Category: The Bible

Theological trigger warnings

Rape, incest, genocide, adultery and murder are just a handful of topics addressed in Scripture that might cause us to wonder if the Bible itself should contain “trigger warnings” for its readers.   According to a recent New York Times article, students from a number of colleges have called for written warnings about literary works that may contain themes of racism, violence or sexuality. The…  [more]

What’s Godzilla doing in the Book of Job?

I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks of Job when watching Godzilla. The monstrous, fire-breathing sea beast is back on the pop-culture radar with this weekend’s release of yet another Hollywood take on the Japanese legend. This new Godzilla is actually a pretty decent monster movie, partly because it has a healthy respect for the 1954 original. Elijah Davidson, co-director of Reel…  [more]

Making room for the Bible’s maternal images of God

Mother’s Day makes me think about God’s maternal side. Christianity has been guilty of a patriarchal history that has been oppressive of women. Our conception of God as masculine - God as Father or King - certainly contributes to this. Although written in patriarchal contexts, the Bible itself does not refer to God exclusively in masculine metaphors. There are, albeit few, feminine metaphors used to…  [more]

Christians don’t own the copyright on Noah

A few years ago, my daughter was in a church musical production of the Noah story (she was the cutest alligator you’ve ever seen). The thing is, the ark they had on stage wasn’t exactly 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. In fact, quite a few elements were downright unbiblical. So is the case with Noah, a big-budget Hollywood version from Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky - at least if…  [more]

Norway’s ‘memory wound’ and our calling to remember

A dramatic memorial is planned to commemorate the massacre of 77 people at Utoya Island in Norway, the scene of Anders Breivik’s rampage in 2011. The memorial, being referred to as a “memory wound,” is to be a constructed gap that slices through the island. The design plans are jarring, to say the least. This project can trace its lineage directly back to Maya Lin’s stunning Vietnam Veterans…  [more]

Reading the Bible left-handed

My daughter was seven-months-old when we realized she was left-handed. I was delighted, imagining this would mean she would have an extra dose of the fabled southpaw creative and problem-solving ability. What I soon realized, however, was that while she may or may not be particularly artistic, she most certainly was disadvantaged. Until I had a left-handed daughter, I had no idea how much the world was wired in…  [more]

Son of God: heavy on atmosphere, light on sacrifice

Who do you talk to when you pray? When I talk on the phone, I’m usually picturing that person as we speak. Who do I picture when I pray? The Christian faith is based on the claim that God become human on our behalf. But what would it look like if God became one of us? That’s the question embraced by Son of God, from husband-and-wife producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. Opening tomorrow in theaters…  [more]

How the Ken Ham-Bill Nye creation debate hindered pastors

Nobody seriously thought the Ken Ham versus Bill Nye debate would settle anything. The real question is whether or not the spectacle helped the church and its pastors.   I ask because of some thoughts sparked in me by a former student and current pastor who sent me a note in response to something I posted on Facebook right after the debate finished last night. His comments centered on the plight of pastors…  [more]

Bill Nye versus Ken Ham - you don’t have to choose

The Internet is buzzing about the upcoming debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye. If you haven’t heard, prominent Young Earth Creationist Ham is hosting Nye, “the Science Guy,” at the Creation Museum on Feb. 4 to discuss this question: “Is creation a viable model for origins?” Predictably, most of the buzz about the event pits science versus faith, as though we have to choose one or the…  [more]

Ecclesiastes’ tip for making your New Year resolutions matter

It’s the first week of 2014, which means we are all supposed to be reflecting meaningfully on 2013 and preparing our resolutions for the year ahead, right? Cue wisdom, profundity and insight. So far, this is what my list looks like: reduce sugar intake exercise more sleep more pray more spend less time on my iPad   This is hardly the stuff of Yoda-like wisdom. The list seems so paltry that it…  [more]

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