In the latest issue of Christianity Today, Simon Gathercole offers a somewhat appreciative but also critical evaluation of the new perspective on Paul. For me, the new perspective’s major conclusions (such as that “the works of the Law” in Paul’s writings were not good works in general but symbols of the separateness of the Jews as God’s chosen people over against the Gentiles) seem completely sound conclusions that are right on target. This is not merely because Paul affirms judgment... Read more
Those who interested in intelligent design will want to see Michael Behe’s appearance on The Colbert Report…
Metanexus has made available a wide selection of articles on intelligent design representing key supporters and critics’ views. Those unfamiliar with this web site will find much more on it that is interesting and useful.
I’ve been reading several books on evolution, intelligent design, and related subjects, as I seek to decide on representative readings to assign for my religion and science course this Fall. It seems to me that the differences between many viewpoints centers around the question of what God does. Naturalistic explanations of various things in the world around us have always challenged religious beliefs. The monotheistic God of the Abrahamic traditions continues to have adherents precisely because of the flexibility and... Read more
The Busybody blog asks in today’s post how Paul or Isaiah would feel about our reinterpretations and/or contextualizations of their writings. If it is possible to speak of authorial post-mortem indignation, then presumably it is also possible (presumably more so) to speak of authorial intent! Here are my few thoughts on the subject: When we ask what Paul and Isaiah would make of our reinterpretations and contextualizations of their writings, I suspect that the answer depends on how aware they... Read more
I am currently working on a statement of my teaching philosophy, and decided (as with most other things I do) to share it on my blog, in the hope both that I may receive helpful feedback, as well as in the hope that it may be helpful and useful to others. As I worked on writing it, I found that I could not simply repeat all of the statements I had made in the past, even though much has remained... Read more
I just finished reading the book I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith through an Atheist’s Eyes. It is about an atheist who said he would attend church as specified by the highest bidder on eBay. He provides insights on what goes on in churches from the perspective of an atheist raised in a Jain family, and thus with no Christian background to make many Christians’ various strange customs seem more familiar. This is definitely recommended reading for both... Read more
On my old blog I made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the need for a special “Biblical mathematics” if one wishes to attempt (even though it is futile) to be a “Biblical literalist” – defining pi as 3, allowing 13 to equal 14, and so on. Apparently I am not the only person to have this sort of idea – there is a nice parody of “creation science” in the mathematical realm in the Bollingbrook Babbler.
I’m actually writing something on religion and science fiction, and found myself pondering Asimov’s famous Three Laws of Robotics. On the one hand, such laws seem like a necessity. On the other hand, if we manage to create sentient, self-aware artificial persons, then would they not have rights? Could we in essence impose our will on them in this way, or would their right to the same freedoms other persons have lead to the Three Laws being overturned by some... Read more
The idea of the earth as mother is not as alien to the Bible as one might have heard. It is quite clearly present in Job 1:21, when Job says “naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there.” It is also in the background when God, in Genesis 1:11 and 1:24, is said not to create living things directly, but by commanding the earth to bring them forth out of its creative potency. Yet having... Read more