Saturday , August 18 2018
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Tag Archives: Religious

Was Jesus Just a Myth?

I meant to post this Sunday but I am traveling… In a recent potpourri post, Scott Alexander says: Gwern reviews On The Historicity Of Jesus. Short version: the prose is annoying, but the case that Jesus was completely mythical (as opposed to a real teacher whose deeds were exaggerated) is more plausible than generally supposed. Please read the review before commenting about this topic. I was all excited to sink my teeth into an articulate, well-researched challenge...

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“God in the Hands of Angry Sinners”

I thought that was an amazing phrase. I have not listened to this particular sermon, but I wanted to post this as I am heading out of town. However, I heard him (perhaps in another sermon; someone else was playing it on her computer) preaching on these points, and I thought it was a very interesting perspective. For example, in the one I overheard, he challenged the view you will often get from conventional preachers, where it comes off as if God the Father is...

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David, Goliath, and Gladwell

Say what you will about him, Malcolm Gladwell is a great storyteller. In conjunction with his 2013 book, here he gives a 15-minute TED talk on a new perspective regarding the famous underdog story: As some of the outraged people in the comments brought up, the one glaring omission here is David’s faith. (Even if purely from a secular perspective, I wish Gladwell had mentioned it.) Surely it is relevant that David was absolutely certain of his...

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David, Goliath, and Gladwell

Say what you will about him, Malcolm Gladwell is a great storyteller. In conjunction with his 2013 book, here he gives a 15-minute TED talk on a new perspective regarding the famous underdog story: As some of the outraged people in the comments brought up, the one glaring omission here is David’s faith. (Even if purely from a secular perspective, I wish Gladwell had mentioned it.) Surely it is relevant that David was absolutely certain of his...

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How Christians Can Use the Bible to Disagree

I am traveling and took my son to a (Bible) church that isn’t our normal one. The people there were very pleasant and welcoming, but I personally had a doctrinal disagreement with one of the posters hanging on the wall. I explained the issue to my son afterwards, but it might be of interest to readers of this blog, especially if you think that religious stuff is “just how you feel about God.” So, the poster had in caps, “FINISH HIS WORK” and the “O” of “work” was a...

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Two Possible Functions of Confession

(This is a Religious post but I was traveling yesterday and won’t be doing anything secular today so…) I was talking with a Catholic friend and the topic of the sacrament of Confession (or Penance) came up. I said that besides the theological arguments for and against, one could argue that the act of confessing your sins out loud to somebody could provide psychological relief, let you “forgive yourself,” and get on with your life. My friend said something like,...

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Jeff Should Go to More Bible Sessions

One of the biggest stories this week was the Trump Administration (because Sessions said it and then Sarah Sanders endorsed the general principle without saying she knew his exact words) stance that Romans 13 justifies the policy of separating children from their parents who have entered the country illegally (and even those seeking asylum though it gets nuanced on this part). Here’s Sessions: Here are some of my thoughts on this: ==> Why is...

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Was the City of Babel (Site of the Famous Tower) the First Kingdom?

A friend sent me this interesting essay talking about the Bible’s treatment of political government. The author acknowledges that traditionally, Christians think the Bible establishes God’s support of the State as an essential institution for the maintenance of justice. (The most obvious passage is Romans 13. Here’s one of many posts I did on that topic.) You can of course read his whole commentary (and buy his book) if you want, but here I just wanted to note this...

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The Man Who Knew Infinity

I watched this last night: It was good stuff, especially because I didn’t catch them doing any Hollywood absurdities (a la John Nash explaining the exact opposite of a Nash equilibrium in the bar scene in A Beautiful Mind). What was interesting is that Ramanujan said, “An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God.” There was also an interesting tension for Ramanujan in concentrating on producing more results–what we would...

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