11 recurring mistakes in the debate over the “historical Adam.”

I began getting seriously involved in the Christianity/evolution “controversy” in 2009, which led to my 2012 book The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins. The debate over the historical Adam continues in an entirely predictable manner: the theological needs of the evangelical system lead to patterns of responses that are aimed at protecting that system rather than addressing the serious theological issues introduced by evolutionary science and modern biblical scholarship on Genesis. Below… Read more

a brief word on Rachel Held Evans, her dirty laundry, and her new book

I’ve read Rachel’s new book Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church and recently heard her speak for almost 2 hours on it in nearby Lancaster–and even with my toddler-like attention span I hardly squirmed and never once reached for my iPhone. I’m not going to write a review. There are enough out there, and more to come, I’m sure. I’ll just say I love the book because I can give it to people who are struggling with their faith, with meaning,… Read more

Who’s up for a little New Testament quiz? (sure you are. do it.)

We are in finals week here at Eastern University, so I am in testing/grading mode. So here you go (all answers must be completed in the space provided): What do all of the following words have in common? baptism centurion crucifixion demons devil exorcism Gentile messiah Pharisee rabbi Roman Sadducee Samaritan synagogue tax collector If you said, “They are all words that occur in the New Testament,” I will give you partial credit (though I am largely still disappointed in… Read more

The Need for a More Christlike God: An Interview with Brad Jersak

Today’s post is an interview with Brad Jersak, author of A More Christlike God, which came out last week. The book, with a foreword by Brian Zahnd, is about how replacing whatever image of God we have with a more Christlike image of God is central to the Gospel being truly good news. ​Brad Jersak (PhD) serves on faculty at Westminster Theological Centre (UK), where he teaches New Testament and Patristics. He is also senior editor of CWR Magazine. ​… Read more

discovering the futility of human existence at my high school reunion

A little over a year ago, I attended my thirty-fifth high school reunion. Pascack Valley High School class of ’78. Go Indians. Seeing people you grew up with looking far older than you ever dreamed your parents could get when you were a kid is both sobering and a privilege—not all of my 401 member graduating class got to grow old. And seeing people from your childhood and formative years connects you with your humanity, your life narrative, in ways few other… Read more

Two Sons: My Journey with God & The Bible

by Jared Byas On Twitter @jbyas THE ONE Once upon a time there was a boy who loved his father and longed to be just like him. His father seemed all-powerful, all wise, all good. And the father always helped his son, told him what to do and which decisions were for the best. The boy, he grew, and his childhood was glorious and serene. Whenever he faced a difficult decision, he’d run to his father who would hug him… Read more

Jesus and the delay of the Second Coming: maybe he doesn’t want to be seen with us

A few months back I watched Simon Schama’s gripping 5-part video series The Story of the Jews, which takes us from the reign of David to contemporary Judaism. The series is highly acclaimed and I can’t recommend it enough. Episode 2, “Among Believers,” covers Judaism in the medieval period and its difficulties with Christianity and Islam. Schama recounts the famous debate, known as the “Barcelona Disputation,” which took place over three days beginning on July 20, 1263. The debate, organized by the the… Read more

What I think about NOMA (not the ex-Red Sox shortstop but the evolution thing)

So, I’ve been thinking of NOMA this past week. Probably because the Yankees have been hitting like a high school team (until last night, let’s hope it lasts) and I need to take my mind somewhere else. And so my mind wound up at NOMA. NOMA is part of the lingo of the science/religion discussion (argument, debate, controversy, smack talk, etc.), a term coined by famous evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould and it stands for “non-overlapping magisteria.” And that means that science and religion are separate “domains”… Read more

Did the Exodus Happen? How “Historical Evidence” Might or Might Not Help

by Jared Byas Last week the Wall Street Journal published an article (by Joshua Berman) suggesting the biblical exodus might have its root in an historical event. This isn’t exactly new, but what interested me was the primary reason given— the biblical text seems to be appropriating some Ramesses II propaganda (discovered early in the 20th century) to make a theological point. Berman writes, “Both written accounts, hieroglpyhic in the case of the Kadesh inscriptions, Hebrew in the case of Exous chapters 14-15,… Read more

a brief thought on John Dominic Crossan’s new book on the Bible and God’s violence

A few weeks ago I read John Dominic Crossan’s new book How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Struggling with Divine Violence from Genesis Through Revelation, and I would have posted something sooner if I weren’t in the middle of end-of-semester crunch time. Anyway, enough excuses. The book is thoughtful, energetic, and–that overused but appropriate word–provocative. Crossan begins by observing, “The biblical God is, on the one hand, a God of nonviolent distributive justice and, on the other hand,… Read more