Understanding what it is that we are Reading

As soon as we move out of our comfort zone then we risk becoming uncomfortable. That is obvious and yet it takes us by surprise no matter how certain we are that it is going to happen. We are capable of failing to anticipate and expect the unexpected. In the Bible, revelation and truth tends to be revealed to those who are completely out of anything which could ever be described as comfort zone.

This creates a disconnect between the reader who imagines that religious faith means comfort and safety and material which comes out of situations and experiences of great danger and deep fear and anxiety.

The Bible is filled with passages and material which challenge us because they make no sense to us. And the important thing to grasp here is that they make no sense to us. It is not necessarily that they make no sense at all. Continue reading

Bart Eherman on Jesus, Who he was and Who he came to be

In a fortnightly workshop in which it is my privilege to participate we are looking seriously at what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the twenty first century. In fact what we are serious about is what it means to be a disciple, student, of Jesus’ teaching at any time.

Who Jesus was and who he claimed to be, who he thought he was and who his early followers thought he was are all vital questions. Bart Ehrman raises questions which have been asked at the workshops. His books are worth seeking out and reading and the talks and the interview below provide a good way into his thinking and conclusions. Continue reading

The Gospel of Thomas

It was my very great privilege to hear Elaine Pagels lecture on two separate occasions and to spend time in conversation and discussion with her. Her book, ‘Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas’ is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the Jesus of the gospels and ‘The Gnostic Gospels’ is one of the most accessible and useful ways into the subject of non canonical material about Jesus. Continue reading

The Garden of Eden and The Hero’s Journey

If you are reading the opening chapters of Genesis then the first thing you have to get into your head is that this is not history and it is not science. It is very deep and profound truth but you do have to let this ancient material speak to you.

Science is not your enemy. Listen to the scientists and weigh up the evidence but Genesis is not interested in telling you how the world was created. Continue reading