The Dark Side of the Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount is often considered to be a high point in Christian ethics. It has been thought to embody the highest possible ethical standards and has thus been given a pride of place in Christian thought. We believe that in it we see the moral vision at the heart of Jesus’ teaching, […]

Is Jesus Divine in Mark?

In orthodox Christianity, Jesus is both human and divine. At least in part, this belief is based upon what is written in the New Testament. Mark, the earliest canonical Gospel (see “The Priority of Mark,” by Peter Kirby), has been interpreted as conforming to this view; but does it? Mark’s Jesus is certainly human, but […]

The End: Apocalyptic Musings

What goes through your mind when you see some angry preacher with a bullhorn shouting that the end is near? Do you ignore him/her? The idea that God will soon dramatically intervene in the affairs of the world and draw history to a close … well, it’s an extreme idea, isn’t it? It is enough […]

The Gaze

I think we typically like to think of ourselves as autonomous people who stand on our own two feet, and do not require anyone else to be who we are. There is likely something of value in this, but I think it is off the mark in at least one important way. I do not […]

Are You a Liberal or Conservative Christian?

I heard a story a while ago about a Rabbi who visited Northern Ireland. He came to a check point while traveling about the country in a car, and slowed down and stopped. After he rolled down his window, the guard asked, “Are you Catholic or Protestant?” The Rabbi answered, “I am Jewish!” There was […]