Trump or Vader?

In my course on religion and science fiction, I actually asked students recently who was worse, Donald Trump or Darth Vader. I had forgotten (if I ever knew) that a poll back in 2014 had millennials preferring Vader to Trump. The reason for asking this question was to highlight the discrepancy between what we sometimes claim [Read More…]

Romans 13

Romans 13 has been getting a lot of mention lately. Romans 13:1 was the one biblical text that the Communist authorities in Romania consistently knew. “Submit to the authorities” – the Bible says so! We all know that the Bible can be used both to build and to bludgeon. The Bible itself contains multiple perspectives on [Read More…]

Is Our Democracy Broken? #PatheosVotes2016

In my Sunday school class this past weekend, we talked about the election, how hard it is to know whom and what to believe, and the fact that political candidates pretty much never seem to be there to actually accomplish the things they promise or that we hope they might. One person in the class [Read More…]

Fact Checking Politics and History

I constantly tell my students that the skills they learn in my classes are transferable, and so even if they are not especially interested in the subject matter, the things they learn to do are applicable to other areas of life. As we near the end of this election season, I am struck by how [Read More…]

Beyond Two-Party America

I felt both proud and ashamed as I listened to Butler students share their feelings about the upcoming election yesterday evening. In a fantastic panel discussion, religion majors (joined by a political science professor for this panel, moderated by a religion professor) expressed the enthusiasm which they brought to this first time they will have the [Read More…]

Rob Bell in Indianapolis

Letting you know about this upcoming event. It is close to sold out, so if you plan to attend, you should act fast! [Read more…]

So That’s What those Prophecies Mean

How will the world end? It will be issued in by the “Trump of God.” The King James Version translators didn’t know that they needed to capitalize “Trump.” How could they? It all makes sense now… [Read more…]

Cast out of the Synagogue/USA: History, Rhetoric, and Reality

I participated in a fascinating conversation about the Gospel of John as a group of us who had attended the “John the Jew” Enoch Seminar coped with a train strike in Italy. The conversation was about the references in the Gospel of John to being expelled from the synagogue. Since there was no universally-accepted authority that [Read More…]

This Isn’t What We Meant When We Said “Pence Must Go”

A friend posted this as her status update on Facebook, and it seemed to me precisely the sort of thing that might go viral, and so I asked permission to share it. For those who aren’t aware, there have been “Pence Must Go” signs up all over Indianapolis. And so the comment on Facebook is [Read More…]

The Politics of the Cross

Allan Bevere wrote the following in a recent blog post: No amount of interpretive gymnastics can soften Jesus’ words here in the Sermon on the Mount. Essentially he is saying, if you are going to follow me and love the way I insist you should love, you have to love in a way quite different [Read More…]