Just the Facts Please (RJS)

Headlines scream … Ex-Christians, Young Adults Leaving the Faith, A Generation of Dropouts, Quitting Church, the Rise of the Nones. We are on the verge of a crisis with faith and the faithful in retreat. Could we be the last Christian generation? We must rally the troops, cut our losses, and tackle the problem. Jonathan [Read More...]

Creation Beyond Genesis (RJS)

The next chapter of Kyle Greenwood’s new book Scripture and Cosmology: Reading the Bible Between the Ancient World and Modern Science looks at the range of creation or origins narratives in the Old Testament. Genesis 1 is the obvious place to start, but it is far from the only passage that deals with God’s role [Read More...]

Spectators or Participants? (RJS)

I am traveling this week – and leading a rather time-intensive (and exciting) experiment.  As a result here is a favorite, lightly edited post: Are we fans or players? The following was making its way around Facebook. It is not new, however. There was a similar list on the door of the bathroom (where it [Read More...]

Perplexity, Paradox, and Psalms (RJS)

The next passages Walter Moberly considers in his excellent, thought-provoking book Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture are two of the Psalms – 44 and 89. Although the Hebrew name for the book of Psalms is translated “praise,” but the psalms are not all sweetness and light, Sunday School prayers. Most [Read More...]

Jesus and Jonah (RJS)

Last week I put up a post summarizing Walter Moberly’s chapter on Jonah, Forget the Fish Already!.  The post focused on the genre and message of the book. Moberly, like most OT scholars, considers the book to be something of a parable rather than a record of an historical event. Many Christians object to this [Read More...]

A Three-Tiered Universe – Earth, Heavens, and Seas (RJS)

The second and third chapters of Kyle Greenwood’s new book Scripture and Cosmology: Reading the Bible Between the Ancient World and Modern Science deal with ancient Near Eastern cosmologies and the cosmologies found in Scripture. In these chapters Greenwood argues that the ancient Near Eastern view of the world was intrinsically three-tiered and that Scripture [Read More...]

The Sweep of Scripture and The Kingdom of God (RJS)

Over the last several years I have spent most of my commutes listening to Scripture read or performed in order to be immersed in and formed by the story of God’s work in the world. (Far better than spending the time immersed in talk radio (HT T)). Toward the end of what became a rather [Read More...]

Forget the Fish Already! (RJS)

Forget the fish! God can work the miraculous. This is assumed in Jonah, but it isn’t the point of the story. The fish has only a bit swim on part.  Focus instead on divine mercy and compassion. A while back I wrote a post Satire or History exploring the genre of the book of Jonah.  [Read More...]

I Wish Pastors Knew … Part 2 (RJS)

In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul includes the oft quoted statement “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (9:22) One application of this and the surrounding context is the need to meet people where they are. In order to do meet people [Read More...]

Scripture and (Ancient) Cosmology (RJS)

The Bible is a collection of ancient texts. The most recent, by any reckoning, were written over nineteen hundred years ago. The oldest date back another five hundred to a thousand years and likely use sources dating back even further.  They relate events that happened in the ancient world and were originally intended for an [Read More...]