Psalm 110:1 and Hebrew Vowels

I thought I would try to clarify the point I was making when the webinar last Friday got interrupted. I don’t at all dispute the interpretation of Psalm 110 as involving Yahweh saying to another distinct figure, whom the author of the Psalm refers to as his lord, that he bestows upon that individual an exalted [Read More…]

Was God Good Before Creation?

Yesterday I discussed one attempted solution to the problem of evil that students wrestled with, taking J. L. Mackie’s classic article, “Evil and Omnipotence,” as their starting point, together with the Book of Job and an excerpt from The Brothers Karamazov. Today I would like to focus in on another, the argument that good cannot [Read More…]

Compelling Evidence for the Big Bang?

I am surprised that Hemant Mehta is so impressed with this exam answer a student gave to a question about the Big Bang: On the one hand, theism doesn’t posit a floating man in the sky. And in context the suggestion is self evidently silly, since by definition, there was no sky before the Big Bang. [Read More…]

Does Being Exist?

It was about 8 years ago that I blogged about the strange question that is involved in debating God as understood by a wide array of liberal, existentialist, panentheist, pantheist, and/or mystical religious people. “Does being exist?” seems to be a self-evidently odd question. But for those who think of God as the ultimate, all-encompassing [Read More…]

Mystery

Allan Bevere shared the above quote from Stanley Hauerwas’ book Cross-Shattered Christ a while back. Given the discussion generated by the last quote about mystery and God that I shared, I thought I should follow up with another one! [Read more…]

Siri, Pray For Me

The last time my Religion and Science Fiction class met, we continued a conversation about Arthur C. Clarke’s story “The Nine Billion Names of God.” Since the story mentions motorized prayer wheels at a monastery in Tibet, I thought that focusing in on that detail might be useful, as a way of highlighting that readers – whether [Read More…]

Angel at the APA

This joke shared in a comment seemed worth sharing in a blog post: An angel appears to the American Philosophical Association conference, and announces “God has deigned to answer one question. You have a week to decide; I will return and give you the answer.” Of course, being philosophers, they argue and can’t come to an [Read More…]

Sophisticated Theology vs. the Biblical God

This image on the Pictoral Theology blog shows one of the more bizarre responses of some atheists to some theologians. If someone is talking about a different idea of God than the Biblical depiction, and knows it, then how is responding in terms of the Biblical (or other Abrahamic) depiction meaningful? Some atheists seem to [Read More…]

The Duality of God

The blog Pictoral Theology shared the above image, seemingly in response to posts of mine which emphasized that God is not an answer, God is a question and a mystery. I know there are some who will appeal to “mystery” in a self-serving way, to avoid scrutiny or excuse blatant contradictions in their thought. But for others, [Read More…]

SNTS: Second Main Paper and Seminar

Today’s program started with a service in French. Very few members attend any of these chapel services, but today it was interesting to notice that almost everyone who was there was not a native speaker of French. Next on the program was the second main paper of the conference, by Paula Fredriksen, asking “How Jewish [Read More…]