let’s talk about sexual purity and evangelical anxiety, shall we?

Today’s post is a book review of Virgin Nation: Sexual Purity and American Adolescence, by Sarah Moslener. The review itself isn’t by me but by someone who actually knows what she’s talking about: Dr. Margaret Kim Peterson, Associate Professor of Theology at Eastern University in Saint Davids, PA. Peterson’s Ph.D. is in theology and ethics from Duke University, and she also earned an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from La Salle University. With her husband Dwight N. Peterson, she is… Read more

the challenge of teaching Bible to young Christians (or, true growth is painful)

  I’ve been teaching the Bible to students for 20 years now. That’s pretty amazing to me. The only things in my life that have lasted for 20 years have been family, Yankees, and mortgage. I’ve taught at the seminary and college levels, and there are huge difference between them, of course. But teaching Bible in either academic setting to people committed to the Bible presents a challenge. Think about it this way. Bible is perhaps the only topic you can study where… Read more

the (or at least “a”) problem with evangelical white churches

Below are some words of wisdom from Harvie M. Conn (1933-99) from his book Evangelism: Doing Justice and Preaching Grace. Conn was one of my theology professors in seminary, who spent 12 years as a missionary in Korea to women in prostitution, seeing them as victims of sinful societal structures rather than simply “sinners.” For too long evangelical white churches in the United States have had a “come” structure. . . . One cannot be a missionary church and continue insisting that the… Read more

The Historical Adam: It’s Time to Stop Hiding Under a Theological Security Blanket

Over at Books and Culture, I have been participating in a roundtable discussion concerning the historical Adam. The occasion is the launch of Karl Giberson’s latest book Saving the Original Sinner: How Christians Have Used the Bible’s First Man to Oppress, Inspire, and Make Sense of the World.  Taking part in the discussion are 7 others who span the spectrum from “no historical Adam” to “without an Adam the gospel falls apart.” In round 1, we each wrote one post… Read more

listen to what the Spirit says to my blog commenters: a vision

While painting my kitchen nonstop in high heat since Sunday and not having brushed my teeth for 2 days–because I was on a roll–I fell into a heat-induced trance, where I washed my brushes in the cat litter and I swear I saw a velociraptor running through my backyard. Then a voice came to me. “Listen, blogger, what I have to say. These words are true and just. Write them down and post them. The end is near. Behold, I am he… Read more

Jesus’s crucifixion: not exactly a selling point in the ancient world

If you’re living in the Mediterranean world of the 1st century and you want to promote your religion, a “crucified god” is not your headline. Yet that is exactly what we find in the New Testament. I’m reading a little book my Martin Hengel, Crucifixion, written about 40 years ago. Hengel (d. 2009) was a scholar of the New Testament and freakishly smart. I just thought you might like some excerpts from the book that made me think. The only possibility of… Read more

Jon Stewart on the Charleston shooting: sort of like a prophet

Last night I watched this clip of Jon Stewart commenting on the tragic shooting in Charleston. And I thought to myself, “This is what prophets do.” No, Stewart isn’t exactly like a biblical prophet–although I think personalities like Jeremiah or Ezekiel were quite good at holding an audience and had no problem using the shocking and bizarre to make a point (try reading Ezekiel 16 at the dinner table). But I see Stewart using his public platform here to call out… Read more

4 thoughts about the Bible as a “human book”

Christians confess the Bible as “God’s word,” which means (among other things) that God had something to do with the production of it–though, the honest person will admit, we don’t really know nor can we adequately articulate what that “something” is, and calling it “inspiration” or “revelation” is simply assigning a milti-syllable word to that unknown process. Be that as it may, the history of Christian theology hasn’t been at all shy about providing various models of biblical inspiration and the Bible as… Read more

a faith crisis in the Bible (and don’t let some 60s hippies tell you otherwise)

In 1965, the Byrds had a big hit with a song written by Pete Seeger and based on chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes: “Turn, Turn, Turn.” Everything on earth has its time and place—its “season,” as the writer (Qohelet) puts it. There is a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time for war, and a time for peace, etc. The Byrds’s tune features great harmonies and gives off… Read more

creating Adam, again and again

Today’s post is the second of two by Karl Giberson and is adapted from his newly published Saving the Original Sinner: How Christians Have Used the Bible’s First Man to Oppress, Inspire, and Make Sense of the World.  Giberson teaches Science & Religion at Stonehill College and is a key figure in the science/faith dialogue. His other books on the subject include Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in EvolutionThe Wonder of the Universe: Hints of God in Our Fine-Tuned… Read more