Category Archives: Sophisticated Theology

The Nativity: when theology strikes

by Grania Most people who grew up with a Christian background are somewhat familiar with the Nativity story. It is one of the more famous bits thanks in no small part to the runaway commercial success of the Solstice festival it attached itself to, and the rest, so to say, is history. Most people find […]

The Pope’s views on animals and heaven go viral

With my post on “The Dog Delusion“, I was ahead of the curve, though I thought of it as a humorous Papal remark that wouldn’t go anywhere. I was wrong: the Pope’s implication that all animals go to Heaven (implying they have souls), as well as the discovery of an earlier and similar statement by Pope […]

The incoherence of Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong earns her living by making liberal believers feel Sophisticated, for she writes books and gives lectures about The Real Nature of God. And that is A God Who is Awesome But Can’t Be Described. (Yet Armstrong manages to write and utter thousands of words about that apophatic God!) How she found this out, and how she knows she’s right […]

Intersectional faith

This cartoon, from reader Pliny the in Between and posted at his site Pictoral Theology, is the answer to all those liberal apologists who tell us that “all faiths are at bottom really the same.” (That’s stupid on the face of it!). I like the liberal characterization of theistic evolution at top left. ~  

God of the gaps

Here’s a new cartoon by reader Pliny the in Between, from his/her site, Pictoral Theology. Does this remind you of a famous Sidney Harris cartoon? And who does that Sophisticated Theologian™ look like?

Tonia Lombrozo at NPR: Factual and religious “beliefs” may differ

Okay, I’m not going to dissect the article cited below for two reasons. First, I’m working on the copyedits of the Albatross, an onerous and tiring task. But the main reason is that a colleague and I are writing a scholarly critique of the paper , and it’s wearisome to state the arguments twice. But the paper […]

If Sophisticated Theologians controlled religion

From reader Pliny the in Between:

A new view of hell: “Conditional immortality”

An article in the October 10 New York Times, “Tormented in the afterlife, but not forever,” shows us how theology “progresses.” After thinking about the issue for a few millennia, some theologians have decided, based on rumination and judicious Biblical exegesis, that Hell might not consist of eternal immolation after all.  Maybe you just fry […]

Making a virtue of necessity: doubt as “a crucial part of faith”

On September 18 I discussed the confession of Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, that he had experienced some heavy doubts about God’s existence, based on God’s distressing lack of appearance on the planet. Surprisingly, though, Welby had no doubts about Jesus. I found that quite astonishing, for Jesus has meaning to Welby only as the […]

William Lane Craig answers a distressed reader: “If ISIS’s god were mine, should I do what he says?”

Sometimes the mask slips just a little on Sophisticated Theologians™—or, in the case of William Lane Craig, Slick Theologians.  In this case it happened when Craig was forced to answer the question, one not often taken up by theologians, of how they know their god is the RIGHT God. It came in the form of […]


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