Bacon’s Bequest (RJS)

A number of weeks ago I introduced a new book by David N. Livingstone Dealing With Darwin. In this book Livingstone, Professor of Geography and Intellectual History at Queen’s University, Belfast, explores the importance of location and local context on the way Darwinian evolution was received, embraced, or rejected. His chapter on the reaction to [Read More...]

Who Are Man and Woman? (RJS)

The next chapter of Iain Provan’s book Seriously Dangerous Religion looks at the nature of humanity in the Old Testament and particularly at the relationship of male and female comprising humanity.  His focus is on Genesis 1-2, but expands to consider the entire OT as well. Genesis 1 and 2 are concerned with proper functions [Read More...]

Is Grace Vanishing? (RJS)

Philip Yancey has a new book coming out Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?. This book tackles a topic that is down to earth real in my world and makes an interesting complement to Tuesday’s post Coming Soon … “The Talk”?. In his NY Times opinion piece David Barash argues that science [Read More...]

Coming Soon … “The Talk”? (RJS)

How do we prepare our people, young and old, for “The Talk”? There was an interesting opinion piece in the NY Times a week ago. David Barash, an evolutionary biologist and psychology professor at the University of Washington described how he gives “The Talk” to his undergraduate biology students: God, Darwin and My College Biology [Read More...]

Who Is God? – The OT View (RJS)

Chapter three of Iain Provan’s new book Seriously Dangerous Religion explores the Old Testament view of God and the way this view differed from other ancient Near Eastern views and indeed other views past and present around the world. This is a foundation on which our understanding of Christian faith rests, expanded by an understanding [Read More...]

Meant to be Experienced (RJS)

I’ve been especially busy the last week, and traveling today. Rather than struggle to come up with something new, this is a repeat of one of my favorite posts, lightly edited. You may or may not agree with my ranking of the post – but the topic is worth some consideration. I’ve run through a [Read More...]

Not Of This World, But For This World (RJS)

In John 18:36 Jesus responds to Pilate’s questioning “are you the king of the Jews?” saying “My kingdom is not from this world. … But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”(NRSV) Many English translations have of of this world, and some have both of this world and of here, leading the impression [Read More...]

Did Shemaiah Know? (RJS)

I’ve been listening to the prophets lately (again), this week in Jeremiah.  In chapter 29 we hear about a conflict between Jeremiah and another man Shemaiah (According to wikipedia Hebrew: שמעיה SheMa`YaH “God Heard”) the Nehelamite. Jeremiah has this to say: ‘This is what the Lord says about Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied [Read More...]

The Renewal of All Things (RJS)

The book of Revelation also known as the Apocalypse of John can be rather hard to understand. It is, after all, apocalyptic literature – a form a bit ‘interesting’ in the Old Testament prophets and every bit as ‘interesting’ here.  I don’t usually worry too much about the book, or try too hard to make [Read More...]

The World is Sacred Space (RJS)

In his new book Seriously Dangerous Religion,  Iain Provan begins by sketching the vision of the world and of creation that the authors of Genesis portray.  This vision is contrasted with that of other religious views (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.), with the philosophy and religion of the Greeks, and with the ancient Near Eastern (ANE) religions.  Today [Read More...]