In this short series (of two podcasts) I’ll describe two things I think I know, two stakes in the ground when I come to think about the topic of “universalism” that has been much discussed (and even more an excuse for slanging matches) recently around the Bible-focused blogs. Let’s start by admitting there are many many things on this topic that we simply do not know. I list a few of the many things that I am firmly agnostic about in a blog post OK, till now I’ve held my peace, and avoided discussing that Bell fella and universalism. But….In this podcast and the nextRead More →

Before we look at how we can better read Scripture faithfully we need to ask what -reading the Bible faithfully means. There are implications both for how and why we read. Later podcasts will tackle the how in more detail. This one focuses more on the big picture. Future podcasts will cover each of the steps in this process, gradually getting deeper and deeper into the topic, this first one is an overview, and I hope will be the only one that fails to grapple with any particular Bible passage.  Read More →

There are a number of passages in the prophets, and especially in Jeremiah that are like the complaint (lament) psalms. In Jeremiah the passages known as “the confessions of Jeremiah” are particularly interesting. Here I’ll just look at one feature of the first two (or three, it depends how we count them 😉 of these passages and notice how it helps us towards a possible understanding of the sudden change in Psalm 22 that we noticed in the last post in this series (Complaint Psalms: Part Two). In the next post I plan to go back to the beginning and talk about the features ofRead 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 →

As a matter of fact Yahweh was married, yet the Bible cannot tolerate people who speak of God as male or masculine. This podcast seeks to explore this apparent contradiction as a first follow up to yesterday’s “Why do you read? Or: Was God married?” The original (audio only) version of this podcast was here.  Read More →