Where Blasphemy Laws Reign

Photo: Sheikyh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi (UAE) by Jörg Peter (CC0)

This week I have an article up at the Religion News Service that looks at state of blasphemy laws as background to the International Blasphemy Rights Day, which is on Wednesday, Sept. 30. I briefly highlight situations in China, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia and Continue reading…


The Adventures of a Curious Ape

For several years now, Mindy and I have had The Discarded Image as our home for exploring new ideas and literature publicly. We’ve always done this within the context of C.S. Lewis’s metaphor. For Lewis, old worldviews, or “images,” are discarded when they collapse under the weight of new information. With some irony, our public pursuit of a better understanding of the world and the constant discarding of old ideas has also led us to discard The Discarded Image.

We’ve loved writing at the blog, but we felt we needed a place that no longer focused on what we had been—circumscribed by the limits of our former backgrounds—but one that looked forward to what we could become. A place to celebrate human curiosity broadly and demonstrate that inquisitiveness in action.

(For more on my transition to secular humanism, see my recent articles at the Chronicle of Higher Education and The Guardian.)

Our new home, The Curious Ape, is our next chapter, and we welcome other curious apes.

We thank everyone for faithfully reading The Discarded Image. We will keep our archives active. But if you’ve enjoyed that blog, know that you may also enjoy The Curious Ape. To learn more, read our post “Introducing The Curious Ape.”

Please follow us over there at We can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

Continue reading…


Why America’s Growing Unaffiliated May Mean We Need More Grief Counselors

In July I wrote an article (“Losing Faith in Religious Higher Education“) for the Chronicle of Higher Education on leaving Christianity and my resulting choice to leave my position as a professor in a seminary. It was well-received, which was a relief.

I have many ideas for follow-ups to that piece, each dealing with different aspects of leaving faith, from the personal and observational to the intellectual reasons that brought me there. The first of these is now out and since it isn’t about higher education I pitched it to The Guardian’s opinion section.

In “When we give up a faith, we grieve for the community we leave behind,” I look at the types of grief individuals go through when departing a faith. Continue reading…


My Author Copy of “Ecumenical Edwards” Arrived

The-Ecumenical-EdwardsI received my author copy of The Ecumenical Edwards: Jonathan Edwards and the Theologians (Ashgate, 2015), today, which has my chapter “The Erotic Side of Divine Participation: Jonathan Edwards, Gregory of Nyssa, and Origen of Alexandria on Song of Songs 1:1-4.” I wrote this almost three years ago, so it is nice to see it finally in print. It comes out on August 28.

In this short chapter, I take a look at the interpretive steps taken by Edwards, Origen, and Nyssa in avoiding a reading of Song of Songs in an erotic sense, which I refer to as “an exegetical cold shower.” Continue reading…