A small but significant number of theologians, psychologists, and other conservative Christians are beginning to develop moral arguments that it’s possible to affirm same-sex relationships not in spite of orthodox theology, but within it. In books, academic journals, magazines, blog posts, speeches, conferences, and campus clubs, they are steadily building a case that there is a place in the traditional evangelical church for sexually active gay people in committed, monogamous relationships. They argue that the Bible, read properly, doesn't condemn such relationships at all—and neither should committed Christians.
Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples? Here Matthew Vines speaks to each of the 'clobber' passages used to attack homosexuality in engaging detail and describes his vision for the role of gay Christians in the church. (1:07:18) [more inside]
If Jesus and company were around today, the Bible may look like a art & fandom Tumblr project
, complete with meta essays
, and playlists
. Their writers aim to "follow in the Judeo-Christian tradition of questioning, evolving, and shaking up the status quo in order to update scripture for a secular audience, offering it up as a volatile mix of narrative, social commentary, spirituality, and punk rock."
In this version Jesus is a cat-loving activist
, Mary Madgalene is a hijabi punk
, and the mystics are spoken word artists, musicians, and bloggers
Confused about who wrote the Bible we have, and why? Jim MacDonald has the answers.
How was the Canon of the Christian Bible selected? There really isn't a better, or funnier, short account than this. After all, if fandom is a religion, then religions must work like fandom, right? And the epistolatory disputes of late antiquity were just Usenet to the Greeks. So if you want to know how the Doctrine of the Trinity became important, this will explain it: [more inside]
"the most embarrassing verse in the Bible" - C.S. Lewis
"this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" - 2000 years of arguments over the central verse in all prophecy. The meaning of Christianity, and hence much of our culture, hangs on the disputed meaning of a single word, "genea" or "generation." [more inside]
For more than a decade E-Sword: The sword of the lord with an electronic edge
has been the standard electronic bible available as freeware to anyone with a computer. E-sword is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to get to know the bible better, whether you are reading from a devotional, historical, critical, or literary standpoint; or just have a habit of getting into arguments with street pastors, doorknockers, or religious relatives and like to win. [more inside]
scientifically summarises the scientific field of Creation Science (warning: science) [transcript]
As the gay marriage fight unfolds in California, some gays (and others) are fighting back: one gourp is boycotting a rich hotel owner
, others are standing apart
and one is suing the Bible
(who gets subpoenaed for that one?). Meanwhile, a key opponent to gay marriage
keeps its doors open (and its ballot committee going) despite being suspended
. They say they're working on it
, but no changes yet
Blogging the Qur'an
The Guardian's Madeleine Bunting and cultural critic Ziauddin Sardar
will blog a different verse or theme of the Qur'an each week. Bunting says its one of the most difficult books she's ever read
, which is what a lot of non-muslims tend to think. The idea has been mooted before
by those of a very similar political hue. Others are already blogging the the Bible
Sam Harris, an atheist, and Andrew Sullivan, a Catholic, debate whether moderate religion makes any sense
. Harris: "Religious moderation is the result of not taking scripture all that seriously." Sullivan: "Blogger, please."
The Smithsonian's Sackler gallery opened a unique and wide-ranging new exhibit
yesterday featuring fragments of Bibles from before the year 1000.
"Most of the manuscripts
have never been seen outside the countries where they are stored. [Some Smithsonian-owned documents in the exhibition] have never been exhibited and two have not been shown since 1978." Fragments of the Codex Sinaiticus
are included in the exhibit.
Along with the archaeological
interest, these fragments can pose theological and historical challenges for Christians. Some, like UNC's Bart Ehrman, have lost their faith
as a result of studying early Bibles; some, like Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory, believing that Christianity is about a common cultural and spiritual experience
, are unmoved by the "corruptions
" and differences
in the New Testament over time; other Christians try to refute (MeFi link)
claims that the text has changed.
"Who's afraid of evolutionary biology?"
