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...]

the Newsweek Christmas rant on the Bible: naive, over-the-top–and basically right

Kurt Eichenwald’s Christmas missive in Newsweek, “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s A Sin,” has predictably gotten it’s share of strong reactions. As others have pointed out, Eichenwald’s rhetoric is inflammatory, and his grasp of the issues is second-hand–at points rather naive, at least from the point of view of those who have been around the block a [Read More...]

2 more reasons why Eric Metaxas’s “science proves God” approach falters

On Christmas day, Eric Metaxas published an op-ed piece in the WSJ “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.” The title concerned me a bit. Metaxas is a bright guy, and I was hoping the piece wouldn’t add to the mountain of poorly conceived Christian apologetics about proving God’s existence. It seems, though, this Metaxas has fallen into that [Read More...]

my 5 “best” blogs of 2014 that, as far as we know (who’s to say, really?) will likely change the world

And by “best” I mean most page views. I think some others deserve to be on this list, but readers found them less interesting–probably because they were logical, balanced, well-argued, not sarcastic or satirical, and showed no frontal nudity whatsoever. These are listed in chronological order. Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham: giving credibility to nonsense (or, walking into an apologetic war machine) [Read More...]

Saying Yes to the Bible, and No to Biblicism (in post-Christendom Christianity)

The following is an extended excerpt from Addison Hodges Hart’s new book Strangers and Pilgrims Once More: Being Disciples of Jesus in a Post-Christendom World, specifically, chapter 3 “Saying Yes to the Bible, and No to Biblicism” (part 1, pages 57-63). Eerdmans was kind enough to send me a word file of these pages, lest my wrists [Read More...]

Exodus: Gods and Kings–unless you’re a biased blasphemer, the movie is utterly historically plausible

I just saw Exodus: Gods and Kings, preparing myself for 2’20″ of absolute nonsense, judging by most of the reviews I’ve read. But I honestly don’t know what all the fuss was about. I found the movie to be amazingly accurate, or at least plausible and possibly accurate. The critics are wrong. First, I think [Read More...]

well, at least the Old Testament has one thing going for it

I kid of course. I happen to think the OT has a lot going for it, which is why I force my hapless undergrads to deal with it. But not too long ago it snuck in the backdoor of my mind that the OT has something of core spiritual value that the NT doesn’t–the repeated observation and [Read More...]

Sandy Hook, 2 years ago today

I tuned into NPR on the way home from church today and was reminded that the Sandy Hook tragedy happened 2 years ago today. This still unnerves me, as a father of 3 (thankfully) grown adult children. Here is what I wrote 2 years ago. The NPR report was on Jimmy Greene, father of Ana Green, and [Read More...]