Come Sunday: Biblical Literalism and Religious Tribalism

“Come Sunday” — produced by Ira Glass with This American Life and Netflix — is the true story of the successful preacher, evangelist, and revivalist Carlton Pearson. He led a mega-church in Oklahoma founded on fundamentalist, evangelical teachings, but came to the conclusion in the early 2000’s that Hell is not real and began preaching [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

How the Reformation Leads to Deconstruction

I had a great conversation with one of our scholars, Dr. Jarmo Tarkki, recently (you can watch the clip here) where we talked about the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and how Martin Luther paved the way for the church to keep re-imagining and re-inventing itself.

Colin Kaepernick, Peaceful Protest, and Prophets Among Us

I taught a class on Prophetic Imagination in the Hebrew Scriptures this Sunday. When I teach on the prophets, I always ask: Are there prophets today? I point to people like Martin Luther King, Cornel West, Wendall Berry, Maya Angelou as those who performed or currently perform the task of truth-telling in our own time. Shortly after [...]