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Theology & Bible
Public exhibit of St. Peter relics revives debate
Are the bones really his? (Associated Press)
Scientific vandalism: How the IAA and Israeli Police Wrecked the James Ossuary
The red smear left by the application of silicon by the Israel Police Forensics Laboratory in their fruitless attempt to prove forgery has contaminated the word "Yeshua" (Jesus) inscribed on the ossuary and destroyed much of the little patina that remained (Matthew Kalman, James Ossuary Trial)
The Bible in the Bird's Nest
Owning the Good Book in North Korea can have fatal consequences. (Melanie Kirkpatrick, The Wall Street Journal)
Damon Lindelof Is Officially Back on TV to Shoot Post-Rapture America
HBO has put in a 10-episode full-season order for The Leftovers, Lindelof's adaptation of Tom Perrotta's 2011 novel about people left behind on an increasingly cracked-out earth after the Rapture. (Grantland)
Morocco actor amused by Satan-Obama comparisons
With gray hair pulled back in a ponytail, an expressive face and a slim Errol Flynn-style pencil mustache, Mehdi Ouazzani doesn't look a great deal like America's 44th president — but then he doesn't resemble a stereotypical Satan very much either (Associated Press)
A Book Doctor in Dallas Patches Up Well-Loved Bibles
The Bibles that Candice McKay repairs can be the marked-up ones of regular churchgoers or ones old enough to have palm leaves stuck in them from when Grover Cleveland was president (The New York Times)
Why It’s Not Always Good to Forgive
How difficult is it, or should it be, to achieve redemption after a breach of trust? (The New York Times)
Dig Finds Evidence Of Another Bethlehem
Israeli archaeologists now say there is strong evidence that Christ was born in a different Bethlehem, a small village in the Galilee. (NPR)
Book Review: Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
The salvation we yearn for is not simply a truce, with some economic prosperity, but the healing of our very selves, says Pope Benedict's newest book. (Anthony Esolen, The Wall Street Journal)
Opinion: Hark! The Herald Angels Didn’t Sing
It takes a strong imagination to approach Scripture literally (Tanya Lurhmann, The New York Times)
  • Biblical-Era Collections Suffer in a New World of Archaeology
    With slim funding and artifacts being harder to obtain, small museums connected with religious-affiliated schools struggle to maintain their appeal (The New York Times)
    Vatican unveils new frescoes in top catacomb
    But what's that woman doing? Praying? Or presiding? (Associated Press)
    Scientific vandalism: How the IAA and Israeli Police Wrecked the James Ossuary
    The red smear left by the application of silicon by the Israel Police Forensics Laboratory in their fruitless attempt to prove forgery has contaminated the word "Yeshua" (Jesus) inscribed on the ossuary and destroyed much of the little patina that remained (Matthew Kalman, James Ossuary Trial)
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  • The Curious Case of Jesus’s Wife - The Atlantic
    Unlike the media, Karen King was interested in it less for the papyrus' late and unreliable mention of Jesus as married than for the light it appeared to shed on the status of women in the nascent Jesus movement. If the fragment was authentic, the conversation it recorded would be a fine contribution to the history of early Christian thought: yet another piece of evidence that the first few centuries of Christianity were not nearly so unified in belief and practice as conventional narratives tend to suggest.
    'Homeless Jesus' sculpture sparks ire: Son of God 'not a vagrant'
    A sculpture depicting Jesus as a homeless man, curled and covered on a public bench in North Carolina, has sparked outrage among some Christians who say that the son of God is hardly a “vagrant.” (Washington Times)
    Return of the Jesus Wars
    Aslan’s succès de scandale would be more deserved if he had actually written in defense of the Islamic view of Jesus. That would have been something provocative and — to Western readers — relatively new. Instead, his book offers a more engaging version of an argument made 250 years ago. (NYT)
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  • ETS meeting: 'Southern Baptists everywhere'
    Southern Baptists' transition from a small minority in ETS to a leading group within the world's largest society of evangelical scholars is both a result of the Southern Baptist Convention's conservative resurgence and part of a larger trend of Southern Baptists participating in the broader evangelical world, Melick and others said. (BP)
    Who Has the Authority to Write Theology? | Stephen H. Webb | First Things
    The Protestant Reformers wanted every believer to be a priest, but they couldn’t have anticipated that anyone with an Internet connection could be a theologian.
    Tormented in the Afterlife, but Not Forever
    Conditional immortality, the idea that the suffering of the wicked in hell is finite, is being revived through books, conferences and films (The New York Times)
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  • The Curious Case of Jesus’s Wife - The Atlantic
    Unlike the media, Karen King was interested in it less for the papyrus' late and unreliable mention of Jesus as married than for the light it appeared to shed on the status of women in the nascent Jesus movement. If the fragment was authentic, the conversation it recorded would be a fine contribution to the history of early Christian thought: yet another piece of evidence that the first few centuries of Christianity were not nearly so unified in belief and practice as conventional narratives tend to suggest.
    Faith in Bible Led Ohio Man to North Korea Prison
    The plan was always to leave behind a copy of the Bible, in the hope it would find its way to someone in North Korea who needed its inspiration. Jeffrey Fowle, a 56-year-old road-maintenance worker and father of three from Ohio, had done the same thing once before in a communist country: Turkmenistan. (WSJ)
    Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green has big plans for his Bible museum in Washington
    Bringing the world’s largest Bible museum to Washington has required Green the evangelist to summon Green the salesman. (WaPo)
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  • Insight - Nigeria's 'megachurches': a hidden pillar of Africa's top economy | Reuters
    As the churches have charity status, they have no obligation to open their books, and certainly don't have to fill in tax returns -- an exemption that is increasingly controversial in Nigeria, where poverty remains pervasive despite the oil riches.
    Lusanne Movement on Prosperity Theology, Poverty and the Gospel
    We affirm that God wishes the best for his children, and we seek ourselves to emulate his desire; but we recognize the ways our cultures distort our desires and draw us away from the fullness of life that is offered to all in Christ Jesus. Materialism and consumerism are two primary forms of the distortion of desires. Where the teachings of PT manipulate and control, Christians must be a prophetic voice, offering genuine justice and hope.
    Ebola is not God’s wrath: Religious leaders say disease is caused by sin and cured by God.
    If disease is divine punishment, then by definition they “deserve it,” as homophobes were so happy to proclaim at the height of the AIDS crisis. The sick are seen as implicitly and personally culpable for their own conditions.
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  • Turn to Religion Split Bomb Suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Home
    Over the past five years, the personal lives of the Tsarnaev family members slipped into turmoil, driven, at least in part, by a growing interest in religion by both Tamerlan and his mother. (The WallmStreet Journal)
    A Careful Writer Stalks the Truth About Scientology
    Lawrence Wright's book "Going Clear: Scientology, Celebrity, and the Prison of Belief" explains that more people appear willing to discuss Scientology's image problems.(The New York Times)
    Politicians Who Speak of Religion in Unaccustomed Ways
    First nonpracticing Buddhist in the Senate, first blended Hindu, and other religiously unique winners in Tuesday's election. (The New York Times)
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Medical Missionaries' Ebola Pullback: No More Kent Brantlys?
Medical Missionaries' Ebola Pullback: No More Kent Brantlys?
As ministries report record interest in serving, Samaritan's Purse shifts strategy on what expat doctors do.
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