In my last post, I showed how Christian supporters and critics of gun control read the Bible with a common assumption: that wherever it speaks about ‘swords,’ it teaches us about weapons in general, and therefore about guns. Swords are equivalent to guns. This arises from a commendable desire to make the Bible applicable in [...]
Right after the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, I Googled ‘Christian gun control’ and ‘Christian gun rights,’ and found, not surprisingly, some spirited Biblical defenses of the right to bear arms. Today, I’m happy to report, these pages are mostly drowned out by evangelical voices, whether conservative evangelicals or former conservatives, who are increasingly willing to challenge the doctrines [...]
I do not pretend to understand how an asinine video like “The Innocence of Muslims” can drive crowds to violent and even murderous anger. Many commentators insist that the ultimate cause is not religion, but, perhaps, local politics, Western imperialism, or other political grievances. Without denying the truth in these claims, my own suspicion is [...]
Bill Bonner’s diatribe against undergraduate education at UVA in the name of Thomas Jefferson and Rabbi HIllel demonstrates the same lazy habits of thinking and writing that I try to drill out of my first year undergraduates. Here’s what he could learn from reading R. Hillel more closely.
The inauguration of the Center for Christian Thought at Biola University reminds us that evangelicals remain entangled with the intellectual habits of fundamentalism, particularly the assumption that the Bible delivers obvious content to a passive receiver.
In my last post, I characterized post-evangelicals as those whose evangelical heritage has become questionable and problematic. In this post, I discuss some of the particular questions we post-evangelicals discuss when we gather for a drink or a smoke: the questions of authority, evil, individual choice, and ethics & politics.
The spirit of Advent is one of sensitivity to oppression and suffering, to hunger and need. Under the weight of such sorrows, Advent finds in the prophets of Israel a hope that gives voice to these evils and stirs up longing for redemption. The New Testament presents the spirit of Advent perhaps most profoundly in [...]
Mark Randall James is a PhD student in religious studies at the University of Virginia. His work focuses on Jewish and Christian interpretation of Scripture and the distinctive rationalities of scriptural religious traditions.