Play it Again: God’s Genocides

This is a new feature for the site, where I'm going to try to pull a specific conversation/controversy out of the comments of a previous post and put it back in front of everyone.  I always find it a little harder to follow these involved disputes when they get argued piecemeal in the comments, interspersed amid whatever other arguments are taking place. And just a reminder: if you're trying to make a lengthy defense of your position in the comments, maybe you should ask about guest … [Read more...]

The Euthyphro Strikes Back

This week, The King and I blog (which is doing a guided reading through the whole King James Bible in a year) finished the Pentateuch. I've been keeping up with the readings, and I'm often struck by the strong contrasts between the passages in the Hebrew Bible and the Gospels and epistles I hear weekly at Sunday Masses.In the Gospels, Jesus speaks in parables, using specific examples to teach higher, more abstract lessons.  Most of the parables end using more general and universal language, w … [Read more...]

Biblical Sacrifice Question – updated

Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, [and] my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, [for] a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.And thou shalt say unto them, This [is] the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, [for] a continual burnt offering.The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even; And a tenth [part] … [Read more...]

Confused by today’s readings

I'm still in the middle of a series of posts on sin and immorality (and planning to respond to Peter Somerville's questions about my post on drone strikes) but, unfortunately, I have a paper and a song to finish before class tomorrow, so I'll have to wait a little on those posts.In the meantime, I'd love to know if any Christians (or particularly well-informed atheists) can explain something that perplexed me during the readings at Mass today.  Rather than paraphrase, I'll include the … [Read more...]

The Two-Lazarus Problem

Update: I was pleased to see that Catholic convert and blogger Mark Shea chose these scriptural passages as the inspiration for column at Inside Catholic.  Check it out here.This post is about what seemed to me to be an inconsistency in the Gospel, but is not meant to be a debunking of Christianity or an explanation of why I do not believe (I'll be trying my hand at that later in the day).  Therefore, I'm not trying to start an argument about the truth of the Bible in this post, I'm just c … [Read more...]

Your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins

Thanks all for your comments on last week's post on standards of evidence (extraordinary and otherwise). As always, if you'd like to respond to a Monday Call to Arms in longer form as a guest blogger, please email me at leah (dot) libresco (at) yale (dot) edu. The highlighted comment from last week comes from No Forbidden Questions:If you asserted to me that you drive a Honda, I'd probably believe you with ultimately very little in the way of supporting evidence -- a photo (which could be … [Read more...]

Lessons in the Lacunae: The Omitted Scripture

While looking up the readings for this week's Mass in the Catholic liturgical calendar, I noticed that the Old Testament readings skipped around in the chosen chapters. I've looked up these omissions before, and usually the gap is just an irrelevant sidenote (a timestamp for the event, some geographical digression, etc). However, this week the meaning of the passage is distorted by the edit. (passage below, cut sections in bold) 7 Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'I anointed you king of … [Read more...]