Archive for September 2012

Did Jesus Have a Wife?

Sep 29th, 2012 | By

Recently a Harvard Divinity School scholar, Karen L. King, published a paper, provocatively entitled, “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” on a 4th century 1 ½ by 3 inch Coptic papyrus scrap that, she argues, contains the phrase, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife. . . .’” Indeed, she announced her research in the Vatican’s front yard at a Coptic Studies conference at the Catholic Church’s Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum in Rome…Written in Coptic, an Egyptian language that uses Greek letters, the fragment is in the opinion of several scholars who have seen it, not a forgery. What should we make of this papyrus scrap? Does it provide evidence that Jesus did indeed have a wife? How should we think about this provocative thesis? Several thoughts.



Is Faith in the State Replacing Faith in God?

Sep 22nd, 2012 | By

At the last minute during their convention, the Democratic Party added the name of God back into its platform. At the Republican Party convention, Republicans invoked the name of God 12 times. Since platforms and conventions are now more about symbolism than substance in our political culture, is this contrast between the political parties important? Actually, no. But there is a much larger issue at stake here. In so many ways, faith in the state and its benevolence is replacing faith in God. In some ways, this is the most important issue facing our culture today. Let me explain.



An Environmental Apocalypse: Where Is It?

Sep 15th, 2012 | By

Evangelical Christians are often charged with preaching the doom-and-gloom of the coming apocalypse predicted in Revelation. There is little doubt that this teaching is often overdramatized. But there is an environmental apocalypse that also needs critical evaluation. Since 1972, we have been told that environmental disaster is imminent and those warnings are usually accompanied by the language of the apocalypse. Such predictions framed in apocalyptic language have spawned much of the modern environmental movement. How should we think about this?



Atheism: A Worldview in Resurgence?

Sep 8th, 2012 | By

Many scientists begin their thinking with the proposition that there is a God; others do not. For example, physicists and others who practice science have been looking for a “Theory of Everything,” a theory that explains everything in the universe. That was the passion of Newton in the 17th century, Einstein in the 20th, and currently Brian Greene in the 21st century. Greene’s contribution is the “string theory,” postulated in his important book, The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory. He posits that the universe consists of a complicated combination of vibrating strands or strings. The language of his book resonates with the language of awe, majesty and near worship. But he leaves out God.



Israel and Its Security

Sep 1st, 2012 | By

The security of the nation-state of Israel has been one of the centerpieces of US foreign policy since the administration of Harry Truman. Perhaps at no time since the 1967 war has the security of Israel been such a viable matter of concern. Unfortunately, it is now a part of the political culture of the 2012 presidential election. In addition to the obvious threat of Iran, whose nuclear capability grows each week, and the growing instability of Syria, which is on the verge of civil war, there are other real threats to Israel’s security. For that reason, it is imperative to summarize the current volatility of the Middle East and the genuine threat this all poses to Israel’s security.