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Moo Over Old Life, Here’s the New

Last July I left my life as a full-time professor and began a new life with new projects, a lot of which is continuing on in the writing side of things. In embracing this life, I bought new business cards from Moo.com. First, Moo did not pay me for this post; I’m simply loving their stuff enough to post some pictures. If you need to create new business cards, definitely check out their Luxe line. These cards are done in layers, which you can see below involves a red layer between the front information and back design, and the paper is tactile and hefty. I also purchased the leather and brushed steel holder to match my color scheme.

This is what arrived in the mail today.
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Continue reading…

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On Faith: Does the Bible and Fantasy Fiction Have Something in Common?

My newest article, “Why Your Bible Feels Like Fantasy Fiction: Six ways in which the Bible makes more sense if read as a work of fantasy,” is up at On Faith. 

Scholars approach the Bible from many different directions. They read its individual books as complete narratives or as collected sources. Many assert that one’s interpretation is framed by the order of the canon, and that we might see the Bible differently if the canon order was changed or if we included some early texts, like Clement of Rome’s epistle. Some embrace it with a wooden literalness, while others approach the Bible as mythological or symbolic or ripe for the garbage can.

In this article, I engage in a bit of reader-response criticism and compare the Bible to fantasy fiction, showing six different ways its world is far more like fantasy than the world we know.

…..3. Supernatural transportation in the sky!
While most mortals are earth-bound, some get to slip its surly bonds. There are flying chariots of fire (2 Kings 2:11), tall ziggurats one can climb to heaven (Genesis 11:4-9), teleportation (Genesis 5:24; 2 Corinthians 12:2), ladders (Genesis 28:10-19), and ethereal lifts (Acts 1:9)…..

…..And yet, as otherworldly as this biblical world is, it also has a distinct earth-boundedness to it. Our human brains, as scientists have noted, enable us to “imagine other worlds” and to create mythological creatures that do not exist in nature. That’s why we gravitate to stories that transcend the mundane. And that’s why — whether we accept it as divine or not — we should try to experience the Bible as fantasy fiction. In doing so, you might discover yourself in the text — and just how human a fantasy world can be…..Read the full article at On Faith…

Image: From Jacob’s Dream by William Blake (c. 1805, British Museum, London): See full image at Wikipedia.

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Toledo City Paper: September 20th Talk on “Consider No Evil”

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From Toledo City Paper.

Today’s Toledo City Paper mentions my upcoming talk for Toledo Faith & Values on my new book with Menachem Wecker, Consider No Evil: Two Faith Traditions and the Problem of Academic Freedom in Religious Higher Education

If you live in the greater Toledo area and want coffee and bagels, consider stopping by Barry Bagels at 10 am on September 20th. If your organization would like to have me come speak, contact me.

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ToledoFAVS: Would I Friend My Younger Self on Facebook?

It’s been a while since I wrote for them, but my newest article, “Would you friend your younger self on Facebook?,” is up over at Toledo Faith and Values, our local hub for the Religion News Service.

In this piece, I look at what two recent Facebook experiments tell me about life online and raise the question of the limitations of friendship in social media. I note, particularly, that while I would cringe at things my younger self would say—should some strange happenstance of internet time-travel occur—I might Continue reading…

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Two New Book Projects in the Works

Leaving my full-time faculty position is providing me an opportunity to explore two new projects (academic and middle grade fiction). The first project is a book I began researching this summer and is a history engaging science and religion, looking at the reception of science and technology by Evangelicals in the United States from approximately 1907-2014. This is a subject that is constantly floating in the back of my head, popping up in smaller forms in my articles and books, particularly given some of the stories covered in Consider No Evil: Two Faith Traditions and the Problem of Academic Freedom in Religious Higher EducationI’ll write more about it here as the volume takes shape.

While I’ll always have my academic loves, there is a middle grade fiction project I’ve been working on for a while now and to which I’m finally able to give more time. I loved working with Mindy on the History Lives series a while back, which was YA. This book is a for a younger reader and is not on religion. It is a very different book for me, but it is also a refreshing change.

Return here throughout the next year and follow me on Twitter at @bwithrow if you’re interested in finding out more about how these projects are going

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Upcoming “Coffee Talk” on “Consider No Evil” (Sept. 20)

WithrowWeckerConsiderNoEvilFrontCoverToledo Faith & Values (the local hub of the Religion News Service), has invited me to speak for the “Coffee Talk” on Saturday, September 20 at 10 am. I will be talking about my new book, Consider No Evil: Two Faith Traditions and the Problem of Academic Freedom in Religious Higher EducationThe talk will be at Barry’s Bagels on Dussell Drive in Maumee, Ohio.

The official announcement from Toledo FAVS can be found here.

Hope to see you there.