Tradition and Our Way of Life (RJS)

What role should tradition play when it comes to theology and biblical interpretation? This is a significant question, and one that comes up quite often in discussions of the relationship between science (or other areas of study) and Christian faith.  It isn’t a new question of course, but one that has played a role in [Read More...]

Churchless and Secular (RJS)

My world … and welcome to it. (HT James Thurber) I’m not churchless or secular, but by far the majority of my friends, peers, and coworkers are. Although my university community is not yet the norm for the country as a whole, it may reflect a growing trend. Churchless is an increasing phenomenon in the [Read More...]

It Isn’t Love – But it Should Be (RJS)

What is the first word that comes to mind when I say Christian? This question, and the answers given by non-Christians shape the second chapter of Philip Yancey’s new book Vanishing Grace. Yancey is convinced that all people long for meaning, a sense of purpose, that our life actually matters. We also long for genuine [Read More...]

NOMA and Rocks of Ages (RJS)

A topic that comes up often in the discussion of science and religion is Stephen Jay Gould’s concept of non-overlapping magisteria or NOMA. I’ve read many papers and books that refer to this principle – sometimes agreeing, more often  disagreeing significantly from both sides. There are those who disagree with the concept, wanting to put [Read More...]

The Embrace of Evil (RJS)

Having explored the Old Testament view of God and of the nature of humanity in chapters 3 and 4, Iain Provan (Seriously Dangerous Religion) turns to the age old problem of evil and suffering in chapter 5. If there is a personal, benevolent God why do evil and suffering mark the world? Genesis 3 plays [Read More...]

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...]