Day: November 23, 2008

I’m Not One Of Those ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ Christians

My faith in the Lord is about the pure, simple values: raising children right, saying grace at the table, strictly forbidding those who are Methodists or Presbyterians from receiving communion because their beliefs are heresies, and curing homosexuals. That’s all. Just the core beliefs. You won’t see me going on some frothy-mouthed tirade about being a comfort to the downtrodden.

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The Bible’s Buried Secrets

Last Tuesday, the PBS program NOVA featured The Bible’s Buried Secrets, which focused on what both biblical scholarship and archeology tell us about the events described in the Hebrew Bible. It is safe to say that biblical literalists will hate the program. Most prominent biblical scholars, however, had only praise for the program. It broke no new ground, but fairly described the state of the scholarship.

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Herod’s Lost Tomb

The precise location of Herod’s tomb remained a mystery for nearly two millennia, until April 2007, when Netzer and his colleagues at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem unearthed it on the upper slopes of Herodium. The discovery provided new insights into one of the most enigmatic minds of the ancient world—and fresh evidence of the hatred that Herod excited among his contemporaries.

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Multiverse: alternative to a creator?

Physicists don’t like coincidences. They like even less the notion that life is somehow central to the universe, and yet recent discoveries are forcing them to confront that very idea. Life, it seems, is not an incidental component of the universe, burped up out of a random chemical brew on a lonely planet to endure for a few fleeting ticks of the cosmic clock. In some strange sense, it appears that we are not adapted to the universe; the universe is adapted to us.

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Inherit the kingdom

The whole point of Jesus giving us the final exam in the middle of the course is not to frighten us into failure, but to inspire us to recognize and begin to actualize our true identities. The purpose of this parable is not to scare us into contriving a lot of humanitarian acts in order selfishly to acquire salvation.

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