New podcast on the Bible & history

For those who are looking for another podcast, “Biblical Time Machine” features Prof. Helen Bond (Edinburgh University) & journalist David Roos. So far, they’ve discussed the “historical” Jesus; authorship of the New Testament; and Jesus’ female disciples.


NPR discusses the prosperity Gospel

In the New Testament, Jesus says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. In the United States today, many Christians believe in something radically different. In what’s known as the prosperity gospel, wealth is a sign of virtue and God’s favor. The effects of this belief can be seen throughout American life from business to politics to social policy.

Listen here.

Tripp Fuller talks to Helen Bond and James McGrath

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned Helen K. Bond’s excellent The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel (Eerdmans, 2020) (AmazonBookshop.) It’s a book I’d recommend to students of the Gospels. If you’re interested, and you want to know a bit more about the book, Tripp Fuller recently interviewed Bond on his Homebrewed Christianity podcast. Also, he interviewed James F. McGrath about his new book What Jesus Learned from Women, a book I haven’t read yet but intend on reading. When the pandemic began, I recorded an interview with McGrath where we discussed the Christian doctrine of the Ascension.

Secularization and Social Change

Let me recommend a recent episode of Tripp Fuller’s “Homebrewed Christianity” podcast wherein he interviews/gives lecture space to Gerardo Marti, a professor of sociology at Davidson. This is such an excellent episode if you’re trying to understand a range of cultural shifts from defining secularization to the rise of the “nones” to declining church affiliation to white supremacy and evangelicalism to…well, a lot. I recommend!

Digital resources for studying the Bible and archaeology

A YouTube page, a YouTube series, and a podcast have all emerged recently dealing with topics related to the Bible and archaeology. For those interested:

  • Dr. Robert Cargill, Associate Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Iowa has a YouTube page, XKV8R, where he’s already discussed topics such as The Shapira Strips and the Tel Dan Inscription.
  • Dr. Andrew Henry, creator of the famous Religion For Breakfast YouTube page, has been working on a series in partnership with Patheos titled “Excavating the History of the Bible”. He’s covered several topics already including the origins of the Israelites, the identities of the Canaanites and Philistines, and personalities like King Ahab, King Josiah, and King Herod.
  • The podcasting collective known as OnScript has released a spin-off podcast called OnScript: Biblical World. Their first episode looked at King Hezekiah and his reforms.

Parenting, the Bible, and Faith-Transitions

My experience as a Religious Studies Instructor who teaches high schoolers, and conversations I’ve had with friends who are rethinking how they may or may not teach the Bible to their own children, led me to ponder whether some parts of the Bible are more appropriate for others depending on the age of a child. See “Rating the Bible”. Now I see Jared Byas of “The Bible for Normal People” fame has released a podcast episode titled “Parenting in a Faith Transition” with his wife, Sarah Byas, where they discuss this topic, so I thought I’d share but also document so that I remember it as I continue to think on this topic.

Pete Enns discusses the Book of Job

Every time I teach the Book of Job (I do this to close my class on the Hebrew Bible), it inches closer and closer to being my favorite book of the Hebrew Bible (if not the Bible—Christian Bible—as a whole). Pete Enns has a wonderful discussion that I’d highly recommend as I continue to believe that the theology of the Book of Job is some of the best theology (by poking at bad theology). Listen here: Episode 133 – The Book of Job.

Grace Cathedral’s Forum

Many years ago, I heard N.T Wright and Anne Rice at The Forum at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. (Thankfully, there’s evidence of this session on another blog, because who would imagine Wright and Rice as a pairing.) If I remember correctly, I may have heard Brian McLaren there as well. This week I rediscovered The Forum via their podcast episodes (iTunes; Spotify). They have some great episodes available. I’ve listened to the interview with Dr. Grace Kao, Professor of Ethics at the Claremont School of Theology and co-director of the Center for Sexuality, Gender and Religion, talk with the Dean of Grace Cathedral, Malcolm Clemens Young, ‘about individualism and inequality, solidarity and the common good, and discerning a sense of the global common good in a time of crisis.’ Also, the one with Dr. Wendy Doniger, about Hinduism and her book (which I’ve been ready slowly for a while now), The Hindus: An Alternative History. Next up: Dr. Christine Carter on ‘the New Adolescence’ and Dr. Katherine Sonderegger on Christian Systematic Theology.

By the way, how does one get a job as Dean of a Cathedral? I think going to work at Grace Cathedral every day, with that view of San Francisco, and with a job to facilitate discussions like these, sounds like a dream!