Back to Allegory?

When we moderns read any scripture we tend to read it only one way. We read it as history that is supposed to have some sort of theologically edifying meaning to us. This style of reading fits so well with our modes of thinking that it just seems the blatantly obvious way to read scripture. What could be more obvious than reading a book about the past, which we assert is true, as history? … [Read more...]

Amateur Biblical Studies, Part 2

Here's the other five resources which I recommend for an amateur in biblical studies just getting started. … [Read more...]

Amateur Biblical Studies, Part 1

I am not a biblical scholar, and I have never taken a class in anything related to biblical studies. So, what I am about to say may be worth every penny you are paying. Having said that, I think that it is possible for a motivated amateur to get a basic education in biblical studies on the cheap and in his/her spare time. I wanted to list 10 resource which I have found to be the most helpful and the most effective for getting educated in the world of academic biblical studies. I'll list the … [Read more...]

The Church and the Conversion Experience

Some time ago someone made a comment on one of our threads characterizing the LDS notion of revelation as a “hot sensation brought on by emotionally charged media.” In regard to the role of revelation in the conversion experience, the writer also felt “challenged” by the need to explain the revelatory experience to an investigator because he or she had “expected divine communication to be more clear.” I share the writer’s distaste for the maudlin and sentimental in media, from … [Read more...]

Anxiety and the Fall

Some years back for a course I was taking in psychiatry we were assigned to regularly visit a local mental hospital. The first and second floors were "day programs" and the third floor was the locked unit, for those not safe enough to be let out. I will never forget the intensity of the cigarette smoke: I've since learned that many schizophrenics self-medicate with nicotine. Also unforgettable was the look in the eyes of the many people wandering the bare rooms of the third floor. But for this … [Read more...]

How Old Was Jesus?

Doesn't everyone know that Jesus was 30 when he started his ministry, and 33 when he was killed? This seems to be common knowledge, right? Well, sort of. But not everyone agrees.Let's begin with the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke). The only clear statement concerning Jesus's age comes from Luke 3:23, which says that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" when he began his ministry, following his baptism by John. This obviously lacks some precision. How old Jesus was when he died is … [Read more...]

The Shift Toward Modernity

Today's important news is that I ate my first ripe tomato of the 2008 season last night. Now we can get back to the Catholics. When last we left off in this little exercise, Pius X had dealt rather, er...firmly..., with Modernism. In addition to excommunicating many of the Modernists, he condemned much of their thought. He also required the clergy to take an anti-Modernist oath. These folks seem to have complied, but not so enthusiastically, and once Pius X passed away things began to … [Read more...]

The End of Modernism?

When last we met to discuss the world of Catholic Biblical scholarship, Pius X had just excommunicated Alfred Loisy in an effort to suppress Modernism... What else did Pius X do about Modernism? In addition to excommunicating Loisy, et. al., he called the Catholic faithful to reject Modernism root and branch. The first encyclical published was Lamentabili sane exitu, dated July 3, 1907. It listed 65 propositions, taken mostly from Loisy’s work but also including ideas from Tyrrell and a … [Read more...]


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