something familiar, helping people to make sense of it. In [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Akhaten vs. Aztecs

If one compares the most recent Doctor Who episode “The Rings of Akhaten” with the episode “The Aztecs” from the very first season, an interesting change in the Doctor's outlook about religion and human sacrifice emerges. In “The Aztecs” the Doctor is emphatically opposed to Barbara's interference in an attempt to change history. It may [Read More...]

Super 8

Last night I watched the movie Super 8. The commercials for it had never grabbed my interest, and I see now that they were trying to be intriguing without being revealing. It turned out to be excellent, and like everything J. J. Abrams does, about the characters in the story above all else. It is [Read More...]

Sorry, The Correct Answer Is…

HT Unreasonable Faith [Read more...]

The Hunger Games

Tonight I went to see the movie The Hunger Games with my son. It is fantastic and well deserving of all the attention it is getting. But in addition to being a movie with excitement and adventure that can be enjoyed by fans young and old, the movie also offers sharp social criticism. I won’t [Read More...]

Time Travel and the Bible

The blog Unreasonable Faith shared this cartoon, a Bible/Back to the Future mash up: It would presumably have been worth posting just for its humor value, and because it brings together two major themes of this blog – religion and science fiction. But I think it could actually lead nicely to some interesting and at [Read More...]

Nick Norelli on Sacrifice, Monotheism and Christology

Nick Norelli posted an entry on his blog about sacrificial worship, connecting it with James D. G. Dunn’s book Did the First Christians Worship Jesus? and also with my own book, The Only True God. Nick questions whether animal sacrifice was the sine qua non – but doesn’t clarify the sine qua non of what, [Read More...]

Ancient Monotheistic Worship: Sacrifice and Prostration

Ben Witherington reminded us of a recent post on Larry Hurtado’s blog about ancient monotheistic worship. It usefully points out that the defining factor of Jewish piety was not always expressed by means of a creedal statement, but often simply took the form of a refusal to worship any other than God. Note how often [Read More...]


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