I recently learned that Christianity has two WOGs. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the first WOG, which stands for the “Word of God.” I explained that even though the words sound very religious, they don’t mean anything to me because I don’t believe that God wrote the Bible. Human beings wrote it.… Read more >
Certain basic ideas are grounded in fact but become mired in fiction. Sometimes I feel like a broken record. I tell people a fact, but it just doesn’t register.
Here are some examples:
- My most frequently stated fact is this: Jesus was born a Jew, lived the life of a committed Jew, and died a Jew.
Did you ever read something in the Bible and wonder what you just read? So, you read it again. It still makes no sense. You try again. Nothing.
Here’s an example from Matthew 21:18–19. Jesus arrived in Jerusalem and was hungry. He saw a fig tree, but he went to it, he found no fruit, only leaves.… Read more >
I have a friend in the Bay Area who emails me cartoons that are political as well as funny. Last week, he sent me a cartoon showing a machine gun going “blam blam blam” under the caption “Semiautomatic.” Then, under the caption “Fully Automatic,” a man labeled “Congress” continuously says “Thoughtsandprayersthoughtsandprayersthoughtsandprayersthoughtsandprayers.”
I thought this cartoon was extremely clever, and I immediately associated it with the words so many of our politicians say after another tragic shooting of students, or other innocent people, by a crazy gunman with a semiautomatic weapon.… Read more >
In May 2018, my wife, Annie, and I drove 6,750 miles from Irvine to Arkansas to the East Coast to New Hampshire to Chicago and then back home to California. I was on tour talking about my newest book, Cramming for the Finals, and the power of Progressive Christianity. Along the way, we visited family and friends and slept in fifteen different beds at eight different stops.… Read more >
On June 14, 2018, Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States, quoted Romans 13:1, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities,” to justify his inhuman policy of tearing children away from their parents as they flee poverty and violence for a new life here.
The current administration’s policy seems to be this: Don’t come here.… Read more >
What shock of the day is going to come out of the White House next?
I have a difficult time believing that Melania Trump even has a garment that says “I really don’t care. Do U?” Worse, she wore it in public. Worst of all, she wore it on to visit children who sought asylum but were separated from their parents.… Read more >
This past winter, I designed a new course entitled Learning the Art of Midrash (biblical interpretation) Using the Gospel of John. I’m a recent convert to the power of that Gospel (previously it never made much sense to me), and I wanted to use the many stories in John (none of which are literally true) to teach people how to use midrash to dig into a story and find the underlying truth often hidden in the details.… Read more >
Often when someone finishes reading a passage from the Bible, they’ll say, “The Word of God.” I find this confusing. What does that mean?
Perhaps the reader is quoting a letter from Paul, John, or James. I imagine this practice started because sometime in the church’s early history, someone found a letter written by Paul, who never met Jesus but put forth some strange ideas.… Read more >
According to many Jewish folks, especially the Orthodox Jews, I am anti-Semitic. Interesting!
When I was young, I was anti-Semitic. I called Jewish people bad names and said unkind things about them. I didn’t personally know many Jews. I had a Jewish friend in prep school, but I never called him a bad name.… Read more >