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Personal Thoughts on Thanksgiving, 2016

I have been thinking, as is my wont, about giving thanks, on this Thanksgiving.   Many of my thoughts have been about all the things I am so incredibly thankful for, as is appropriate for the day.  But another line of thinking has hit me as well, involving the ironies of giving thanks. Some background, from my personal life.  As much as I love my live, the older I get, the more I realize just how weird this of mine life has been, as a scholar of religion who is not himself religious, an expert on Jesus and the New Testament who does not believe in Jesus or the New Testament, an academic obsessed with the history of Christianity who is not personally connected with Christianity.   As many of you know, the weirdness in part comes from the fact that when I started out I was completely committed religiously, as a believer in Jesus, the Bible, and all things Christian.   When I was seventeen, I was not just your run-of-the-mill-go-to-church-on-Sunday kind of Christian.  I was a [...]

2017-09-25T21:45:19-04:00November 24th, 2016|Public Forum, Reflections and Ruminations|

Thanksgiving Reflections 2015

I would like to pause in my other blogging pursuits to reflect a bit on the holiday that is now upon us.   Like, I suppose, a lot of people, there are a number of holidays that I one time enjoyed very much but am now almost completely indifferent to.  For me those would include Halloween (it’s just not that much fun for me without having kids or any real connection with kids), Fourth of July (I’m always in England on the occasion, and giving the nature of the holiday and what it remembers, well, that kind of puts a damper on it) (I don’t want this to be misconstrued: I love being an American – with all the enormous problems experienced by and caused by Americans – but the business with firecrackers and fireworks and so on just has nothing much for me these days), and Easter (which I do not observe, as an agnostic; although it can be a time of reflection for me on the awesome claims of the Christian message). There are [...]

2017-11-16T22:06:43-05:00November 25th, 2015|Public Forum, Reflections and Ruminations|


Hearty apologies to anyone (if there is anyone! :-) ) who has come to expect daily posts from me. As with so many other people on the planet (well, in America) this has been an inordinately busy time for me, and I just haven’t had the spare 45 minutes that I daily try to devote to the blog. Right on the heels of the packed Society of Biblical Literature meeting in Chicago (starting the next day) was the Thanksgiving preparations and with family coming in from literally all over the country, it’s been hectic. The frenetic pace is starting to die down now, and tomorrow I return to my normal ways and go on a very serious diet…. On Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday. Christmas I love as well, even though, obviously, I do not celebrate it as a Christian. But I celebrate it and love Christmas trees and Christmas music, of all sorts, and giving presents (not buying them; that’s a pain. But I love giving them!), and being with family and eating and [...]

2020-04-03T19:11:27-04:00November 26th, 2012|Reflections and Ruminations|
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