"And it would be a waste not to take advantage of what academic study of the Bible reveals about life, about the world and about God. For the Bible, the existence of the divine is not a question. But the Bible does pose questions about this existence: If God is all-powerful and benevolent, why is there evil in the world? If God is just, why do the wicked prosper? What is the relationship between divine omniscience and free will? Where is God in the presence of suffering? These are not questions designed to challenge belief in God; rather, they challenge whatever our beliefs might be. The very fact that the Bible raises these questions is an invitation to those who read the text to do the same."
"The Bible does not claim a unified, monolithic portrait of creation. Its descriptions vary from text to text, as do its literary styles. It expresses how the material and human world came into existence, but its real message is not those external details but its insights into the nature of divinity, humanity, and the world."
"When it comes to religion, the South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are equal-opportunities offenders, and it’s an approach that has made them heroes to many atheists in age of heightened sensitivity around matters of faith.”
"The Russian, Mexican, African, Arab, Israeli, American, European and Australian all found a commonality in their diversity: a belief that we are all bound together by our oneness. This ideal, I thought, would certainly be one way to start doing away with prejudice among nations."
"(Paganism) is one of the fastest growing religions in the world," says Michael York, a retired religious scholar from Bath Spa University in the UK. "True numbers are impossible to come by because many people are wary to admit they are pagan, and reliable statistics just don’t exist."
"You might assume that all of this zombie Jesus talk exists on the level of simplistic parody, barbs hurled at Christianity by its less-than-cultured despisers. You would be wrong. Zombie Jesus has provoked some serious spiritual and existential reflection. John Morehead’s blog Theofantastique has looked at Zombie Jesus as an image of spiritual reflection and even suggested that evangelical Christianity might learn a thing or two from the imagery. Matt Cardin has connected the zombie to Thomas Ligotti’s reflections on the ironic horrors of the human condition.”