Category: The Bible

Reconsidering relatability

An off-handed Twitter comment from radio personality Ira Glass about Shakespeare has set forth an interesting discussion about what it means to find a story “relatable” and whether or not we should prefer to engage media that is relatable for us. Rebecca Mead of the New Yorker, for instance, is concerned that the use of the word reduces our interest in art to only how it reflects ourselves as we would…  [more]

Bibliotheca and the real reason we call the Bible boring

“The Bible is boring.” As a pastor and professor, I have heard this lament countless times. I have heard it from college students, church members, the lips of my three children and my own mouth. Recognizing this as a growing trend in America, book designer Adam Lewis Greene has set about the task of conducting a new public relations campaign for the “the Good Book” that he’s calling…  [more]

Ida and Galatians 3:28

The new Polish film Ida begins in reverence and ends somewhere less obsequious, if still truthful. It’s the story of a novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who must reconcile with her past before making the vow that will decide her future. Among other things, her struggle allows for a reconsideration of what Paul’s letter to the Galatians might mean in our modern age. Anna, the nun, is played by Agata…  [more]

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]

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