The Best Word for Following Jesus

In the latest post in her “Faith in the Fog” series, Emma Higgs writes: Love is not the easy option The conservative evangelical voice in my head still occasionally wonders if this is wishful thinking. An attempt to soften the Truth, to make it all sound nicer and more palatable. It sounds suspiciously like wishy-washy, fluffy, hippy nonsense doesn’t it? Well, that depends on how you define love. The Biblical accounts of the life and death of Jesus are still, for... Read more

Canaanites Among Us

You may have already seen the news that DNA analysis of Canaanite skeletons in the region of ancient Sidon in what is today Lebanon shows their close genetic relationship to the current inhabitants of that country. Let me start by pointing out that some of the headlines that I have seen circulating about this are simply wrong, and doubly so. First of all, the Bible is very clear (in places) that the Canaanites were never completely wiped out from Israel. But... Read more

Terraforming Mars at Game Paradise

I became aware of the game Genesis (the one that I blogged about recently) through the website of Game Paradise, a game library here in Indianapolis. I visited it for the first time with colleagues and wanted to mention it here. One of the things that I had the chance to do was to try out the new board game Terraforming Mars. Below, you will see my colleagues playing the game. The game seems dauntingly complicated when you first attempt reading... Read more

Detroit

I had the opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new movie Detroit yesterday night. For someone like me, born after the 60s, events like the riots in Detroit, and the Algiers motel incident are not something I’d have seen in the news. And having watched the movie with my teenage son who loves history, he was dismayed that the details of this period are glossed over quickly, merely summarized in history classes in high school in very brief terms:... Read more

More Genesis Games, Plus Apocrypha

Another couple of games with biblical themes came to my attention recently. One is Genesis, by game company Gigantoskop. Here is the description from their website: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. It took him six days to complete his work, assisted by a host of heavenly angels doing his divine bidding. On the seventh day God rested and examined the result. Seeing that it was good, he praised the angel who had contributed the most.... Read more

Psalm 137: The Oxford University Press Playlist

Songs of exile: a playlist for Psalm 137 Oxford University Press shared some settings of Psalm 137 on their blog, as musical accompaniment to their book about that Psalm, Song of Exile by David Stowe. This is a really useful resource, as it includes some classics that were unmissable, but also things that it would be hard to notice if one did not already know about them. For instance, this setting is titled “Wood Street,” and I never would have spotted... Read more

By Their Tweets You Shall Know Them

I had the idea for this rephrasing of Matthew 7:20 when having a discussion about actions and beliefs in Sunday school. The background image is a full-page spread that the New York Times made of all the people, places, and things that Donald Trump had insulted on Twitter. What do you think? Perhaps we should incorporate Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and other social media into not just our rendering of Bible verses, but also our proverbs. How about these? “Trust in Google... Read more

Women of Valor

I recently discovered that several excerpts from Andrea Clearfield’s piece “Women of Valor” are on YouTube. This is an oratorio focused on the stories of women in the Bible. I had wanted to highlight it in my class on the Bible and music more than I was able to, as there was not yet a CD commercially available. That has now changed, as the piece was released on CD this year. Below are the YouTube excerpts for you to listen to. You can also find... Read more

Scott Carroll on the Claim of a First Century Papyrus of the Gospel of Mark

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD9CIH-l25Y[/youtube] The Evangelical Textual Criticism blog shared the above video and provides a transcript as well as some additional information and discussion.

Christian Agnosticism

Someone on Reddit asked about Christian agnosticism, leading me to write the following (on which I based the quote in the image above, slightly modified to make better sense outside of its original context. A lot of commenters here seem to reflect the mistaken view that faith means feeling certain about something despite there not being sufficient rational grounds. But faith in the Christian sense (on which I recommend reading Paul Tillich’s Dynamics of Faith) means doing what the Bible... Read more
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