Feb 26, 2008

vol 125 No. 4

Contents are posted gradually over two weeks. Logged-in subscribers can also download the issue PDF via the link above.

For many years I taught a course titled "The Problem of God." I believed that students should be exposed to the most erudite of the unbelievers, and that any commitment that they might make to a religious faith should be critically tested by the very best opponents. Richard Dawkins, Samuel Harris and Christopher Hitchens would never have made the required reading list. Their tirades reinforce ignorance—not only of religion—but also of atheism.
February 26, 2008

Done got Jesus: Baylor University professor Ralph C. Wood, who grew up in east Texas, says that when he was a college student, a Baptist evangelist, after learning that Wood was an English major, asked, “Why do you need Shakespeare and them boys when you done got Jesus?” Wood says he is still trying to come up with an appropriate answer some 40 years later. (Perspectives in Religious Studies, Winter).
February 26, 2008

There were 15 people in my house when the well ran dry. It was Thanksgiving, and everyone knew that they did not have to flush every time. Those who were spending the night had learned how to take navy showers: turn the water on long enough to get wet, turn it off, soap yourself, turn the water on long enough to rinse, and turn it off again. If the water ever gets really nice and hot, then you know that you have left it on too long.Everyone knew this, but we still ran out of water. When I turned the kitchen tap to fill the coffee pot after Thanksgiving dinner, all that came out was a long airy gasp. “We’re out of water!” I yelled.
February 26, 2008