I am doing a three part series on the Bible, what it is and how to read it. Three excellent scholars and teachers will be our guides, Harvey Cox, John Dominic Crossan, and Jennifer Grace Bird. Leading off is Harvard University professor, Harvey Cox, author of the famous Secular City in 1965. He was with me two years ago on Religion For Life to discuss his book, The Future of Faith. He returns to talk about his latest book How To Read the Bible.
Spend the apocalypse with someone you love. Carolyn Baker returns to Religion For Life to talk about her book, Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse: Cultivating the Relationships We Need to Thrive. The Long Descent is not a pretty picture. As industrial civilization hits its limits, resilience will be the primary characteristic of those who survive and thrive. Preparing emotionally and building relationships will be just as important if not more important than preparing materially for the future. Dr. Baker, a former psychotherapist and professor of psychology and history, offers life coaching for people who wish to live more resiliently. Catch her radio program, The Lifeboat Hour on Progressive Radio Network.
Doug Pagitt is the pastor of Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis and the author of Flipped: The Provocative Truth That Changes Everything We Know About God. We talk about many different emergent movements including emergent atheism as well as the progressive evangelical movement. We also talk about "God" and the problem of transactional" religion. It is an exciting time of change and creativity and Doug Pagitt is a forerunner.
Lloyd Geering is a Presbyterian minister and scholar from New Zealand. He has written over a dozen books. His latest book is a collection of essays that chronicle his intellectual and spiritual journey, Reimagining God: The Faith Journey of A Modern Heretic. He was tried for heresy in the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand in 1967 for an article he wrote about Resurrection. He was accused of disturbing the peace of the church to which he responded:
“I would like to suggest that what my accusers have been pleased to call the peace of the Church is more properly called the sleepiness of the Church and we should be thankful to God that it has been disturbed.”
A documentary was made about him called, The Last Western Heretic.
Wayne Winkler is the General Manager of WETS and the author of Walking Toward the Sunset: The Melungeons of Appalachia. His picture is in the December 2014 issue of Psychology Today as part of a chapter in a book on DNA and genealogy. He speaks with me about the article, "The Past Is Written on Your Face" by Christine Kenneally, and the fascinating Melungeon history.
Donald Wagner (pictured) is the National Program Director of Friends of Sabeel: North America and Walter Davis is co-chair of the education committee of the Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and professor emeritus at San Francisco Theological Seminary. They have co-edited Zionism and the Quest for Justice in the Holy Land that explores the theological foundations of political Zionism. The study guide that accompanies this book, Zionism Unsettled, is available at the IPMN website.
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.