It started with me saying that “the Bible is not in the Bible” in my Sunday school class. I was referring to the conundrum for those who speak of the Bible as their ultimate authority, namely that the contents of the Bible cannot be settled on the basis of biblical authority. That got us on to the idea of sola scriptura, and so I emphasized that the Bible isn’t alone, either. This is true in many senses. One is the fact… Read more

My project on artificial wisdom and driverless cars has highlighted for me the need to think not only about moral and ethical principles, but how to adjudicate between them when they come into conflict with one another. Some of the readings for the Council of Independent Colleges institute I attended recently in Atlanta on “Diversity, Inclusion, and the Liberal Arts,” as well as some of the talks and presentations given there, seemed to me to require consideration through this lens…. Read more

Richard Beck posted one of his characteristically provocative posts recently, this one with a title informing readers that “you don’t have time for ‘What Would Jesus Do?'” Here is part of that post: Most of us, I’m guessing, think that becoming more Christ-like in our lives is a process of making good choices. Life presents us with a series of moral decisions and we need to ask ourselves at each of these crossroads “What would Jesus do?” But…life isn’t really… Read more

I could have simply called this post “Franklin Graham is a liar” but I wanted something that was less obvious, more specific, as well as more likely to be obviously applicable when someone else at a later point is making the same dishonest and indeed libelous assertions. What I am referring to is the fact that Franklin Graham has said that progressives and liberals aren’t Christians, and that these terms are simply a “code word for godlessness.” The irony, of… Read more

As a firm believer in the usefulness of gamification to assist learning, I had been looking for an opportunity to explore some of the resources that take a gamified approach to foreign language learning. Duolingo was already on my radar, and not only after they added Klingon among their options. I decided recently to finally try it out, starting with Swahili. I was pleasantly surprised with how this minimally gamified approach – breaking things into levels, providing immediate feedback and… Read more

I have been wanting to get into podcasting for some time, and with the exciting news that Butler University’s Center for Academic Technology has installed a sound booth in our Irwin Library, I am committed to making that happen soon. The fact that the sound booth bears some resemblance to a TARDIS is not at all a factor in this… Tim Bulkeley hosted the (apparently misnumbered) 147th Biblical Studies Carnival, and focused it on podcasts. I had hoped to start podcasting… Read more

As I continue thinking about how to best characterize the form of Christianity that I identify with, another has occurred to me – ironically, in an article that warns against our human tendency to take pride in group identities! But you’ll see why it led me to the title of this post when you read this excerpt from Trelawney Grenfell-Muir’s recent piece about not being proud to be a Christian: Christianity, like every major religion and secular ideology, has always… Read more

From the symposium website: “Moral Machines? The Ethics and Politics of the Digital World” is a symposium organized by two research fellows, Susanna Lindberg and Hanna-Riikka Roine at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. The aim of the symposium is to bring together researchers from all fields addressing the many issues and problems of the digitalization of our social reality, such as thinking in the digital world, the morality and ethics of machines, and the ways of controlling and manipulating the… Read more

Phil Ledgerwood paraphrased the conversation between Jesus and those who accused him of casting out demons through the power of Beelzebul: JESUS: I’m casting out demons. The kingdom of God has come. I’m binding the strong man to pillage his house and reclaim Israel. Etc. Etc. OPPONENTS: You only have authority over demons because Satan has given it to you. JESUS: If that were true, then Satan would be fighting against himself and destroying his own kingdom. OPPONENTS: … JESUS:… Read more

Somehow I’ve managed not to blog about Westworld, despite having found both seasons incredibly engaging, and replete to overflowing with religious themes and symbolism. As Janey Tracey wrote early in the first season: It’s nothing new for AI movies and TV shows to explore themes such as the godlike creation of intelligent life, the desire to destroy your own idols, and the notion that the definition of humanity involves some level of imperfection. However, Westworld isn’t exploring these themes tangentially; they seem to… Read more

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