What Isn’t Religion?

I had a hard time even figuring out what to call this post. My friend and colleague Brent Hege gave a wonderful lunchtime talk today about religious freedom, during which he mentioned the difficulties that face attempts to define religion, and the ways in which the definition of religion assumed in discussion of such matters as separation [Read More…]

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Christian Meteorology

I had been meaning to blog about “Christian meteorology” again well before Westboro Baptist Church announced their plan to picket the National Weather Service. While the Bible contains not a single reference to picketing, it is clear that God controls the weather. And so if one is going to object to the practice and the teaching [Read More…]

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What Would It Take To Get You To Read Richard Carrier’s Book?

A commenter on this blog mentioned how useful it would be if scholars in Classics, ancient Jewish history, or Roman history were to read and give their impressions of Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. The truth is that, just as I am perhaps going to [Read More…]

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How To Get The Least Possible Out Of University Religion Classes

Michael Kruger has made a video which describes his own experience of having taken classes with Bart Ehrman, who he depicts as attacking Christianity. He complains that youth groups do not prepare student intellectually for their experience at university. That is true – but what Kruger seems to want is not intellectual and academic preparation, but inoculation that [Read More…]

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The Historical Jesus Goes To University

I recently had a mythicist troll ask for evidence that Jesus is taught as a historical figure at any secular university. I could have merely offered Butler University and been done with it – and perhaps added the University of North Carolina for good measure. But despite the question coming from someone who was clearly a [Read More…]

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Kevin Rudd on Same-Sex Marriage

The video above has been getting a lot of attention. It features Australian politician Kevin Rudd answering questions from a pastor about his views on same-sex marriage. Rudd actually posted a longer essay on the topic online before the last election to inform voters about his views. Many of the points that Rudd makes work [Read More…]

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Studying Jesus without Religion?

Richard Carrier gave a talk which is on YouTube, “Imagining the Study of Jesus without Religion.” Historians have worked hard to set aside those demands and desires arising from religious convictions out of the picture when looking at the figure of Jesus. They have done so so successfully that time and again they have produced [Read More…]

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The Future of Churches

IO9 had a post focused on images of church buildings which have been repurposed for secular use. I will share some select examples below, but click through for many more. Churches can react to this with fear, or treat them as inspiration. In some instances, it might make more sense to the life of Christian [Read More…]

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Religious Studies and Christian Agendas

In a blog post on the Religious Studies Project website, Raphael Lataster, a postgraduate student at the University of Sydney, has suggested that there is a Christian agenda behind even the supposedly secular study of religion. And he makes that claim because of his own experience of wanting to research mythicism at university. From what [Read More…]

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Possibly the Most Interesting Pact With the Devil

Rick Perry has apparently made some bizarrely critical comments about the separation of church and state. That separation is the separation that the forerunners of modern Evangelicals, including the Baptists in particular, struggled for and advocated. It is the one that is surely responsible for the fact that religion is a vibrant part of American [Read More…]

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Don’t Follow the Way of Sinners, O Young-Earth Creationists!

In a conversation with a young-earth creationist here on this blog, I was struck by the irony of the fact that he offered, as one reason for rejecting evolution, the teaching of Scripture that we should not follow the ways or teachings of sinful human beings. How right he is, and how wrong at the [Read More…]

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