On the Shabbat of May 15-16, the Torah reading (Leviticus 25-27) sets forth the Torah's most explicit and most powerful regimen for healing the Earth from human over-use.
I'm not interested in trying to decide the best and worst "holy" books because all contain both ridiculous and reasonable passages. Adherents can quote portions to justify loving their neighbor or killing their infidel neighbor.
Imagine planning and preparing for your wedding for months, making decisions about guest lists, music, menus, seating charts, and attire. You go to the lone bakeshop in town to talk about your cake choices, only to be told that the baker is not willing to work with you.
It's amazing how many ways Biblical text can be interpreted and the fact that the same people are willing to interpret the exact same text differently for their own selfish and self-serving purposes, as the need arises.
Proof-texting is an intentionally deceptive practice that offers out of context proof while ignoring the greater witness of scripture and any other evidence that might rufute the desired (and predetermined) theological conclusion.
I had the sense, as a child, that God's goodness and mercy would only follow me all of the days of my life if I was "good" and Christian. And I had the sense that good and Christian was a narrow way.
Even after we are healed, the experience of serious illness seriously transforms us, and the Torah's seemingly arcane rituals serve as a timeless reminder of the steps on that transforming journey.
Here are some random but real hints: Sorta not-really bipartisan bill; can't believe they passed up Harry Potter; Chewie's home; and politics and poker. Answers are below the quiz.
What really hurts the Church's witness is proclaiming that all are one in Christ Jesus our Lord while working hard to pass laws that exist for the sole purpose of discrimination.
In the name of transparency, I voice three things: One, I've spent more time with the Bible open before me than any other book. I would not be who I am today, whether for good or ill, apart from the book.
This week's Torah portion includes, in the words of anthropologist Mary Douglas, a "hoary old puzzle from biblical scholarship." As Douglas put it, "Why should some locusts, but not all, be unclean?
There was nothing spectacular or dazzling about Peter or John. They were common, first-century fishermen turned disciples. Nonetheless, what they gave to a man lame from the womb was beyond value or measure.
Passover is the holiday of getting unstuck. The Israelites lived in slavery for hundreds of years in Egypt, completed dominated by Pharoah and his regime. But the message of the biblical Exodus is that what is, now, does not have to be what is in the future.
Inequality is a relentless blight. The hopelessness too often engendered when a lack of resources aligns with insufficient educational access, the easy prejudice of one's neighbors, and the ubiquity of oppression is dehumanizing and crushing.
For Christians, the controversy raises a pressing question: Does religious liberty authorize Christians to exclude some fellow citizens from social goods because we disapprove of their behavior?
The Old Testament has two different commands for using what are called phylacteries (Hebrew, tefillin): one in Deuteronomy, the other in Exodus.