The God Beyond God

A variety of traditions, including Christian mysticism and modern existentialist theology, have spoken of the “God beyond God.” This is the very ancient idea that, beyond any sort of anthropomorphic deity that we may think of and tell stories about, there must be an even greater reality that transcends our ability to comprehend and describe. [Read More...]

Cross and Question Mark

David Hayward shared this cartoon yesterday: I am sure that there are some who will find it offensive. But the cross has not always been a public symbol for Christianity, and the removal of a physical symbol doesn’t necessarily indicate the removal of that which is symbolized. But on the other hand, I don’t think [Read More...]

Immaculate Con

Steve Wiggins shared this photo of one of the gates to the Immaculate Conception Cemetery, when open and separated from the other. There are a lot of instances of logos and names being put on opening or sliding doors with unfortunate and amusing results. There are lots of jokes that one could make. But if [Read More...]

153 Fish – The Definitive Explanation

Today in my class on the Gospel of John we reached the final chapter. One detail in John 21 that has long puzzled commentators is the reference to 153 fish having been caught. Why so specific? Is there some symbolic significance to the number? If so, what is it? Some of the attempt to treat [Read More...]

Adam: Assumed or Accentuated?

The attempt at an alliterative title hopefully will not obscure what this post is about, which is an attempt to clarify my thinking about Adam in Paul’s letters. This is a follow-up to my earlier post, in which I explained some of the reasons for concluding that Jesus and Paul were not literalists, which in turn emerged [Read More...]

Revelation 17: Key To Interpreting the Book of Revelation?

I have mentioned before that Revelation 17:9-10 seems to me to provide decisive evidence against the futurist or “end times” approach to understanding the Book of Revelation. We got up to chapter 17 of the Book of Revelation in my Sunday school class yesterday, and so we focused attention on that particular set of verses [Read More...]

Two Witnesses, a Woman, a Baby and a Dragon

The Sunday before last in my Sunday school class we talked about the two witnesses in Revelation 11.  I mentioned the fact that, some years ago, I was contacted by e-mail by someone insistent that I ought to share his view on this subject with readers of my blog. His view is that the “two [Read More...]

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...]

Did Jesus Understand Genesis 2 Literally?

Many will point to Jesus' words about divorce, in the context of which he quotes Genesis 2, as evidence that Jesus believed Adam and Eve were literal people, and will then on that basis argue against modern biology, or claim this proves that he supported the view of marriage as involving only one man and [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...]

Review of Sacred Space by Douglas E. Cowan

I am grateful to Baylor University Press for sending me a free review copy of Douglas E. Cowan’s magnificent book, Sacred Space: The Quest for Transcendence in Science Fiction Film and Television. I cannot believe how long it has taken me to get around to reviewing it. But there is a good reason. This is [Read More...]


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