At the Beginning of the World: Dinosaurs, Genesis, and the Gift of Science

When I was ten years old, our church library ordered a book called Dinosaurs and The Bible. I couldn't have been more excited. Like most ten-year-olds, I was a huge dinosaur nerd. When I grew up, I wanted to be a paleontologist, and I could rattle off the Latin names for all my favorite dinosaurs.…

Revolution in the Manger: The Untold Story of the First Christmas

Growing up, I never thought the story of the first Christmas was very interesting. Oh sure, it's a nice story, but for a ten-year-old boy who couldn't even begin to grasp the meaning of the word "Incarnation," the Christmas story was the one with the cute baby surrounded by barnyard animals. But as I got…

We Are Not the Prodigal: A Jesus Story Deconstructed

If you were compiling a "Greatest Hits" album of Jesus stories, the Parable of the Prodigal Son would definitely make the cut. During his three year ministry, Jesus told many parables, or short stories. Parables were a popular form of storytelling and preaching in Jesus's day. Most modern religious writing and teaching is meant to change…

At the End of the World: Leaving Behind the American Apocalypse

A long time ago, I used to believe God hated the world. I wouldn't have quite put it in those terms, but the God I heard about was God who was merely biding his time before "rapturing" all the "true Christians" and pouring out his wrath and judgment upon the Earth. For those who don't…

A Better Way to Read the Old Testament

The Old Testament is a formidable beast. Maybe you're discouraged by the mind-numbing genealogies, dietary restrictions, temple blueprints, and obscure prophecies. Or, maybe you're turned off by the graphic violence and apparent endorsement of slavery and oppression against women. Or, you're tripped up because no one in the Old Testament seems concerned about the afterlife.…

Unveiled: Women, Misogyny, the Bible and Church

The Talmud - a vast collection of ancient Jewish laws and traditions - said it's better to "burn the Torah [the first five books of the Bible] than it was to teach it to a woman." Saint Clement, considered to be the first Apostolic father of the Church, said, "Every woman ought to be overcome with…

How (Not) To Read the Bible

In April 2018, fashion magazine GQ posted an article titled "21 Books You Don't Have to Read" and listed the Bible in their number 12 spot. Obviously, "the editors of GQ" are not the gatekeepers of literary excellence (Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in…