Welcome to the conversation

There are important conversations about faith, ethics, and ideas happening all the time, but joining in can seem daunting. The Open Table is the place to start. Featuring essays and articles from a diverse array of authors, we dive into topics that are important and relevant to the every day believer. Read. Comment. Share. Join the discussion. We saved you a seat.

March 22, 2019

For the last few decades, a heated debate has plowed through Christian theological circles down into small group discussion and Sunday school lessons about the  age of the earth as discussed in Genesis 1 through 3. This debate has stretched from exeg...

August 23, 2018

I talk to a lot of people about divorce. This can sometimes be unfortunate (I can’t say I recommend it as a topic for a first date or wedding reception; lessons learned), but also profoundly useful. As a historian, my interests can be esoteric and de...

July 29, 2018

There is a remarkable amount of interpretation in how we experience the world. Imagine that my German shepherd is sprinting towards us at full speed. The visual image before us may be virtually identical. Still, it may seem to me that my dog is runni...

June 26, 2018

It is natural to think that faith goes beyond the evidence. At the same time, many don’t want to say that faith is irrational – faith, both religious and non-religious, seems like an important part of a flourishing life. Here, I explore one way to ma...

June 11, 2018

Larry Shapiro’s recent piece “Why I Can’t Believe in the Resurrection” affords a welcome opportunity to review David Hume’s famous objection to belief in reported miracles. Shapiro’s reconstruction of that objection is simple and relatively straightf...

June 7, 2018

Based on Exodus 3:1-15

“Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we 

walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life...Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as t...

June 2, 2018

Some people, like the New Atheists, are skeptical of the attitude of faith.  They argue that faith, especially religious faith, is irrational.  One way to see their argument is as follows:

  1. Those who have faith are irrational. 

  2. Theistic b...

May 26, 2018

Kind thanks to Joel Ballivian for his comments on my paper, "Jesus and Affluence," and for the invitation to contribute a blog post in response. (And further thanks to Joel for patience with my glacial pace in getting this to him!)

I begin with a brie...

April 8, 2018

Are you justified in believing that Jesus rose from the dead? I claim that you are not. I have a number of arguments for this thesis, which I present at length in my book The Miracle Myth: Why Belief in the Resurrection and the Supernatural is Unjust...

April 1, 2018

Christians have almost universally pointed to John 3:16 as the core statement of their faith.  It declares that God, the Creator of the universe, is a loving and a giving God. God’s gifting nature extends all the way to a sacrifice of himself for the...

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