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“Paul, Grace, and Human Worth,” A Lecture by John Barclay

A phenomenal lecture from Prof. John Barclay, one of the world’s foremost Paul scholars, talking about Paul’s theology of grace, its significance for today, the ideal of self-esteem, social media, and Martin Luther!

"Mockingbird Turns 10" Interviews: Bryan Jarrell

“Mockingbird Turns 10” Interviews: Bryan Jarrell

This is the ninth and final installment in a series of interviews with myself and various writers and members of the Mockingbird community. These posts will explore some aspects of each individual’s personal story and some aspects of Mockingbird’s larger story and ministry as we celebrate its 10th Anniversary. Additional interviews in this series can be […]

The Failure of the Prequels and the Fidelity of Creators

The Failure of the Prequels and the Fidelity of Creators

The release of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi has sent shockwaves of emotional heft throughout known space. Scores of Simeons awaiting the consolation of geekdom have found it in this latest installment, a truly surprising tour-de-force that delivers a similar blend of space opera wonder and classical tragedy the justly revered Empire Strikes […]

Day Three of AARSBL (American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature)

Day Three of AARSBL (American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature)

To read the previous round-ups, click here. To be honest, Day Three of AARSBL was only OK. I went to the Christian Apocrypha discussion on a worthwhile new collection of Christian Apocrypha, with interesting commentary on the nature of genres, on which texts should be included, and on future editions of this new series. I’m […]

Day Two of the AARSBL

Day Two of the AARSBL

To read the round-up of day one, click here. Today was my Luther Day. Ever since the schedule was released I had the “Luther and Justification” section circled on my calendar. This enthusiasm derives not so much because it’s Luther but because it was being conducted by Bible scholars. For the longest time, Luther has […]

Day One of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (AARSBL)

Day One of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (AARSBL)

For anyone studying the Bible, theology, or religion, the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (AARSBL) is the go-to conference to learn about the latest and greatest in current research. Several thousand scholars from all around the world descend upon an unsuspecting city’s conference center and hotels. This year Boston was the […]

The God No One Wanted

The God No One Wanted

In her classic rendition of the Biblical narrative, The Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd Jones informs us that Leah was “the girl no one wanted.” Of course she was…after all, she was (sort of) the mother of the God no one wanted! We can trace the bloodline from Eve to the promised head-crushing Seed through Leah, Judah, Tamar, […]

Another (Conference) Week Ends: Paranormativity, Dream Deprivation, Millennial Morticians, Martin Luther, Christian Book Titles for the Age of the 'Net, and More Russell Brand

Another (Conference) Week Ends: Paranormativity, Dream Deprivation, Millennial Morticians, Martin Luther, Christian Book Titles for the Age of the ‘Net, and More Russell Brand

1. I think it was PZ who said that belief in the paranormal is almost a precondition of Christianity. It’s easy to think that science – which is properly concerned with empirically testing and proving/disproving those things which are subject to empirical testing – has vanquished the paranormal. Back in the old days, supernatural forces pressed […]

Stories of Grace and Ethan Richardson's This American Gospel

Stories of Grace and Ethan Richardson’s This American Gospel

In an article from The Atlantic, Cody C. Delistraty writes about the psychological comforts of storytelling. He writes, “Stories can be a way for humans to feel that we have control over the world. They allow people to see patterns where there is chaos, meaning where there is randomness.” He also says stories can impact […]

Navigating the Denominational Food Court

Navigating the Denominational Food Court

One of the mixed blessings of Martin Luther’s 500-year-old legacy is finding one’s place among the hundreds of denominations which roughly fly under the Protestant banner. In other words, how does one find the “right” denomination, assuming you profess faith in the lower-case catholic church? This is a particularly acute question for me, born and […]

Am I My Brother's Keeper?

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

When I was a kid attending Sunday School in a very traditional Baptist church in the Midwest, we learned Bible stories… I became familiar with the regular cast of characters like Adam and Eve, Noah, David, Moses, etc. I could tell you that Moses parted the Red Sea; Adam and Eve ate an apple; David […]

The Preacher Goes to Fashion Week: Jim Carrey's Gospel Madness

The Preacher Goes to Fashion Week: Jim Carrey’s Gospel Madness

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,     vanity of vanities! All is vanity. God, in his mercy, sends preachers. Some are well-educated and institutionally-approved folk serving the faithful in fine old churches, but in these last days we should take no alarm that the same Lord who spoke through Balaam’s ass might again choose an eccentric […]