my thoughts about thinking about violence in the Bible: a counterpoint

Several days ago over at OnFaith, John Dickson posted “4 Responses to the Problem of Violence in the Bible.” I respect Dickson and his work a lot. I also think his thoughts in this piece are constructive and will be helpful to many readers. Dickson’s post responds specifically to Richard Dawkins’s charge that the Canaanite extermination in the book of [Read More...]

brief Bible thought: is there resurrection from the dead in the Old Testament?

Is there resurrection from the dead in the Old Testament? No. Not really. Well, sort of. O.K., yes, but it depends on how you look at it. Resurrection is pretty central to the New Testament, in case you haven’t noticed. Yet searching for that kind of resurrection it in the Old Testament makes you come up basically [Read More...]

we talk about God too much (what with the internet and our iPhones and all)

I’m not sure where this came from. Maybe when I was buttoning my shirt this morning, on the way to teach an adult class at a local church–another among countless other classes where I am, once again, going to talk about God. God must be bored out of his mind. We have a lot of free time [Read More...]

new podcast interview at Back to Red featuring me talking about me and what I think (and go Yankees)

On Monday I had the the good pleasure and fun of being interviewed by the fine people at Back to Red, a new podcast hosted by Tim Ivey and Eric Nobrega (Nobe). We talked for an hour or so about The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It–both [Read More...]

Canaanite genocide: it’s OK because it wasn’t THAT bad (was it?)

Here is my second post on my reaction to the RNS interview with Paul Copan and Matthew Flannagan about their recent book Did God Really Command Genocide?: Coming to Terms with the Justice of God. (The first post is here. I may add a third and final post later this week.) Based on some comments to my first post, [Read More...]

Fox News, American Sniper, Jesus, and…well…I can’t even

Word is making its way around the blogosphere that Fox News is doubling as a theological think tank. I don’t like picking on Fox News when they talk religion of any sort, including Christianity. It’s too easy and it gets boring. But I can’t help myself here. According to the Fox News website, Michael Moore–who really hates [Read More...]

the Canaanites weren’t the “worst sinners ever”: engaging Copan and Flannagan on Canaanite extermination

Earlier this month, Jonathan Merritt over at RNS interviewed Paul Copan and Matthew Flannagan about their recent book Did God Really Command Genocide?: Coming to Terms with the Justice of God. Copan is Professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Flannagan is a philosopher with proficiency in contemporary analytic [Read More...]

for those of you who ever wondered what it was like to live in the 13th century

Well, the words are 13th century. The music is much more recent. But still. And, with this, I bid you all a good evening. Hear, smith of the heavens, what the poet asks. May softly come unto me thy mercy. So I call on thee, for thou hast created me. I am thy slave, thou art [Read More...]

a softer, gentler version of one of my books is juuuuust about to come out

Oxford University Press is about to release the paperback version of The Bible and the Believer: How to Read the Bible Critically and Religiously, which I co-wrote with Marc Zvi Brettler and the late Daniel J. Harrington, S.J. The volume is identical to the hardcover original (2012), except for a brief preface and dedication to Dr. Harrington. The other [Read More...]

the Bible’s mythic worldview and why you should care (a brief review of a new book)

Do you want a book that describes how the biblical writers themselves actually understood the cosmos? Of course you do. What a dumb question. Well, do you want that book to deal honestly with ancient data instead of “defending” the Bible, while at the same time being sensitive to more conservative readers? Sure you do. And [Read More...]

turning the world upside down: the Bible against American imperialism

Today’s post is an interview with Berry Friesen and John K. Stoner, authors of If Not Empire, What?: A Survey of the Bible. The authors are deeply concerned that “empire” thinking is a threat to the earth. They also feel the Bible has something to say about it. By surveying the Bible, they make the case [Read More...]

something this Protestant learned from a Jew about reading the Bible: a story

As I was working on The Bible Tells Me So, I became conscious on a more present level of the debt I owe Judaism in my own reading of the Bible, a process that began while in graduate school. One day I was eating lunch with a Jewish classmate who grew up in Israel. We were both [Read More...]


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