Religious Superstitions have Consequences
A new article by two Harvard professors of economics shows that religion can have positive evolutionary consequences: “Why being wrong can be right: Magical warfare technologies and the persistence of false beliefs.” This is an increasingly popular theme.Write comment (0 Comments)
Digby on Right-wing vs. Islamic Terrorism
I recently compared Islamic terrorism to right-wing terrorism and traffic fatalities (Terrorist Deaths in U.S.) Digby, author of the Hullabaloo blog, has a more detailed article on the subject (here) which I recommend.
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2017 Child Abuse Audit of U.S. Bishops
The headline from NCR/Catholic News Service reads, “Annual audit of church abuse allegations shows work still needed.” After last year’s audit, Reuter’s headline said “Audit of U.S. Catholic church shows sharp spike in sex abuse reports.” The “sharp spike” last year was a 35% increase. But this year sex abuse reports increased 125%, yet religious journalists merely state that the Church’s mission is not yet fully accomplished -- suggesting it was almost there.Write comment (0 Comments)
Borg & Crossan on Paul’s View of the Emperor
For nearly two millennia, Paul’s letter to the Romans was used to establish that kings and rulers were appointed by God as His earthly representatives: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1). This was used to establish the divine right of kings, and to support many tyrants, including Hitler.
Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan do not like this. In The First Paul, they say that “insofar as this could and would be taken as a general and unqualified principle, it is one of the most imprudent passages in all of Paul’s letters.” They realize that it was always taken as a general principle, and invent a new interpretation.Write comment (0 Comments)
Southern Baptists on Racism and Alt-Right
There is a good deal of confusion about what the Southern Baptists (SBC) have just voted on. Vox, a liberal/progressive publication, has an article declaring, “What a unanimous Southern Baptist condemnation of the alt-right says about evangelicals in America.” They flat-out got it wrong.Write comment (0 Comments)
Pope Francis Accused of Heresy
In a recent sermon, Pope Francis declared that God cannot exist without man: “He will never be a God 'without man'; it is He Who cannot stay without us, and this is a great mystery! God cannot be God without man: the great mystery is this!” …. “the Gospel of Jesus Christ shows us that God cannot stay without us.”Write comment (0 Comments)
Pope Francis as MBA Professor
Pope Francis recently went to Genoa to talk to employees of a troubled steel plant, answering four pre-selected questions. John Allen Jr., editor of CRUX, covered it (here). Catholic World News also had brief coverage (here). Allen claimed the pope “delivered a reflection on business activity worthy of a graduate- level MBA program.” He was not being ironic. Allen’s fulsome praise omitted a link to the pope’s comments, but Catholic World News provided one (here).Write comment (0 Comments)
Paul in Historical Context
New Testament scholars stress the importance of studying Jesus in his historical context. But when it comes to Paul, they don’t. The facts are too disturbing.
A great deal is known about the economic context of the Roman Empire. Life was hard. Roughly ninety percent of the empire just subsisted. This has important implications. First, the vast majority of people never traveled far from their place of birth. They couldn’t afford to. While New Testament scholars boast that Paul traveled about 10,000 miles on his missions, they never mention how he paid for it.Write comment (1 Comment)
Amazon Review of Paul Revealed
Professor Dorie LaRue, Louisiana State University
"Remarkable erudition.... Answered questions I have had for years."
Midwest Book Review - Diane Donovan
Paul Revealed: Facts that Father Never Told You is a study recommended for readers who want an in-depth biographical and spiritual analysis of the important role Paul played in Biblical affairs, and provides a coverage both scholarly and accessible as it reveals not only the extent of Paul's life, times, and influence, but lesser-known facts about his impact on Jesus and the world....Write comment (0 Comments)