Playboy. Cowboy. Mandom. The late Charles Bronson and his perfect chest, in one of his finest early pre-Death-Wish roles. And look out for Percy Helton. Here's a shorter version with more horse. Via here. [more inside]
Jonson takes pictures of The Salton Sea, which is a strange place, like some kind of huge, perpetual, Burning Man, but by a huge, salty, polluted, manmade lake with distant shores, dying fish, has-been resort towns, Salvation Mountain, fundie dinos, fountains of youth, and nice churches. [via mefi projects] [previously] [howdy]
Galactus is Coming! Galactus is coming to eat your planet, and nothing can be done to stop him! There is only one way to be saved!
Gnostic Gospel of Judas, they say! Hot on the heels of Christ On Ice and the, er, "newly discovered" Gospel fragment, the news outlets are currently drooling all over National Geographic's recent conclusive dating and translation of surviving fragments of the Apocryphal Gospel of Judas, now dated to about 300 CE. The text is classically Gnostic, emphasizing a duality splitting Christ's "spiritual" and "fleshly" natures, as opposed to Christian orthodoxy's belief in the Incarnation. Looking beyond the wide-eyed "OMG THIS WILL REVOLUTIONIZE CHRISTIANITY AS WE KNOW IT" sensationalism, Internet Monk asks if a 300 year-old apocryphal biography of George Washington would be regarded as authentic were it discovered in 1970. James F. Robinson, an expert on ancient Egyptian texts, regards the Judas Gospel as mostly a dud, produced by Cainite Gnostics who took it upon themselves to "rehabilitate" villians of Bible mythos. Even if you don't believe in the account of Judas, there's no denying his contributions to the Christian narrative. Truly a historical icon.
CSS Trappist Monastery. Like the Zen Garden, but without any images (other than the "chosen twelve").
Interpreting Revelation's "Millenium." Outside of the all-too-virulent rapture-crazy pre-tribulational dispensationalist premillenialism permeating JesusLand, some Christians hold to other, more nuanced eschatological alternatives. You've got historic post-tribulational premillenialism, which places the transformation of the faithful at the final judgment rather than before it; amillenialism, which regards Christ's "millenial" reign as a symbolic spiritual reign culminating in the last judgment; and postmillenialism, which sees the millenium as a gradual progression towards goodness and light. Overlapping those, you have the "it's all been fulfilled" preterists, and their prophecy-party-pooping compatriots, the hyper-preterists. It's a debate just slightly more fun than the end of the universe. Meanwhile, the noncanonical apocalypses sit in a corner, sadly ignored, and sunny Megiddo is still waiting for some end times action.
"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.
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 story.
Breaking the Science-Atheism Bond. "When I was growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the 1960s, I came to the view that God was an infantile illusion, suitable for the elderly, the intellectually feeble, and the fraudulently religious."
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]
The Girl of Your Dreams. "Jesus had a dream girl. Jesus had a girl that He wanted to marry for several thousand years. But she treated him like shit."
Doug TenNapel reviews "The God Who Wasn't There" in three parts: [1,2,3]. (Religion not your thing? He also does comics. And video games.)
Did Jesus Really Exist? Also some notes on the doubtful existence of Hannibal.