It has been a good week—if you're a Gnostic. Most recently, Gnosticism popularizer Dan Brown won his case. Though if the case had gone the other way, other Gnosticism proponents would have won, too. Meanwhile, newspapers are proclaiming the newly released Gospel of Judas as a "fifth gospel" that truly "gives new insights into the relationship of Jesus and the disciple who betrayed him." Like the "insight" that Jesus and Judas both agreed with third-century Gnosticism a lot more than either agreed with first-century Judaism or orthodox Christianity. One of the best takes on the news is an op-ed in The New York Sun by Bruce Chilton—a member of the highly unorthodox Jesus Seminar.

Then there's word that most Americans hold a lot of Gnostic beliefs, too: 54 percent do not believe that "after you die, your physical body will be resurrected someday." Only 59 percent of "born again" Christians believe it—though the doctrine has always been an important part of orthodox Christianity and is in both the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed.

Maybe Judas was in on the Sea of Galilee hoax that Jesus is now considered to have pulled on the disciples. An article in the Journal of Paleolimnology suggests that Jesus was able to walk on the water because parts of it had iced over. (It's a creative nice idea unless you've actually read the biblical passage.) Other science news this week is mixed: One study says prayer doesn't help you recover from illness (it may even make things worse), while another study says churchgoing helps you live longer. Then there are two news items on the evolution front, both of which are being promoted as serious blows to the anti-Darwinist crowd. The anti-Darwinists aren't convinced.

On further consideration, ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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