December 6, 2007

The questioner who asked “Do you believe every word in this book?” said that that question will tell us “everything we need to know” about the Republican candidates. I think he is right, although I’m not sure if the way I assess the answers is the same as the questioner’s intent.Giuliani was courageous and said that Jonah and the whale is an allegory. I like him – not simply pandering to voters (although I’m not suggesting he never does that… Read more

December 6, 2007

A colleague shared with me issue 56 of Philosophy Now magazine, which was devoted to the subject of heresy. If you can get access to it, there is a great cartoon by Chris Madden on p.27, a variation on another of his famous cartoons.Since I can’t share the cartoon, I’ll have to settle for sharing a quote: “Religions are kept alive by heresies, which are really sudden explosions of faith. Dead religions do not produce them” (Gerald Brenan, Thoughts In… Read more

December 5, 2007

Most readers will know that I’m turning part of my research attention to the Mandaeans. While I’ll be working mainly on their ancient texts, the Mandaeans are still around today, and as many of you are aware, their existence is threatened by the recent upheavals in their traditional homeland, Iraq.April DeConick shared a link to a petition on her blog. The petition asks that the Mandaeans be granted refugee status. I’m sharing the link here to increase the number of… Read more

December 5, 2007

If I really wanted to undermine intelligent design, this is what I would do. I would create a web site (with blog) that talks about the earth being intelligently designed recently, combining ID and young earth creationism so that it is harder than ever to argue that there is any real distinction between them. Then I would fill the blog with irate nonsense and malicious accusations, making much of Darwin beating a puppy (as though young-earth creationists are always kind… Read more

December 5, 2007

I have no doubt that the days mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis are “literal days”. They each involve morning and evening, and so we can be even more specific: they are days according to traditional Jewish reckoning, beginning at sundown. Personally, I think that these literal days are part of a larger, extended metaphor of a divine “work-week”, but that isn’t the issue I want to focus on here.There is at least one other place in the Bible… Read more

December 5, 2007

“We might summarize Piper’s theology here as “God so loved himself that He sent His only Son (admiring Himself greatly for so doing), that whoever He has chosen to save will irresistably believe and so have eternal life.” Love has no meaning whatsoever in Piper’s system. It amounts to little more than divine masturbation” (Ken Schenck) Read more

December 5, 2007

Who was ‘Immanuel’, the child referred to in Isaiah 7-9? I’m not asking who it has been applied to – I know that the answer to that question is Jesus. I’m asking what the most likely reference is in the book’s original context. Clearly it makes no sense to have Isaiah offer as a sign to king Ahaz that the kings he is worried about will be no more by the time a child is born seven centuries from then.Nor… Read more

December 4, 2007

“for Jesus to be fully human he had, for both biological and theological reasons, to have a human father as well as a human mother and the weight of the historical evidence strongly indicates that this was so – and that it was probably Joseph. Any theology for a scientific age which is concerned with the significance of Jesus of Nazareth now has to start at this point” (Arthur Peacocke, Evolution: The Disguised Friend Of Faith? (Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press,… Read more

December 4, 2007

There is already a YouTube, and it has a lot of science-related (but also a lot of pseudoscience and anti-science related) clips uploaded and shared. But now there is something new, specifically for scientists: Sci-Vee. I’ve also just discovered Bloggingheads TV, which includes clips on science, politics and other subjects. Read more

December 4, 2007

I remember reading Galatians as a teenager and thinking I understood what Paul was saying, and then reaching 5:21 and wondering what was going on. I had been reading Paul’s letter in the typical Protestant way, assuming that he was saying that ‘works in general don’t matter for salvation’, and then could make little sense of why he seemed to change his mind at the end of the letter, when he had seemed so adamant up until now. When I… Read more

Follow Us!



Browse Our Archives