Here’s the first of a new series of podcasts on words that pose particular difficulty because English either lacks clearly similar concepts, or the word carries quite different connotations (emotional overtones and other baggage) from the word that denotes (points to) a similar thing. The first word is hesed a key virtue in the Bible and one ascribed typically to God. That is both it typifies God’s relatiuonship with us, and God shows us what it means.  Read More →

People like “old time religion”, “Give them more hellfire and damnation pastor!” the elders plead (somehow it is always “them” not “us” in this case), churches were full when preachers really put the fear of God into their audiences! But is ‘hell’ an important Christian doctrine, should every preacher touch on torment every month or two? On the importance of hell in Scripture I suggest a close look at the Bible (which we’ll begin here, with Gehenna in Matthew). On preaching I suspect it’s a case of WDJP or you’d better have one hell of a good reason 😉Read More →

Thalia invited me to do a series of (by my standards) longish posts over at Sacraparental. They introduce briefly some of the key ideas from my book Not On ly a Father. The first has just appeared: What’s Wrong with this Picture? This is a podcast of that material. Talking in pictures is necessary when we are talking about God. But all pictures are dangerous. Talking about a god who is Father but not Mother is not the Christian God, but Zeus or Baal. Christians who do it are making the same mistake many atheists make.Read More →

Francesca Stavrakopoulou closed her article “Why the BBC’s new face of religion believes God had a WIFE” saying: I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like had the goddess remained. Let’s explore the evidence and try to answer her speculation. This evidence comes mainly from surrounding peoples, though the Bible has some contribution to make, so this podcast can squeak into a series called 5 Minute Bible 😉 Most of ancient Israel’s neighbours had pantheons which included prominent goddesses alongside gods. In Egypt Isis was particularly important, while in Mesopotamia the gate named after Ishtar was a hugely impressive archaeological feature. InRead More →