(I've linked Bede before, but this piece bears a much more important message to Christians who feel it their biblical duty to get hot and bothered over evolution and origin-of-life issues.) Also see a Christian response to "Young Earth" apologetics
, and the Young Earth Argument Index
, both from "Old Earth" Creationists who disagree with 6-Day biblical literalism. (Note that Old Earthers may still be Intelligent Design advocates. Heaping spoonsful of salt
all around.) If that's still too "Christian" for you, Talk.Origins
has a summary of other Genesis interpretations.
Five Reasons Torture Is Always Wrong.
From the magazine "Christianity Today", David P. Gushee, a professor of moral philosophy at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, is against torture. Period. No exceptions. Complete with Bible verses to prove it.
From Skepticism to Worship.
"I made a resolution to read the entire Bible again, only this time I was going to read it as I would poetry or fiction, and not as a proposal of fact." An ex-atheist's
Reconstructing Aunt Sally's Secret Recipe.
Addressing the Retranslations Fallacy, a common misconception about how the Bible we read has been handed down to us. [via]
I encountered The Queen James Bible
recently while searching for something else completely on Google. Since then, I have been looking for parodies
of the Bible
and have encountered several. Some are older and filled with conspiracy theories
. Some are just plain bad
. Some are effectively vaporware
(with it's contemporary commercial sibling
). And then some are just really funny
. (Be sure to check out the Begat Tree
Of course, looking for this sort of thing will always bring up random bits and pieces, most notably the Bible according to Cheese
(kind of like the Brick Testament
) and Don't Dis Ejisha
Reason #48713 for teaching the Bible in schools:
"The classics of British and American literature are filled with biblical allusions that would be lost on a reader without basic knowledge of the Bible"
The Man Who Unwrote the Bible.
In the mid-1720s, Alexander Cruden
took on a self-imposed task of Herculean proportions: he decided to compile the most thorough concordance of the King James Version
of the Bible
(777,746 words). The first edition of Cruden's Concordance
was published in 1737. Every similar undertaking before or since has been the work of a vast team of people. Cruden worked alone in his lodgings, writing the whole thing out by hand. Cruden's day job was as a "Corrector of the Press" (proofreader). He would give hawk-eyed attention to prose all day long. Then he would come home at night to read the Bible—stopping at every single word to secure the right sheet from the tens of thousands of pieces of paper all around him and to record accurately the reference in its appropriate place. He had no patron, no publisher, no financial backers: his only commission was a divine one.
has never been out of print. A new book
tells the tale of Alexander the Corrector's bizarre, sad life (scroll down to about half page)
Nearly half of the world's population cannot read. Many people live in remote areas without electricity. But that's no excuse for being non-Christian, right? What would Jesus' marketing department do?
Introducing the GodPod
. (Who knows... if it's successful, maybe Apple will make that Billy Graham iPod after all!)
, this one's courtesy of Waterbury, Connecticut.
Take a tour
, read the debate
. A few more pics here
. Also documented in a short video
by Albuquerque resident Brian Konefsky
and is on tour via the The Itinerant Cinemascape
traveling film show. See if it's coming to your town.
I thought this
was an interesting review of this series
from the New York Public Library. And here is some background information.
Where is my gay apocalypse?
I have been waiting patiently.
I have been staring with great anticipation out the window of my flat here in the heart of San Francisco, sighing heavily, waiting for the riots and the plagues and the screaming monkeys and the blistering rain of inescapable hellfire. I have my camera all ready and everything.
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible includes the entire text of the King James Version of the Bible, but without the pro-Bible propaganda. Instead, passages are highlighted that are an embarrassment to the Bible-believer, and the parts of the Bible that are never read in any Church, Bible study group, or Sunday School class are emphasized. For it is these passages that test the claims of the Bible-believer. The contradictions and false prophesies show that the Bible is not inerrant; the cruelties, injustices, and insults to women, that it is neither good nor just.
Can Christians use Marijuana for recreation?
In 1Cor 6:12 Paul writes:
"Everything is permissible for me--but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me--but I will not be mastered by anything."
So, does that mean that Christians can use marijuana recreationally, as long as they are not mastered by it? This paper looks at the issue from many angles and should provide good fodder for both sides of the pot debate. Personally, I think God would not have put cannabis on the earth if we were not to smoke it.
[found on 4twenty.net]