April 22, 2021

Present: Parallel Universes, Loving the Alien in Our Midst, and Robots in Church We have already been in the present in our discussion, and indeed we never really leave it. Science fiction may be usefully compared to prophecy, but prophecy isn’t really about prediction with accuracy. The point of invoking a vision of the future or of time travel to the past is to offer a message for our present day. Even when Octavia Butler offers a glimpse of the… Read more

April 21, 2021

My previous post shared the introduction to this public lecture. The first major section of this lecture focuses on the past, and so I gave it the section heading “Part One – Past: Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” I often tell the story of a thought experiment presented to me by a commenter on my blog, an atheist. His aim was to get at the issue of falsifiability, that is, the question of whether beliefs in general… Read more

April 20, 2021

Thanks to the Michigan Center for Early Christian Studies and all those involved in making my recent public lecture possible. I have decided to share the recording of the talk that I pre-recorded to ensure that clips from television shows that I wanted to include would come through correctly. I will also be sharing the text of the talk across multiple posts in order to allow those who attended to follow up on some of the authors and stories mentioned…. Read more

April 19, 2021

Mark your calendars! On May 23rd my church will be hosting an online discussion of my book What Jesus Learned from Women. The online event will feature panelists from my church and the regional branch of the American Baptist Churches USA, of which my own church, Crooked Creek Baptist Church, is a part. My church is hosting the event not only because the book is written by a member, but also because my Sunday school class played an important role… Read more

April 18, 2021

Seeing news items about a tax professional with a sign saying he would not provide services to same-sex couples, and thinking about the many examples of bakers refusing to make cakes for same-sex weddings, I found myself thinking “WWPW?” That is, what would Paul write? At first my mind turned to what he wrote about food sacrificed to idols. There is no need to ask questions that might raise qualms for you about what you are being served, or sold…. Read more

April 17, 2021

 Information about a really exciting endeavor: Virtual Conference: Religion, History, & Culture (August 15 & 16, 2021) Digital Hammurabi and Save Ancient Studies Alliance have partnered to create a new type of conference for ALL Ancient Studies scholars. ​The goals of this conference are:  Present and support excellent scholarship by scholars at the fringes of the academic community and researchers who have not followed the traditional tenure-track career path. Foster discussion and action regarding public outreach and scholarly inclusiveness. Hold a conference… Read more

April 16, 2021

It is funny how ideas come up. It started with me mentioning to my Sunday school class that my wife and I had a Zoom reunion with friends we hadn’t seen in a quarter of a century. Since they worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators, we said a few more things about languages (probably me boring everyone else with some of that). We then moved on to the story of “Doubting Thomas,” focusing on whether the nickname is fair as well… Read more

April 15, 2021

Call for Abstracts  Star Wars and Philosophy Strikes Back  Edited by Kevin S. Decker and Jason T. Eberl   The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series  Please circulate and post widely. Apologies for cross posting. To propose ideas for future volumes in the Blackwell series please contact the Series Editor, William Irwin, at williamirwin@kings.edu Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium. We are looking for… Read more

April 14, 2021

Just making the pun in the title would have been good enough reason to write something along these lines. But there is more to it. I want to make a case for spiritual discernment as well as information literacy. The pun occurred to me in the context of a discussion of the story of “Doubting Thomas” in my Sunday school class. Someone said that we could do with more doubt in this era in which so many people are duped… Read more

April 13, 2021

I have been working this semester on creating a first draft of an open textbook on The Bible and Music and have the draft shared online so that I can use it with students to gather feedback in the course that inspired it and for which I am, in the first instance, developing it (although I obviously hope it will be more broadly useful). I am grateful to the PALSave initiative of PALNI, the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana, for… Read more

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