February 2018

How to use Evernote

We all need another brain to remember things and even remind us later. Evernote basically accomplishes that for me. I’ve been a fan and user of Evernote for (over?) 10 years now. Here’s a nifty guide for using the app in ways that even I found valuable: You’re just getting started with Evernote, and you’re …

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Episode 141: Could Jesus Read and Write?

Dr. Thomas Whitley and the Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss British trivia shows, the concept of literacy in the ancient world, what accent Jesus might have had, and whether we now have historical proof of the prophet Isaiah. Support Thinking Religion Links: QI : Quite Interesting What language did Jesus speak? Was he illiterate? Isaiah’s Signature …

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Should Americans buy Hauwei phones?

The Mate 10 looks like a pretty amazing device and I’ve wondered at times whether I should pick up a Hauwei device to make sure I’m staying on top of things. Last week, U.S. intelligence officials warned citizens about buying devices from Chinese companies such as Hauwei and ZTE over concerns that there are potential …

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Episode 140: Hermeneutic of Violence

Dr. Thomas Whitely and The Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss wearing Clerical Collars every day, our country's normalized hermeneutic of violence, and a new podcast. Support Thinking Religion Links: Our Moloch | by Garry Wills | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books Amazon.com: ExOfficio Give-N-Go Tee: Sports & Outdoors Geek Testament

Sumer and the Modern Paradigm

Modern artists discovered Sumerian art between the world wars, at a time when British and American archaeological missions were working in southern Iraq. But archaeologists like Leonard Woolley, head of the mission in Ur were less fascinated by their finds. They considered Mesopotamian art inferior to Egyptian and to Graeco-Roman art and thought Mesopotamian iconography …

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School Shootings in America Since 2013

Since 2013, there have been nearly 300 school shootings in America — an average of about one a week. Source: School Shootings in America Since 2013

Baptist Fields

“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense. The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to …

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“Celebrate Valentine’s Day without compromising your Christian faith on Ash Wednesday”

My advice is that American Christians have much bigger issues to concern themselves with than whether or not they can reconcile Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, so stop taking yourself so seriously… On Feb. 14, many Christians face a dilemma as they try to reconcile their faith with the traditional celebrations of romantic love. How …

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Thinking Baptists: CBF’s Illumination Project Recap

Merianna and I released a new episode of our rebooted Thinking Baptists podcast last night reflecting on our own personal feelings about the CBF’s Illumination Project as well as our own viewpoints regarding church policies at the institutional and local levels… The Rev. Merianna Neely Harrelson and The Rev. Sam Harrelson break down this week’s …

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“What is the spirit saying here?”

Good reflection by Julia Pennington-Russell here on the CBF’s Illumination Project work as well as moralism, legalism, and theopolitics regardless of denomination: And many, maybe most, CBF churches are so anxious about jeopardizing a fragile harmony that they avoid even the mildest conversation about human sexuality, even as their LGBTQ brothers and sisters suffer outside the …

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Episode 139: Hiring Policy

Dr. Thomas J. Whitley and The Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss beards, Life on Mars, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's hiring policy (and past, present, future). Support Thinking Religion Links: Elon Musk shares the epic last photo of ‘Starman’ in the red Tesla he shot into space PERSONAS – Illumination Project CBF moderator says proposed LGBTQ …

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“Did they worship this car?”

“He wondered what aliens might think if they ever came across the Roadster drifting through space. After all, SpaceX packed other weird items in the car, among them a small toy Hot Wheels Roadster (complete with a miniature Starman) on the dashboard. “Maybe [it will be] discovered by an alien race, thinking, ‘What were these …

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Episode 138: Toxic Jesusinity and The Church

Dr. Thomas Whitley and The Rev. Sam Harrelson discuss toxic masculinity and compare Trump with Jesus, Apple's woes, and voice assistants. Support Thinking Religion

James C. Scott’s New Book

James C. Scott is one of the scholars I always enjoy reading. I was introduced to his work Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts while in a (wonderful) seminary class on the Parables. The insightful connection that our beloved professor made between Jesus’ acts and words in his performance of the parables with …

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Did ancient people see blue?

Realizing that the origins of colors in Mesopotamia are found in the idea of brightness and saturation allows us to dispel the notion that Akkadian has a poor and imprecise color vocabulary. Rather than look for equivalents to English words like red, blue and purple, we should understand how colors were imagined and experienced by …

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