Here's an announcement about Theology After Google, a conference in March that will be of interest to progressive Christians and churches communicating theology through blogs, social networks, etc.
"Progressive Christian theologians have some vitally important things to say, things that both the church and society desperately need to hear. The trouble is, we tend to deliver our message using technologies that date back to Gutenberg: books, academic articles, sermons, and so forth. We aren't making effective use of the new technologies, social media, and social networking."
Tony Jones gives us some insights into why new technologies are important for theology.
If you plan on doing Old Testament Studies this upcoming year, let me strongly recommend The Torah: A Women's Commentary edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss. Here is the link to three comprehensive reviews of the volume at the Review of Biblical Literature. Three characteristics that make this volume unique are:
It follows the liturgical division of Torah into 54 sections (parashah) for the public reading of Torah in they synagogue during the year (all of Torah is covered during the annual cycle of reading)
It is written by scholars who are all Jewish and who are all women
Contributors represent a variety of approaches (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, as well as unaffiliated and secular)
There are five elements that make up the commentary of each Torah portion:
The Central Commentary - scholarly exegesis of the biblical text
Another View - a short essay that supplements or challenges the central commentary
Post-biblical Interpretation - rabbinical teachings on the text
Contemporary Reflection - a section by a rabbi or adult education expert on the meaning of the text for Jews today
Voices - creative responses to the Torah section (mainly poetry)
Thanks to Judy Hancock for sending along this link to a fascinating article on the background of Nicholas of Myra and the reconstruction of his appearance by facial anthropologists using the latest in computer technology.
The Excavation Director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority said: "The discovery is of the utmost importance since it reveals for the very first time a house from the Jewish village of Nazareth and thereby sheds light on the way of life at the time of Jesus. The building that we found is small and modest and it is most likely typical of the dwellings in Nazareth in that period. From the few written sources that there are, we know that in the first century CE Nazareth was a small Jewish village, located inside a valley. Until now a number of tombs from the time of Jesus were found in Nazareth; however, no settlement remains have been discovered that are attributed to this period."
James Tabor from the University of North Carolina has an article up at The Bible and Interpretation on the origin of December 25 as the birth date of Jesus. And it has nothing to do with the Winter Solstice or pagan holidays. Read here.
Jewish scholar Martin Lockshin at My Jewish Learning writes about what Jews can learn from the New Testament. He writes: "It is a rich source of Jewish history, Jewish thought, Jewish law, and the history of anti-Semitism."
It is helpful to see how those outside the Christian faith tradition perceive the foundational documents of our faith. To read Martin's complete essay, click here.
We are studying portions of Torah in our Sunday morning church adult education class. Bibledex, a project of the University of Nottingham's Department of Theology and Religious Studies, now has video introductions up on each of the five books that comprise the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Take a look.
Julia O'Brien teaches at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Her website is one to bookmark. One of the features on her web page is Reading the Bible as an Adult, an ongoing series of articles on how to read the bible as a literate adult. She also blogs regularly. Make a visit when you've got a moment.
Yes, that's my excuse, and I'm sticking too it. Between the two Hs, Helzberg and Hillside, it's been difficult to find time for blogging.
At Hillside, two year end courses are finished - a four week brown bag series on 1 Corinthians and a three-week class How In the World Did Jesus Become God using Larry Hurtado's video series produced by the Wesley Ministry Network.
At Helzberg, it's December in the retail business. Enough said. But now its back to blogging.
I am an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). My day work is designing and developing sales and management programs for Helzberg Diamonds. Evenings are spent in Adult Education ministry at Hillside Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), teaching classes in biblical studies and theology. My seminary degrees are from Harding Graduate School of Religion and Fuller Theological Seminary.