The righteous man and the wicked city: ‘Abraham Pleads for Sodom’

The New International Version of the Bible adds these little section headings at the start of each chapter or pericope. At the start of Genesis 19, for example, it adds the heading “Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed.” That’s a familiar story, even for people who haven’t read the Bible. The names of those cities endure as [Read More…]

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A request re: Tubal-cain, the Iron Age and transparent aluminum

So the other day I tripped over Tubal-cain and wound up wishing I’d paid more attention in my biblical studies classes and/or done more of the reading for my history classes. Let me explain where this is going, then ask for your help in pointing me toward where I might learn more to sort this [Read More…]

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A Southern Baptist in exile in the Bible belt

Both Alvin McEwen and Rachel Held Evans point us to Joan Garrett’s insightful, empathetic portrait of a Red Bank, Tenn., family: “A tempest in my soul: A son’s secret brings a Southern Baptist minister to his knees.” This is beautiful storytelling and impressive reporting. It is, in other words, what good journalism looks like. Kudos [Read More…]

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‘Bible Believers’ who do not know, or care, what the Bible says

Joe Jervis relays a Twitter exchange between Anderson Cooper and some other Joe:   For those who can’t read that image, the guy tells Cooper that “Jesus calls homosexuality sin and calls them [sic] to repent.” Cooper replies, “actually, Joe, factually speaking, Jesus never mentioned anything about gays.” It’s disappointing that some folks who want [Read More…]

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Omphalos theory fan fiction

The “Omphalos hypothesis” discussed in the previous post is horrifying as theology. The idea that the Creator is also the Great Deceiver suggests some rather appalling aspects of the character of God. But it does make for fertile ground for some potentially fascinating, or at least amusing, storytelling. Think again of that 28,000-year-old Australian rock [Read More…]

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Never Have I Ever, Leviticus edition

Tad’s Happy Funtime scores himself against the list of “76 Things Banned in Leviticus.” Seeing them all listed out like that does seem to invite a marathon game of “I Never.” (Or, depending on regional variations in college drinking games, “Never Have I Ever.”) But seeing them all listed out like that also invites a [Read More…]

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Selfish Gentiles and ‘Shellfish Objections’: Timothy Dalrymple vs. the Apostle Peter

Who are you going to side with: the Apostle Peter, or Timothy Dalrymple? You’re going to have to pick one or the other, because Dalrymple, an evangelical blogger here at Patheos, is the latest contemporary American Christian to come out against Peter’s explanation of his own vision from God. Peter believed that his vision from [Read More…]

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A condemnation becomes a recommendation

In Western culture, at least since its Christian formation, there has been a perduring tendency to give too much importance to the morality of sex. The sexual has threatened to take over the moral focus of whole generations of persons. Everything about the “sexual” is considered “moral” or “immoral,” and “morality” is almost reduced to [Read More…]

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