Everywhere is somewhere and nowhere is near


We’ve got a nuclear deal with Iran and a successful up-close fly-by of Pluto — not bad for a Tuesday. Plus: Farewell to a freedom fighter; responding to the heroin crisis; sharks in a volcano; and the physics of bubble wrap and D&D. [Read more...]

What dreams may come


Since I’m the one who brought up the whole discussion of souls and soul-talk, Helena’s question in comments seems fair and excellent and necessary: “Is it too much to ask that Fred whether he thinks the soul survives death, and if so, what happens to it?” Ay, there’s the rub. It’s a version of a very old question that persists because it remains unanswered for anyone we can hear asking it. It’s a question that tends to reduce me to babbling about “Flatland” or to quoting Whitman. [Read more...]

Sunday WTF?


“You have trespassed and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel. Now make confession to the Lord the God of your ancestors, and do his will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.” [Read more...]

A deeper shade of soul


Old newspaper headlines employ the word “souls,” and we bring to that word all of our Platonic, dualistic baggage and assumptions about what that word means. But their use of the word suggests something wholly incompatible with those dualistic ideas. Their use of the word — their appeal to the concept — is quite the opposite of what we expect when we approach that word with all of the connotations we’ve absorbed from Plato and Augustine and revivalist altar-call soteriology. [Read more...]

Everything’s a little clearer in the light of day


Wherein we discuss the Worst Song in the 1970s playlist at the Big Box store. Also: Bobby Bonilla is getting paid what he was owed; Wheaton College outsourcing biology; the continuing creepiness of mandatory loyalty oaths for children; and shouldn’t Amazon be celebrating “Prime Day” on July 19 instead? [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 41: ’10 pages in the men’s room’


Here’s how Chapter 5 begins: “Buck Williams ducked into a stall in the Pan-Con Club men’s room to double-check his inventory. Tucked in a special pouch inside his jeans …” As a general rule, it’s probably best not to begin a chapter by having the protagonist enter the stall of a men’s room. If Buck needs to “double-check his inventory,” I don’t want to read about it. [Read more...]

Two things … no, wait, three things


First, a big, recurring Thank You to everyone who has set up a recurring donation to the Slacktivist tip jar. You are wonderful and generous and I’m obliged to rise to the trust and grace you’ve shown by not letting Other Things interfere with regular blogging here, as they have this week. Second, Other Things have been interfering a bit with regular blogging here this week. And so, if you are able and inclined to do so, this would be an excellent time for non-recurring donations to the Slacktivist tip jar. [Read more...]

Sunday WTF?

“The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands.” [Read more...]