Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University. She is editor of the Jewish Annotated New Testament and is author of The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus. Her latest book is Short Stories By Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of A Controversial Rabbi. She talks with me about the historical Jesus and the stories he told.
Stephen Patterson is George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University. He is Fellow of the Jesus Seminar and is the chair of the steering committee on the Jesus Seminar on Christian Origins. His latest book, The Lost Way: How Two Forgotten Gospels Are Rewriting the Story of Christian Origins shows the diversity of early Christianity and paints a portrait of Jesus as a teacher of wisdom as opposed to a martyr dying for the sins of the world.
Joel Baden is Professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale University and is the author of The Historical David: The Real Life of An Invented Hero. David is portrayed in the Hebrew Scriptures as one who had a heart for God. The Psalms are credited to him. But the real life guy was ambitious and ruthless. Dr. Baden reads between the lines to uncover a David far more human and thus more interesting than the idealized character of the Bible.
Peter Enns (Blog, Twitter, Facebook) is Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. In this latest book, The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It, he takes us on a journey of biblical interpretation as well as a faith journey of wrestling with the Bible and most importantly, God. He writes that the "Bible just as it is isn't a problem to be fixed. It's an invitation." With humor and insight, Professor Enns invites us to open our minds as we open the text.
What is the character of God, violent or non-violent? Is justice retributive or distributive? Sea Raven (Twitter) explores these questions and more in her three commentaries on the Revised Common Lectionary, called Theology From Exile. Her latest commentary on the year of Mark is just out! Matthew and Luke were published previously. Join us for a discussion of the interaction of progressive theology and the Christian liturgy.
Dr. Heath Rada was elected moderator of the 221st Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly in June of 2014. He and his wife, Peggy, are traveling across the country and around the world as ambassadors for the church. They visited with me in the WETS studio to talk about some of the controversial decisions as well as the hope they see regarding the church of the 21st century.
This week my guest is Linda LaScola who along with Daniel Dennett, co-authored Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind. This book reports on a study of clergy who are no longer believers. Are these clergy unusual or are they the canaries in the coal mine signaling the demise of institutional religion? While that question may not have a clear answer, you will be intrigued by what Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola discovered. Linda LaScola was one of the organizers of The Clergy Project and she blogs at Rational Doubt. *(In the interview she stated there are 800 members of the clergy project but meant to say 600).
Bill McKibben is the founder of 350.org and the author of numerous books regarding our planet in peril, including Eaarth and The End of Nature. He talks to me about his latest book, Oil and Honey: The Education of An Unlikely Activist. He also speaks candidly about the destructive role and lack of vision of the fossil fuel industry and of the urgency for each of us to become unlikely activists on behalf of life.
Dr. Thomas Hill has taken 30 trips to Iraq as a peace builder. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. He has been on Religion For Life twice before to speak of his work between NYU and the University of Duhok. He was there this summer and spoke to me about the new threat from the Islamic State and what he hears from his friends in Iraq.