Ovid Butler vs. White Supremacism

Conservative blogs drew attention to a Butler University course about resisting “Trumpism” a while back. I don’t want to reignite the interest in that subject, since I know it caused a lot of headaches for a number of people around the Butler campus. But there are things related to that broader topic that need to be said as the start of the academic year draws near, and as university campuses are seeing an increase in activity by the KKK/Neo-Nazis/white supremacists, and as it becomes... Read more

About Canon: The Card Game

I hope that readers of this blog have all seen Joseph Hartropp’s article about Canon: The Card Game. If not, please do read it. I thought that it might be worth sharing here my longer text that I provided to him about the game, in case you find it interesting. The game originated with one of the challenges I face as a professor who teaches a one-semester course on the Bible. Students regularly come to class with misconceptions about the... Read more

Race and Ethnicity in Antiquity at #AARSBL17

Here’s another session to add to your list of what to attend at SBL in Boston this November.

Racist Propaganda and Landmines

There have long been efforts to ban landmines, primarily for the simple reason that they persist long after the war has ended, when they can blow up and injure innocent people who had nothing to do with the war that led to the creation of the minefield. Why am I mentioning this at a moment when you’d expect me to be blogging about the Nazi marches in Charlottesville? Because propaganda does the same thing as landmines. A case in point:... Read more

Eclipse of the End Times

Eclipses were treated as portents throughout much of history (see Anne Graham Lotz’s ambiguous comments on this subject). Eventually, however, people realized that these are entirely predictable events that result from the moon passing between the sun and Earth (in the case of solar eclipses) or the Earth passing between the sun and the moon (in the case of lunar eclipses). As you know, we have one coming up this month, on August 21st  2017, that will be visible in many... Read more

The Elephant in the Room

As the first movement of his choral and orchestral work titled Creation/Creator, Christopher Theofanidis used for the libretto a poem by the famous Sufi mystic Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks): Elephant in the Dark Some Hindus have an elephant to show. No one here has ever seen an elephant. They bring it at night to a dark room. One by one, we go in the dark and come out saying how we experience the animal. One of us happens to touch... Read more

“David” by Stephen Melillo

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE9uGUyuL58[/youtube]     I discovered Stephen Melillo’s music through the Naxos Music Database, and from there looked online to see what else I could find. There are quite a few things on YouTube and SoundCloud and a lot on the composer’s website. The piece I decided to share here is “David,” since it has a biblical connection, exploring the life of King David. Does the piece evoke that character in the Bible and the stories about him for you, when you listen to... Read more

Worse Than Salvation By Works

This struck me while discussing the Gospel of John’s depiction of judgment as based on belief in the present (3:18), versus judgment based on works in the future. If believing in this context means having the right ideas, then that presents a serious problem. Belief in God is the most foundational kind of belief in the Bible. If what that means believing the right things  – assenting to the precisely correct doctrines – about a God that transcends what humans can... Read more

Science Hell

HT PZ Myers. One could make a version of this for all academics and experts. There is something particularly excruciating about spending years of one’s life dedicated to studying a field and trying to advance our knowledge in it, only to be treated dismissively by someone who is confident that they have a full grasp of the matter because they Googled something about it. While viewpoints like mythicism and young-earth creationism existed well before Google, they are certainly thieving in our... Read more

Replicant Lives Matter (and Robots Debating Humanity’s Future)

A fellow Patheos blogger, Leah Schade, has shared some thoughts about re-watching the classic movie Blade Runner in our era of Black Lives Matter. She notices things such as the uniform whiteness of the actors in major roles, the one reference to race in Decker’s narrating monologue, the casual shooting of someone who is deemed less than human, as well as the presence of a Christ-figure towards the end of the movie. Here is a sample from the post: My... Read more
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