A Response to the History Channel’s “Bible Secrets Revealed”

On the evening of November 13, 2013, the History Channel debuted a new series entitled “Bible Secrets Revealed” co-produced by noted scholar of Second Temple Judaism Robert Cargill of the University of Iowa. The episode may be viewed here. Anticipation ran high. The program was supposed to be a hard and honest look at the Bible from some of the most notable…

It Can’t Be Helped: Atheism and the Problem of Determinism

There is a certain term in Japanese whose history I very much dislike: shikataganai – “It can’t be helped.” Now such a concept is not completely alien to Western thought, we often remark how there is “nothing one can do” in certain situations, but the difference is that shikataganai reflects the fatalistic ethos of Japan that the modern West has never quite…

On Deaconesses and Women’s Ordination: Fr. David Bissias replies to Valerie Karras

My thoughts below are in response to this fine review article by Fr. David Bissias directed at a recent screed article by Valerie Karras ostensibly seemingly to justify some form of women’s ordination. I’ve read through Fr. David’s article, and now wish I had Karras’s as well. But in reality I don’t need it, for my thoughts are actually in response to…

In Defense of Dogma

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in March of 2011. It has been revised for this publication. An encounter by my wife with a Unitarian Universalist has set me thinking again upon what I believe is one of the great Christian evangelistic questions of our time: We now have to make the case for dogma. We…

Using the Bible Against Christians: Sola Scriptura Atheism

One of the things that struck me during the Chick-Fil-A debacle couple of weeks ago was a curious theme I perceived in the inundation of negative comments I saw on social media regarding the statements made by Chick-Fil-A COO Dan Cathy, who came out (no pun intended… no, really) in favor of “the biblical definition of the family unit.” What was that…

“Spiritual But Not Religious” and the Path to God

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in March of 2011. It’s been revised for this publication. I sometimes encounter folks who tell me that they are “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR). I wish I asked more often what exactly that is supposed to mean, though I am usually held back from asking by a strong suspicion…

The “Biblical” Argument for Abortion

A fellow pro-life friend of mine recently sent me a post by the theologically and politically liberal Christian writer Fred “Slactivist” Clark in favor of abortion titled The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal. It begins this way: In 1979, McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal. Sometime after that, it was decided that the Bible teaches that human life begins at…

The Eminem Ethic

The following article was originally published on the Roads from Emmaus weblog in February of 2012. I spotted this image on Facebook today, and it puts forth a commonly accepted ethic, which I’ve dubbed here the Eminem Ethic. Essentially, various categories of race, sexual desire, physical appearance, and economic status don’t matter when it comes to winning his kindness. What matters is…