Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This blog has been a long time in coming, which is why those of you who read my personal blog will find the address familiar. I originally reserved the address for a blog very similar to what this shall hopefully become, but was waylaid by everything. This is meant to become a thoughtful discussion of western religious issues and history, more or less as follows:

  • Current Events -- this is mostly going to be discussions of eschatology (end of the world stuff) since that is generally how religion is brought up in the context to current events. There will also be the gays and reproductive issues vis a vis the various western religions.

  • Definitions/Explanations of various dogmas -- this is fairly self-explanatory; discussions of the origins of religious traditions, dogmas, laws, and canon.

  • Book Reviews -- eventually bimonthly, hopefully. These will be reviews of academic studies on various aspects of religions.

  • Discussions of particular scriptural texts -- this will include canonical and extracanonical texts from the various Western religions.

  • Historys.

  • I may occasionally diverge into my personal beliefs, but these posts will be well-marked, and will serve only to provide perspective to the reader on my point of view (that is to say, full disclosure).

It is important that everyone who reads this fully understands that this is not a theological blog. I am not here to promote any one religion; I am rather here to provide explanations about aspects of the several Western religions and to clear up misconceptions, and hopefully to provide a space for dialogue to promote understanding between people of faith and those who choose to remain unaffiliated, and between the different faiths. I am not a pastor, nor do I intend to become one.

It is also important that I fully disclose my personal affiliations. I am a lifelong member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), a synod of the Lutheran denomination of Christianity. I was baptised when I was six months old in 1984, and I do not take kindly to those who inform me I should be baptised once more, for reasons I may disclose in a later post. I was confirmed in 1998 and became a religious studies minor in college. I plan to continue work in this field in graduate school. I am also pro-gay marriage, which is probably good since I am going to be gay married in the spring.

[Edit] Also, it is very likely that there will be occasional profanity and/or irreverence involved in this blog.[/Edit]

Finally, all readers should internalise the Blog Laws; violators will be dealt with most harshly.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Works Cited

Here follows a list of the sources cited on this blog. They have all been given convenient initials which are cited parenthetically with page numbers.

EhrNT -- Ehrman, Bart D. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Blog Laws

These laws of the blog will be followed; as the owner of this blog I reserve the right to edit them as I choose. If you are sure to act as a reasonable human being, you need not worry.

  1. There will be no abuse or denigration of any religion. There will be no abuse or denigration of the nonreligious.

  2. There will be no judgment on any person or group of persons souls' everlasting destination.

  3. There will be no inflammatory statements regarding any head of state.

  4. There will be no threats against any head of state. Any such threats will immediately be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for that country. I am the opposite of kidding.

  5. There will be no hate speech.

  6. There will be no use of unflattering names for any religious figure or deity. Please have respect. If you are not speaking of a particular deity, it is fine to not capitalise the word 'god;' however, if you are referring to a specific deity, please use the appropriate capitalisation. This is also helpful for clarity.

  7. There will be literacy.

  8. There will be a sense of humour tempered by a sense of respect.

  9. In that vein, there assuredly will be snarky things said about specific mortals, or groups of them when the need arises. Examples of this include the people who run websites who will send e-mails to your friends when you get hauled up by the Rapture, and Westboro Baptist Church.

Those who fail to abide by the Blog Laws will be sent a bobcat in a box and then banned.