Some interesting recent posts from around the blogosphere include:
John Wilkins asks whether a Christian can accept natural selection as true. I left the following comment:
I think the issue is complicated because there are
(1) Christians for whom the Bible, understood in a particular way, trumps everything else, and so they reject natural selection;
(2) Christians who hold in tension both traditional theistic ideas and natural selection; and
(3) Christians who revise their thinking about God in light of natural selection and other data from the sciences.
Some would dispute calling the latter “Christians”, but the same sort of diversity in terms of accepting the conclusions of philosophy and then science in the modern sense is there all through the history of Christianity.
The real question is thus not whether a Christian can accept natural selection, but how those of us who do should think differently about God as a result.
Joel Willitts asks where we should begin a consideration of Paul and the Law, highlighting (as I have done in a number of posts) the importance of Romans 2.
Indigenous Stranger shares a video of Karen Armstrong. IO9 has updates that touch on religious aspects of the new season of Battlestar Galactica.
James Tabor believes that scholars have been too quick to dismiss the Talpiot tomb as the tomb of Jesus. I’ve been thinking a lot about the burial of Jesus lately (and hope to find a publisher for a small book I’ve written on the subject in the near future). Thus far, I’ve felt persuaded that the Gospel authors after Mark changed his narrative to give Jesus the sort of burial in their retelling of the story that they couldn’t give him in reality. But what if the changes in fact reflect something that they did but couldn’t disclose, and only felt free to drop hints about after those who tampered with the tomb were dead? Because of some of the more outlandish claims and assumptions, possibilities may have been overlooked without due consideration. That Jesus could have been a widower with a son, rather than unmarried, is not at all implausible. That the “Mariamne” ossuary could belong to two people, “Mary and Mar(th)a”, is interesting. That there could be a Joses and Matthias sharing the tomb, all these together united by fictive kinship rather than blood, is not incompatible with what we know about the Jesus movement.
The above suggestions do not persuade me that the Talpiot tomb is the tomb of Jesus. It could be, but there is no evidence that has yet been presented that makes it seem more likely that it is than that it is not. That’s a shame, since if I could be persuaded, I could finally write a book that would sell lots of copies and make some serious money!
Also, anyone who is interested in the James ossuary and Biblical archaeology in general should try to get hold of a copy of the recent 60 Minutes about Oded Golan.
Finally, Qalmlea discusses a new word: PZification.