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 [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. [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 [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 [Read More...]

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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [Read More...]