OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.

Suspension of OST

I’m afraid Open Source Theology has fallen into abeyance (despite a recent endorsement from Andrew Jones) and is maintained now only as an archive. You may like to visit p.ost, where I write on a regular basis about the challenges involved in reconstructing theology after Christendom.

Did Jesus Speak Fearlessly?

I recently read a short book of lectures delivered by Michel Foucault in the 1980s. The topic of his lectures was the ancient Greek practice of fearless speech, or parrhesia.

What does parrhesia mean?  Foucault notes 5 basic meanings of parrhesia in Greek writings…

Contradictions in the Gospels: Problems or Opportunities?

Bart Ehrman has written another book.  It’s called, Jesus Interrupted.  You can read a short article about Ehrman and the new book, an excerpt of the book, and listen to the NPR story here.  I have not read the book; let me be clear about that.  But what I talk about in this essay has nothing to do with the content of the book.  Rather, I am interested in a working presumption that makes Ehrman’s argument possible in the first instance.  The presumption is that the words that compose the Bible are more or less accurate representations of what really happened, which makes “contradictions” and differences in the gospels to be particularly problematic.

The Lost World of Genesis One - John H. Walton

As promised to John Doyle, who recommended the book to me without having read it himself, here is a review of ‘The Lost World of Genesis One’ by John. H. Walton. It does not have much to do with core OST concerns, but has a lot to do with John’s own interests, mine, and those of anyone who has wrestled with the Genesis 1 text and wondered at the intensity of the conflict between science and biblical integrity over how it is to be understood in today’s confusing world.

Virtue Reborn – Tom Wright

If ever there was a book whose time has come, this is it. Drawn against the backdrop of the banking crisis and the U.K. M.P.’s expenses scandal, the prodigious pen of Tom Wright presents a biblical case for the development of ‘virtue’ as one of the main tasks of the Christian believer during the course of a life lived in earth.

Richard Dawkins, Knowledge, and Faith

I recently watched a short web-interview with Richard Dawkins on the Washington Post website. The piece was entitled: “Divine Impulses: Richard Dawkins on “the arrogance of religious persons”.

I want to make a quick observation. Let’s say that there are two general types of believers in the world: Modern and Postmodern. Yes, this is an oversimplification. However, it is useful for the purpose of this post, which is to highlight a difference in the varieties of faith and to highlight different ways of engaging with “strident atheists,” as Dawkins says.

The Irony of Christian Syncretism

Many Christians argue that syncretism is a problem for believers today.  Blending Christian and non-Christian practices is a bad move.  For instance, Denny Burk recently argued that Christians should not observe Ramadan with Muslims and hecalled out Richard Mouw and Brian McLaren for doing so.

The Voice- an emergent Bible translation?

The Voice”, a new translation of the New Testament, was published in 2008, but I only recently became aware of it through some scathing reviews such as this from Chris Rosebrough at Extreme Theology:

I recently purchased a copy of this fresh “dynamic translation” of Bible and spent some time doing comparative work with key passages of the New Testament from The Voice, The ESV and the Greek text. Sadly I must report that this new Emergent “translation” is so far off the mark that I think one could reasonably argue that by producing their own distorted version of the Bible the Emergent church has crossed the line from being a ‘movement’ to actually becoming a cult.”

Revelation Recontextualised

Not just because I get quoted on Dave Wainscott’s blog (Gustavo Martin pointed it out to me - in connection with his article on Register Analysis in Mark 13 ), but because there is also a great example of how the narrative/historical can be applied to contemporary belief and practice, I offer the following link to Rob Bell on Revelation, also on Dave Wainscott’s blog.

Mark 13 and Register Analysis

Frequenters of OST who follow the debates surrounding Andrew’s radical re-reading of the gospels according to a historical narrative interpretation, and the focus on the Olivet discourse (Mark 13, Matthew 24 and Luke 17), will be interested in Gustavo Martin’s reading of Mark 13 which draws on the principles of Halliday’s register theory (“the set of meanings, the configuration of semantic patterns, that are typically drawn upon under the specific conditions, along with the words and structures that are used in the realization of these meanings” [Halliday, 1978:23]).

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