Every once in a while someone asks for advice: "How do I learn more about the Bible?" In church we act like the Bible is important, but few among us feel confident we understand it -- or even that we know what's in it.
As the hype around the TLC show My Husband's Not Gay begins to wane, I find it a shame that there has been little attention paid to the perspectives of straight women who have experienced being in a mixed-orientation marriage, where one spouse is gay and the other is straight.
Filmmaker Tim Mahoney has spent the last twelve years exploring the state of our collective understanding of the evidence (or lack thereof) of the Biblical Exodus. He has traveled the globe and spoken to the world's leading experts on the topic.
There is a subtle connection with Fifty Shades of Grey and A Tale of Two Cities, the all-time bestselling novel ever written. Biographers of the author Charles Dickens wrote that he believed that prolific sexual activity was necessary for a healthy man.
I am not Charlie Hebdo. I know that I am not Charlie. I do not think that I would ever intentionally make fun of a faith tradition or belief system, except maybe my own. But, dangit, I will defend their right to do so.
Students also received aphorisms for extra credit and homework. In the assignment below, students reacted to any 10 aphorisms from each of the three featured authors by giving two reasons why they agreed or disagreed with each aphorism.
In trying times, it is important to listen for the lesson and hear the voice of God within it. The task for those of us who are attracted to such thoughts is not to see God in our stories but to imagine our story in God's, learning somehow to see our humanity in divinity.
Religion isn't a person. It is a set of ideas in a book. It doesn't have rights. It doesn't have emotions. It doesn't have a family or children. Those cartoonists were living, breathing human beings. They had rights, emotions, and families. Which of these deserves your respect?
In choosing aphorisms, I always made a point of exposing students to different viewpoints and cautioned them not to accept any aphorism as true until they have critically evaluated its claim. I suggested that they think of at least three strong arguments both for and against each aphorism's truth
In The Constant Choice, I talked with a couple of celebrated Biblical scholars about my view of Jesus, and whether or not my simple views were consistent with Christianity itself. I believe that the life of Jesus and his actual sayings matter far more than the churches founded in his name.
Success is a slippery subject, because most people don't pause to think about how God defines the term. Biblical success isn't measured in net worth, self-fulfillment, fame, fortune, or even happiness. Instead it has three critical aspects.
The threat of climate change and the pollution of our natural resources is a theological problem. In our efforts to enhance our comfort and ease our work, we have mistaken what is good with what is merely advantageous for a narrowly circumscribed us.
There are a number of things in the Bible that should trouble any reader. We find in its pages things like genocide, gang rape, and slavery -- not only being sanctioned, but at times even being commanded.
The morally problematic passages in the Constitution have been overturned by various amendments and laws; similarly, one should not criticize contemporary religions on the basis of problematic passages within their sacred texts, if those passages have been rejected or nullified.
These are questions that go to the heart of what it means to be human in this or in any century. The Bible keeps these questions alive, not so much by the answers it gives as by the many questions it provokes in the reader, questions which are rarely if ever raised in our modern world.