Adam’s Fall and Early Christian Notions of Sin

Today’s post is 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 a key figure in the science/faith dialogue. His other books on 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 World and… Read more

what biblicism is and why it makes baby Jesus cry

Here is my definition of “biblicism.” Biblicism is the tendency to appeal to individual biblical verses, or collections of (apparently) uniform verses from various parts of the Bible, to give the appearance of clear, authoritative, and final resolutions to what are in fact complex interpretive and theological issues generated by the fact that we have a complex and diverse Bible. Put another way, biblicism is a tendency to prooftext–where the “plain sense” of verses are put forth as final and incontrovertible “proof” of a given theological position…. Read more

did Jesus even live? a brief thought about scholarship, skepticism, and apologetics

Time and again the study of Jesus has been swamped by waves of radical scepticism–to the point of denial of this historicity of Jesus. Three names may be mentioned as examples. Bruno Bauer (1809-1882), who once lectured in theology at Bonn, regarded the earliest Gospel as a literary work of art: history is produced in it, not described. Albert Kalthoff (1850-1906) understood Jesus as a product of the religious needs of a social movement which had come into contact with the Jewish messianic expectation. Arthur Drews, who was professor of… Read more

10 reasons why roughly 300,000,000 Americans are wrong

Dear Americans, I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day. But I digress. Shockingly, according to my calculations, roughly 300,000,000 of you have not bought my book The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It.  It’s been out since September. I’m not sure what the problem is, folks, but for those of you who need a little shove, here you go: The book is bright yellow and acts as its own energy source. It has a symbol… Read more

dear politicians: if you claim the Christian God as your own, here’s your benchmark

Christianity has fallen on hard times in popular western culture. I get it. Christians are known more for what they are against and for having perfected culture war tactics–and the grotesquely fearful and hateful versions of Christianity peddled by ambitious politicians doesn’t help the Christian image one bit. There is plenty of bad press out there about what Christianity is more the problem than the solution to world problems. On Easter Sunday, however, I heard a sermon I was glad to hear–on what makes Christianity… Read more

Reading John: An Interview with Christopher Skinner

Today’s post is an interview with Christopher Skinner, whose book Reading John came out last month. 1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey. I am currently Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Mount Olive and Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at East Carolina University. My scholarly interests lie primarily in the development of various Jesus traditions both within and outside the NT. I am also interested in the… Read more

7 problems with a recent evangelical defense of the historicity of Genesis 1-11

Zondervan’s latest volume in their popular “Counterpoints” series concerns the historicity of Genesis 1-11, Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?: Three Views on the Bible’s Earliest Chapters. The three well-known contributors are James Hoffmeier (Trinity International University), Kent Sparks (Eastern University), and Gordan Wenham (Trinity College and University of Gloucestershire). The editor, Charles Halton, summarizes the differences between them: Professor Hoffmeier believes that theology begins from the foundational understanding that the events recorded in Gen 1-11 really happened and that the Israelite scribes did not borrow from… Read more

a book that actually claims there is actually a future for evangelicalism that doesn’t involve killing each other

My friend Harold Heie has a passionate commitment to fostering respectful conversations on the internet about difficult topics among evangelicals. Heie is Senior Fellow at the Center for Faith and Inquiry at Gordon College (full bio here). He is the author of Learning to Listen, Ready to Talk: A Pilgrimage Toward Peacemaking and Evangelicals on Public Policy Issues: Sustaining a Respectful Political Conversation. His recent book tackles another difficult topic:  A Future for American Evangelicalism: Commitment, Openness, and Conversation, where Heie summarizes and reflects on an eCircle conversation he hosted on his… Read more

on being a Bibliogian©

By the power vested in me by the Internet, I hereby invent a new word, Bibliogian©. Anytime you use it footnote me and send me $1. Theologians, church historians, and philosophers have their own words. So why can’t I? Hi, my name’s Tim and I’m a philosopher. My name’s Susan and I’m a historian. My name’s Ruprecht and I’m a theologian.  Hi, my name’s Pete and I’m a Bib. . .  uh . . . Bible guy, Bible person, I… Read more

Changing Faith: An Interview with Michael Hidalgo

Today’s post is an interview with Michael Hidalgo, whose Changing Faith: Questions, Doubts and Choices About the Unchanging God comes out this month! Michael and his wife have lived in downtown Denver the past 8 years and have three magnificent, imaginative, hilarious, wonderful children. He currently serves as the lead pastor of Denver Community Church. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your spiritual journey. I grew up in the Church my whole life. I tried to run from… Read more