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Christmas Stories: The Gospel of Matthew

Christians carry around in their heads what I call the mush gospel. We mush together the various stories from all the gospels into a single story/gospel that is idiosyncratic. This mush gospel is built up from reading, from hearing the gospel stories read, and from sermons and hymns. We use that mush gospel to make [...]

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Westar Institute Condemns Trump’s Dissemination of Propaganda and Hate Speech

The latest in incendiary hate speech to come from the twitter account of President Donald Trump are retweets of three anti-Muslim videos from Britain First, a far-right, nationalist political party in the UK. The videos are unverified propaganda, and one appears to be an outright hoax. After Trump’s tweets, Britain First Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen [...]

Baptism

Translating Baptism

At the recent meeting of the Christianity Seminar during the annual meeting of the AAR/SBL, baptism and eucharist were taken up. In a series of blogs, I will be reporting on various aspects of those discussions that may be of interest the followers of the Westar Blog. I am not trying to summarize the papers, [...]

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God is Dead

The short, famous, phrase of Friedrich Nietzsche, "God is dead," is an aphorism and not a statement of belief. Nietzsche did not originate the phrase, but he used it most notably in a parable about a madman. Using the form of a parable uniquely sets the phrase in poignant and poetic expression. If Nietzsche was [...]

"'m not sure to which category this old Bible (not KJV), belongs, but it was stiffly open to Joshua 18. I left it in its place, untouched, took only this photograph." -Photographer Patrick Feller

Westar Institute Stands Against Biblical Appropriation Used in Defense of Sexual Assault

In a culture that increasingly equates the voice of a few on the “religious right” with the voices of all American Christians, Westar Institute finds it necessary to state unequivocally that the misappropriation of Biblical stories to support and defend oppressors and predators with little or no regard of context or historical learning is counter [...]