July 17, 2007

In response to a question asked on the List-serv X-Talk, I’m sharing a review I wrote of The Mutilation of Mark’s Gospel by N. Clayton Croy. In short, I found the suggestion that Mark’s Gospel may have lost its originalbeginning as well as ending plausible, and certainly agree that the evidence points to Mark’s Gospel having been originally intended continue beyond the abrupt ending found in our earliest Manuscripts.I am inclined to think (as I indicated in a post on… Read more

July 16, 2007

For many fans of Doctor Who, among our favorite episodes are the ones where the Doctor encounters his earlier selves – which inevitably leads to arguments! Although intended primarily for comic value, I presume, there is an important insight in these episodes. If I were to meet an earlier me, I would encounter a person very different from the one I am today, and I can easily imagine arguments ensuing, as I who I am today tried to share what… Read more

July 16, 2007

One particular detail in the Gospel of Peter has long struck me as a sure sign the author had authentic early oral traditions passed down to him apart from or in addition to the canonical Gospels. The reference to the disciples being in hiding after Jesus’ arrest because it was feared they would set fire to the temple surely would not have been invented by a Christian, and certainly not after the accusation that they had started the fire in… Read more

July 15, 2007

I’ve finally begun watching the latest season of Doctor Who. I will not post any genuine spoilers in this post – you won’t learn what the Face of Boe’s secret is from me! 🙂 But the last episode I watched, “Gridlock”, raises questions that I’ve asked before in other contexts.Can we imagine our descendents 15 million years in the future, living perhaps 15 million light years from Earth, still singing hymns like “The Old Rugged Cross” or even “Abide With… Read more

July 14, 2007

No, I’m not asking about a fanciful apocalyptic scenario based on a few texts taken out of context. Last night, my church showed the animated movie Cars. I found the movie moving (both literally and metaphorically, I suppose), but I was particularlly struck by the way themes from the movie intersected with ones I have been thinking about while reading Jack Clayton Swearengen’s book Beyond Paradise: Technology and the Kingdom of God. In the movie Cars, most of the story… Read more

July 13, 2007

In their book on Rumor Psychology Nicholas DiFonzo and Prashant Bordia mention the concept of “Matthew Accuracy”. Deriving its name from the principle in the Gospel of Matthew that “to the one who has more will be given, but from the one who does not have even the little he has will be taken away”, Matthew Accuracy denotes the tendency of truthful rumors to become more truthful, while false rumors tend to become more false (pp.152-4).If it could be confirmed… Read more

July 13, 2007

Gerald R. McDermott’s second book on world religions from an Evangelical perspective was published this year, entitled God’s Rivals. Both books seem to be part of a larger project, and there are many respects in which this volume is logically prior to his first, Can Evangelicals Learn From World Religions? That first book focused more on what Evangelicals can learn from other religions, while this book seeks to provide more in the way of justification and explanation of the Biblical… Read more

July 13, 2007

It is time to reveal the truth behind the urban legend regarding “Theresa Banyan” and the question of hell’s endothermic/exothermic nature. This legend in fact derives from a real incident in the life of St. Theresa of Banyan, the famous Indian saint and mystic, known by this name because of her custom of meditating and praying under a banyan tree (all the spots under bodhi trees were taken). St. Theresa posed the question of whether hell was exothermic or endothermic… Read more

July 12, 2007

I am grateful to Marc Goodacre for sharing his own research on the urban legend regarding hell’s exothermic/endothermic nature. As previously mentioned, my own research of late has turned to precisely the theme he discussed in his 2004 lecture which he shares, namely oral tradition and the circulation of urban legends. Of course, the circulation of such legends in our digital age via e-mail allows for much wider dissemination, as well as more precise reproduction, than was the case in… Read more

July 12, 2007

Most readers will probably have already encountered this bit of web humor which asks “Is hell endothermic or exothermic?” but I thought I’d share it for those who may still not have seen it, since it ties into the theme of my previous two blog entries, as well as my broader interest in religion and science. 🙂 [It is found in lots of places on the internet, but to give credit where credit is due, I copied it from here…]A… Read more

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