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…]

The Theology and Ethics of Star Wars

The above discussion of theology and ethics in Star Wars at Conway Hall includes Biblical scholar Francesca Stavrakopoulou. It uses LEGO Star Wars images, discusses orientalism and radicalization in the films, and includes reading from the scripts (the stage directions in which are often significant for how we understand some key moments). It is definitely worth [Read More…]

Superman Takes Sociology

I love this. I hope that the experience of students is that, early on, we problematize simplistic ideas of good vs. evil, but also that by the end of their studies, we have helped them identify the genuine evils that are much more pernicious and pervasive, and which cannot be eliminated by killing “bad guys” since they [Read More…]

Admiring Darth Vader

There has been a lot of discussion and speculation about The Force Awakens related to Kylo Ren’s admiration for his grandfather, Darth Vader, and his fear that he will never be as strong as he was. I think that one thing that the prequels offer that the original trilogy didn’t is a chance to really flesh [Read More…]

The Tao of Star Wars

Mike Chen wrote an article recently in defense of the Star Wars prequels. The second point on the list of things he appreciates about them is the moral ambiguity, the introduction of more in the way of shades of grey. I would argue that that is there in the original trilogy too. My view of [Read More…]

Recognizing Evil

This meme came to my attention on Facebook, and of course I had to share it, since it explores the intersection of Star Wars and Christianity. In Star Wars, the original plan was for lightsabers to all be the same color, but this was changed to make things more interesting. But the notion that someone’s stance [Read More…]

Love is a Promise (in 1 Corinthians 13 and Doctor Who)

This image comes from the blog Whovian Theology. I had been meaning to share it a while back, and it ended up as a saved draft. But recently we discussed 1 Corinthians 13 in my Sunday school class, and it reminded me of this. One older person in the class asked “What is love?” and I of [Read More…]

LOST Rewatch: Across the Sea

This episode tells the backstory of Jacob and his brother as their pregnant mother is in a shipwreck and finds herself on the island. A woman finds her and they speak in Latin. The pregnant woman is named Claudia. The woman who found her says that she is alone, and that she got there the [Read More…]

Religion in the Multiverse

IO9 recently shared a list of the nine weirdest implications of the many worlds viewpoint. One is that you are, in essence, immortal. I’ve blogged before about ways that parallel universes might provide some of the comfort traditionally offered by hope for an afterlife. But immortality comes with a price: there are countless different versions [Read More…]

Perpetuating Injustice

The quote comes from a video by Hip-Hop radio show host Jay Smooth, which was quoted by Fred Clark and in turn by Steve Thorngate, both of whom noted the similarities with the thought of Reinhold Niebuhr. The video can be watched below (the quote comes from around the 2 minute mark). Here is a [Read More…]