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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 [...]

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, [...]

Accepting the Unacceptable

Who wants to argue with a Rabbi? I do not, but this week a situation fell upon me. A local Rabbis of the Orthodox tradition cornered me and insisted that Moses wrote the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Beyond this, he claimed that in Judaism such knowledge is unquestionable. He seemed eager [...]

child-bible

Religious Change Denial: The Shifting of American Religion and Where to go From Here

There are climate change deniers. Though I do not know, likely most followers of Westar will say, "Tell me something I don't know." What about religion change deniers? Is there such a thing as religious change denial?

Image of Pythia oracle at Delphi

Helping Jesus Fulfill Prophecy

In his presentation “Helping Jesus Fulfill Prophecy,” at the Westar Institute’s Spring 2017 national meeting, Robert J. Miller of Juniata College gave an entertaining explanation of how ancient Hebrews and Greeks thought of prophecy in order to show how New Testament authors came to treat scripture as a malleable source of authority on Jesus.