The Pokey Finger of God

meditations on religion and culture

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Entries Tagged as 'christianity'

Irrational Animus

October 9th, 2014 · Comments Off on Irrational Animus · christianity, culture, media

In response to Damon Linker’s essay Why do so many liberals despise Christianity?: First off, it’s ludicrous to posit that all, or even many, liberals hate Christianity, simply because there are so many liberal Christians. From what I can tell, for every annoying, conservative, evangelical Christian, there are two liberal, mainstream Christians who simply don’t […]

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Atwill vs. Traditional Early Church legends

September 11th, 2014 · Comments Off on Atwill vs. Traditional Early Church legends · christianity, history

In the traditional Early Church stories, the faith that became Christianity was started by the friends and family of the original apostles, who would meet in each others’ homes and tell stories about the Christ each of them knew. The crowds at these gatherings grew larger each year, and people would travel away to other […]

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A Talent Not Invested

September 6th, 2014 · Comments Off on A Talent Not Invested · christianity, history

“This is a little off the subject but I was discussing prosperity theology and came across Luke 19 – a parable Jesus said told Zacchaeus the tax collector about 3 servants charged with making money work for a king in his absence. Long story short the servant who buried the money was called wicked because […]

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Killing Jesus

September 4th, 2014 · Comments Off on Killing Jesus · christianity, culture, media

Recently, conservative media darling Bill O’Reilly wrote a book called Killing Jesus. Normally, such an event would go unremarked by me, but there was an awesome review of the book on Salon that I really got a kick out of. Richard Price starts out by propping up his conservative bonefides, insisting that he is actually […]

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Further Revelations

September 3rd, 2014 · Comments Off on Further Revelations · christianity, history

After establishing the creation of the Gospels at around 80AD, at the hand of Josephus, there are still the¬†question of when and who created the remaining books of the New Testament. Briefly, these are the Acts of the Apostles, the letters of Paul, James, and John, and the Revelation of John. I was previously ready […]

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The Flavian Gospels

September 2nd, 2014 · Comments Off on The Flavian Gospels · christianity, history

It occurs to me that Atwill doesn’t say in Caesar’s Messiah that the Flavians invented Christianity, but rather that they had commissioned the Gospels to be written, alongside a history of the violent, decade-long destruction of the Hebrew state. Atwill’s main premise is that these works were meant to be read side-by-side. Each was like […]

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First Five Centuries: What do we know?

September 1st, 2014 · Comments Off on First Five Centuries: What do we know? · christianity, history

I have two problems to resolve. My understanding of the origin of Christianity points to Constantine, while Joseph Atwill’s book “Caesars’ Messiah” points to the Flavians, two centuries prior to Constantine. One of my problems is to connect the development of Flavian Christianity to Constantinian Christianity. The other problem is to find anything at all […]

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The Christian Persecution Myth

February 27th, 2013 · Comments Off on The Christian Persecution Myth · christianity, culture, media

One of my favorite myths of the “Early Church” has top billing in this new book by Candida Moss. I discussed this in some detail in my book, Janus in Nicea, but it was less of a key point than a reinforcing element. In retrospect, this is a better topic for public discussion as it […]

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The Folly of Translation

April 27th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Folly of Translation · christianity, history, media

Some Pentacostal Evangelicals have their panties in a knot about some translations of the Bible Wycliffe has made for Muslim cultures. Read the news article here. The complaint is that “language in some of their translations intended for Muslim countries misses the essential Christian idea of Trinity: the father, son and the holy spirit or […]

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Is There a Place for Augustine?

November 16th, 2011 · Comments Off on Is There a Place for Augustine? · christianity

If you were to create a new religion from scratch and could pick and choose any doctrines or theologies you felt appropriate, which stance is better: “I’m the only one who can help you” or “I’m okay, you’re okay”?

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