Monthly Archives: November 2012

Evangelicals Forsaking Traditional Marriage

Here’s a link back to something written in May, 2012, which I didn’t read at the time but I recently found cross-linked from another article. It’s a pretty thorough going-over of the various forms that marriage has taken in the last several thousand years, mostly taken from Biblical commands about how marriage ought to look. 

So, let’s see if I can total all this up. Traditional marriage is one man with multiple wives, multiple concubines, wives conquered in war and wives acquired in levirate marriage, possibly including girls under the age of ten, but definitely not including anyone of a different ethnic group, in an arranged marriage with disposition of property as its purpose. That seems very different from “one man, one woman,” does it not?

Of course, it’s easy to say that marriage as an institution evolves—but then, if we admit that, we have to admit that sanctioning loving, same-sex unions is just another step in that evolution. Perhaps this is why the Tony Perkinses of the world simply ignore the Bible when it doesn’t suit their purposes, instead preferring to make pseudo-scientific (and wholly unsupported) claims about what’s best for children and society. The Bible’s truths are just too inconvenient.

via Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves | Sexuality/Gender | Religion Dispatches.

Let me underscore that the last line is calling out how a study of the Bible is inconvenient for evangelical talking points about “traditional marriage”. The author is not calling the Bible itself inconvenient.

Inerrancy and Explanatory Power

Speaking as a biblical scholar, inerrancy is a high-maintenance doctrine. It takes much energy to “hold on to” and produces much cognitive dissonance. I am hardly alone….

For many other evangelicals (scholars of other disciplines, pastors, and laypeople), inerrancy is likewise no longer a paradigm of explanatory power, but a fragile theory in need of constant care and tending to survive.

Peter Enns via Inerrancy: I think someone forgot to tell the Bible.

I’ve mostly run across the phrase “explanatory power” in the creation/evolution debate. It’s neat to see it cropping up here too, and being put to the same use: something along the lines of “my explanation incorporates more of the facts than yours does, and requires fewer miracles to boot.”

Failure of the Education System

There’s no greater sign of the failure of the American educational system than the extent to which Americans are distracted by the possibility that Earth might end on December 21, 2012. It’s a profound absence of awareness of the laws of physics and how nature works.

Neil deGrasse Tyson via cwl – There’s no greater sign of the failure of the….

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, I suck.

Then end.


No One Is Perfect

I misread someone else’s sentence tonight. More careful reading revealed that this is not what they said, but this is the thought that I liked.

No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean they should be.

That makes me think something along the lines of: we aren’t perfect people who then mess up and fail to be perfect, we’re just not perfect people to begin with. Being imperfect isn’t itself a defect because we’re just not. There’s room to extend kindness and understanding to others because every one of us needs it from the start.

Remember: Everyone Dies

Read the whole thing for context (like what, exactly, is a memento mori?) but I liked this quote enough to want easy access to it again.

But back to this post. I have a memento mori–a skull on my desk. And on hard days at work I look at it and think: Remember the truth about all this stuff around you, all this stuff that is stressing you and everyone else out–all this striving, pushing, competing, assessing, goal-setting, excelling, climbing, and performing.

It’s all just Vanity of Vanities.

via Experimental Theology: Memento Mori.