On Taking the Bible Literally

According to a 2011 Gallup survey, 3 in 10 Americans “interpret the Bible literally, saying it is the actual word of God,” while 49% say “the Bible is the inspired word of God but [shouldn’t] be taken literally.”

That’s commonly how the survey is quoted. But if you go to the survey results themselves, a specific and important statement begins the piece: A plurality view Bible as inspired word of God but say not everything in it should be taken literally.”

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American Gods and America’s gods

To peek into the world of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is to peel back the curtain of America’s culture and see, through one artist’s creative lens, the temple of what the culture truly worships. It is a perverse world that feels too ancient, and yet uncomfortably familiar. In one way it feels like a post-colonial protest. In another it feels like an anthropological experiment. This is an untold story not just of the religious practices America does not admit are religious, but also of the religious practices that have carried over from immigrants across the world. Continue reading

What It Means to Be a Loose Cannon

I don’t remember the first time I heard the phrase “you’re a loose cannon” or “(so and so) is a loose cannon,” but it was probably on television or in a movie. It’s a fun phrase to say, and it denotes a person who is chaotic and unpredictable. Somebody calls the bombastic main character in an action film a “loose cannon.” The audience laughs all giddy. They love the reckless cavalier. Continue reading

5 Questions for Mike Rugnetta about the Genesis Creation Story

I’ve followed and appreciated from “day 1” what Crash Course has done to educate people. Anyone with internet access can get access to entertaining, thought-provoking introductions to various subjects, getting a quick survey of topics.

The downside, of course, is that these speedy courses can reduce or misrepresent complex and nuanced understandings of the world.
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Did God Harden Pharaoh’s Heart? YES or NO—I need to know!

You’re Moses, and you want your people freed. After decades of oppression by this ugly empire you were brought up in but fail to accept, you want your people to be delivered. Yet Pharaoh, the self-claimed ruler and “god” of Egypt, refuses the gesture. You don’t get it. Ten plagues later, he doesn’t get it. You don’t get that he doesn’t get it. Is he even human? Well, he thinks he’s above human.
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