CategoryHistory

Pooping Rainbows: The Theology of the Unicorn

One of the most unfortunate aspects of modern life is that the world is no longer populated by fantastic things. For the ancients the universe was still teeming with monsters great and small, wonders of both flora and fauna perhaps just out of reach of all but the most daring (or the most foolish.) Of all ancient mythical beasts, the unicorn is one of the most fantastic and beloved. It is indeed...

A False False Teacher

There is a series of posts I have recently discovered entitled The False Teachers. I had actually been meaning to interact with one of the previous installments (and still plan to eventually), but in reading the most recent entry I was struck by what I consider a rather shallow critique. The ‘false teacher’ in question is Teresa of Avila, perhaps most well known for her writings on the mystical...

Mrs. Jesus and the Zombie Gnostics: Part 3

Sometimes it seems that it takes a certain level of educational attainment to reach astonishing levels of gullibility. And the rub of it is that the unscrupulous among us are more than willing and prepared to take advantage of that. This has been brought to bear upon the years-running Gospel of Jesus’ Wife fiasco, which has now officially reached official fiasco status. I have written about this...

Mrs. Jesus and the Zombie Gnostics: Part 2

About a year and a half ago I penned a post regarding the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. Like most of these sorts of sensationalized reports about discoveries that will rock Christianity to its core, the reporting on the subject was far more absurd than the actual claims being set forth by the researcher in question. But then again, these kinds of things generally follow the 10 step process I...

2nd Century Worship Evaluation

In response to a request from a friend, I wanted to contrast modern Christian worship as it might look in present-day America with that of the perspective of an ancient Christian viz-a-viz worship. But rather than merely grab at the low-hanging fruit of a straight up contrast or even a stab at satire, I thought it might be interesting to juxtapose the modern and ancient in a different way...

Christian Mythstory: Easter

Every so often I come across articles like this around Easter time. While certainly not billed as a bit of reporting and also a couple of years old, the title struck me as the sort of link-bait for which the internet exists. The article appears in a section called Comment is Free: Indeed it is, and one certainly gets what one pays for. I have always been taken aback by these types of mythstories...

Christian Mythstory: Galileo

Of all the extant Christian mythstories, none is perhaps so pernicious as that involving the famed Galileo Galilei. For the modern mythmaker, Galileo’s trial and condemnation is often seen as the sine qua non of the inherent and irreconcilable conflict between science and faith. The mythstory makes for exciting drama: the brilliant and committed scientist unafraid to stare truth in the face...

Dress Like a Toilet

Clothes make the man, we are told, and this has probably been a constant throughout all of human history. The various textures and colors render an otherwise innocuous covering into a symbol of status or wealth. Even in the modern world we are pushed to get our clothes from certain designers, to express ourselves by means of adopting a certain fashion. The utility of one garment over another is...

Christian Mythstory: Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Stockings are filled with goodies, cups overflow with eggnog, and people embrace the spirit of peace and goodwill, assuming they have all the shopping done and don’t have to fight throngs of angry consumers trying to get that last minute item.
Oh, and we celebrate that Jesus was born. Now, back to the festivities!

Christian Mythstory: The Library of Alexandria

In the epochal historical thriller National Treasure, Nicholas Cage portrays himself portraying Ben Gates, a poorly acted Indiana Jones imposter. (But I repeat myself.) Near the end in the payoff scene where he and his motley collection of treasure hunters finally find ‘the treasure,’ a startling discovery is made on a medium-sized shelf. “Hey guys, I found the lost scrolls from...

Christian Mythstory: Hallowe’en

One particularly annoying yet amusing feature of the internet is the general lack of historical awareness, especially as it regards Christian history. Often the popularized conceptions that amount to common knowledge are woefully inadequate, in need of additional nuance, or simply laughably mistaken. With sublime regularity the historical caricatures are fashioned into rhetorical bludgeons, in...

Mrs. Jesus and the Zombie Gnostics

In what can only be termed predictable hilarity, every year (sometimes even twice a year!) we are treated to the latest round of a discovery so shocking,  so earth-shattering that all of Christian history will have to be re-thought, re-examined and- once the books get written and the A&E documentaries get produced- re-purchased. This year was no deviation from the norm. In fact, the only real...

The Devil in the Details

O Furcifer- no, Lucifer I mean- How art thou fall’n! fall’n from the starry sphere! Kick’d from the presence of the King and Queen- From Burgundy, from Claret, to small beer.[1. Peter Pindar, Out at Last!] I stumbled upon this verse from Peter Pindar, (the pen name of the 18th century satirist John Wolcot) concerning the resignation of William Pitt as Prime Minister of Great...

Likewise

Words. They can aspire to the loftiest heights or wallow in the dingiest gutters. The loveliest sentiment may flow readily from the lips, followed in step by a vile and blackened curse. Gods are panegyricized, philosophical subtleties uncovered and utter nonsense made sacrosanct under their charge, as both the garrulous sage and the loquacious fool share in the spoils. Despite all their...

Jason Watson

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