Mark Bilby writes: It is precisely because I respect these texts that I let them speak for themselves and try my best to listen to other ancient voices that would help me hear what was originally being intended in these texts. Because I respect these texts, I let them be whatever they really are, in all of their complexity, their inconsistencies, their biases, etc. Studying Scripture academically is kinda like falling in love. At first, you believe that your beloved… Read more

Another draft post that has been brewing as I’ve added more and more links to it is this one on Christology. Seeing Ian Paul’s post asking what topics they ought to discuss in relation to the Gospel of John in July at Tyndale House, on the same day that I met with a former student and friend to talk about John A. T. Robinson and the need to revisit his work on the eyewitness testimony behind and Christological portrait of… Read more

I was delighted to have the opportunity to watch the Netflix movie Come Sunday before its release to the public on April 13th. The movie is based on the true story of the life of Pentecostal Bishop Carlton Pearson, who came to change his mind about hell. It is a really nice touch that the movie starts with the Bible, a well worn annotated one, showing that it is the Bible that is central to Pearson’s story and the way his views… Read more

Bruce Gerencser recently wrote a blog post about the place of belief in Evangelicalism. While I often appreciate what Bruce writes, I must object to his characterization of faith as by definition meaning believing without evidence, and more specifically believing what the Bible says about people and events even when we have no corroborating evidence. That is, to be sure, one possible meaning of “faith,” and one that is particularly widespread in our time, especially among conservative Evangelicals, which is… Read more

A couple of voices in the blogosphere tackled the often fraught topic of privilege, and focused in more specifically on the phenomenon of Christians in the United States who may have been losing some of their historic privilege recently, but who mistake the gains of others for persecution of themselves. For instance, Neil Carter writes: The Christian message was predicated upon a martyrdom, and it was fashioned by a people suffering from persecution. Because of this, it will always make… Read more

Something in the Chronicle Teaching Newsletter resonated deeply with something I realized in a Digital Humanities reading group that I have been helping to facilitate. I was obviously aware that I have not been maintaining the content on my Butler University web space. But I had not thought about the connection with LMS use. Why not ensure that I maintain web pages with relevant and up-to-date links? It isn’t only or even primarily because the internet changes so fast. It… Read more

I watched Ready Player One yesterday and really enjoyed it. The movie not only connected with my childhood (I remember finding the Easter egg in the Atari game Adventure, which wasn’t as exciting to me as a child as it seems looking back and appreciating the significance of the game creator’s name being hidden in there) but makes powerful points about the dangers and positive potential of technology and games for our time as well as the future. I won’t… Read more

David Hayward shared this cartoon that gets nicely at the moral problems with the story of Noah and the flood: Jeremy Myers wrote recently: From Abel to Zechariah, from A-to-Z, the Bible reveals the violence of the human heart as we kill others in the name of God. According to Jesus, the Hebrew Scriptures are primarily about a revelation of bloodshed. They reveal what the origins of bloodshed, and how sacrificial religion is often at the root of bloodshed, as… Read more

Fortress Press and Lexington have a new book series focused on theology and popular culture. I’m sure I’ll propose something to them, given the focus of the series. The hard part will be deciding which of the many ideas that spring to mind, all of which interest me greatly, ought to be the one that I focus on. Any thoughts? Here’s the call for proposals of whole volumes, and for submissions to an initial volume that will apparently be starting off… Read more

Perhaps it would have been better to get this post up for April 4th, but I also wanted to be able to take the day’s commemorative speeches and events into account. But even more than that, the truth is that there is an effort to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by doing more than singling out a particular day, whether in January or in April. The Butler University Diversity Center held… Read more

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