Questioning Christian Orthodoxy in the Christmas Season

| Future,Past,Present

It will strike some readers as “heresy” for members of one of the mainstream Christian denominations (in this case, the Episcopal Church) to question several tenets of a major document of the church – especially when the questioning comes during the major season of Christmas. For other readers, though – perhaps those searching in a […]

Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis

| Present

Ash Wednesday in 2018 turned out to be a highly significant day in our nation. It happened to fall on Valentine’s Day, February 14 (which is very rare), but it ended in tragedy with the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In a poignant coincidence, a group of Christian religious […]

Ancient Corinth II: Women in St. Paul’s Time

| Past

Last week, we examined the deities worshiped in ancient Corinth and saw how influential goddesses, as well as gods, were before, during and after the time of St. Paul. Here we will look at the status and role of women at Corinth, especially how their involvement in society and local cults may have influenced Paul […]

Immigration Lessons from the Bible

| Past,Present

We in the United States remain in a season of partisan contention, angst, uncertainty, resistance, divisiveness, and a recent government shutdown. One of the major issues of disagreement between our political parties is that of the “dreamers,” those young people brought to the US illegally as children by their parents, and the Obama-era measure put […]

Random Christmas Thoughts

| Future,Past,Present

Three days before Christmas: a good time to share some random thoughts on the reason for the holiday – the man Jesus with the title “Christ.” Jesus the man lived nearly 2,000 years ago as a Jewish subject in the Roman Empire. After he died, his followers kept his memory alive in a myriad of […]

The Wheat and the Weeds: The Law of Cause and Effect and Christian Judgmentalism

| Future

Traditional Christian judgmentalism – the notion that only those who believe in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will go to heaven when they die – originates in part from the New (Christian) Testament lesson that was read in many churches on Sunday, July 23, 2017. The lesson is from the Gospel of Matthew, […]

Exploring the Influence of Salome in Early Christianity

| Past

Once in awhile, it’s an interesting exercise to explore the more obscure characters in early Christian literature. For moderns, an obscure character in an ancient religious document might seem far from important; she or he might well be the figment of someone’s imagination and the surrounding story a complete work of meaningless fiction. Here I […]

How Archaeology Can Assist Early Christian Studies and Why it Matters

| Past

In recent years, scholars of the New (Christian) Testament of the Bible – comprised of documents composed between 50 and 150 of the Common Era (CE) – have begun using the tools and interpretations of archaeologists in our quest for the context in which the earliest Christians lived. Since the apostle Paul (a Jew, let […]

The Paris Climate Accord: The Episcopal Church Takes a Stand

| Present

I wanted to share an important statement, issued on June 1, 2017, from the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry. I also want to share a few things about Bishop Curry himself.   Presiding Bishop’s Statement on President Donald Trump’s Action on the Paris Climate Accord With the announcement […]

Images of Mary in Christian Apocryphal Art

| Past

In previous posts (Trinities; When Early Christians Revered a Female Deity; Trials and Tribulations of Translating Scripture 2; and The Feminine/Androgynous Jesus), we have dealt to some extent with Mary, the mother of Jesus (also known in Christian tradition as the Virgin Mary or the Mother of God). We have seen that, although there is […]