You have probably all heard fundamentalists such as young-earth creationists insist that they don’t interpret the Bible, they just read it, and others should do likewise? Sometimes it is explicit and generally stated in more or less the way I just did. In others it is implicit: don’t see if a day can be interpreted in some manner other than as a literal 24-hour, just take the text at face valuem day means day, what everyone means by day. But… Read more

Steve Wiggins wrote another great post about water as a force of chaos in the Bible and its world. Here is an excerpt: More than a theological statement, the story of creation was actually a singular episode in Yahweh’s ongoing struggle against chaos.  Step outside and look at the sky.  If it’s blue it’s because there’s unruly water being held back by a great dome over our heads.  If it’s gray, it may be raining, or it probably will be… Read more

Some might point to things I do and pictures I share from them as “the definition of nerdiness.” Gen Con presumably springs immediately to mind at the moment. But that isn’t literally a definition, and a definition I read in a book review on the blog of the publisher Hendrikson (for a book by Andy Walsh, Faith Across the Multiverse, that sounds really interesting) offered an actual definition that I like and so want to share. Let me give it in its… Read more

I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while, and didn’t manage to incorporate it into my recent post about comics in academia. And so blogging about this during Gen Con is perhaps the next best thing. A new comic book series called Dark Ark envisages Noah as not merely having to build an ark and gather animals, but also battle forces of darkness that seek to stand in his way. There was also a movie about Jesus as vampire hunter,… Read more

I’ve been meaning for a while to share some photos of the replica of a Mesopotamian board game that was created by my colleague Aaron “Gideon” Sears. With Gen Con having arrived (yesterday was Trade Day for game professionals and educators, today is the first day of Gen Con for everyone else), I’ve had my mind on gaming. I thus thought it was about time to finally get to this blog post. The game he made is a replica of… Read more

I was really struck by a post on the blog Only a Game, coming as it did right when I was preparing to speak at Gen Con about gamification and the arts in higher education together with a couple of other Butler University colleagues. In it Chris Bateman writes: If a game console is a device designed for the express purpose of executing arbitrary programmatic systems for entertainment, then the deck of cards was the world’s first game console. All… Read more

My brother in law drew my attention to the above claim of the Ancient Aliens franchise, which I had somehow missed hearing about. I don’t watch the show, but it seems like the sort of thing that someone ought to have drawn to my attention before now! In the clip, Georgio Tsoukalas claims that Jonah was swallowed not by a whale (or even a big fish, if he wanted to get that detail right), but an Unidentified Submersible Object. His… Read more

Via both Ancient World Online (AWOL) and the Biblical Studies Blog, I learned about the Open Access Digital Theological Library This is a useful search engine for finding open access materials related to theology and religion. It is mostly a portal that curates materials in other sources such as Hathi Trust, and a number of those sources can be found elsewhere, such as the Internet Archive and Google Books. Nonetheless, I want to highlight this resource since it shows how important curation of this sort… Read more

This call for papers from a new online periodical, the Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy, came my way and so I thought I should share it: Call for Papers: Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy, Vol.2, 2019 From Dystopian Caves to Galactic Federations: Social and Political Philosophy in Science Fiction Stories. One of the main roles of science fiction has been to warn us (sometimes humorously, sometimes through grim pessimism) of looming social dangers: the product of particular ideas, technologies… Read more

The Internet Monk blog has a post about biblical interpretation that is worth quoting at length: The idea that “I don’t interpret the Bible, I just read it” is specious; superficially plausible, but actually wrong.  The question is not whether you interpret the Bible, but whose interpretation you assume is authoritative.  Many of us regular commenters on Internet Monk, have grown up in conservative evangelicalism.  We have grown up assuming that conservative evangelical interpretation of the Bible was authoritative.  To… Read more

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