I have two important news items to share with my blog readers today:
1) Hector Avalos (Ph.D., Harvard), John Loftus (Th.M., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), James Linville (Ph.D, University of Edinburgh) and I today announce that we intend to start a new society which will meet annually in the same city and at the same time as the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), and The Evangelical Philosophical Society (EPS). We three men, along with some other interested parties, will have an exploratory meeting on November 20th this year in New Orleans (6:30pm at the Marriott Hotel) to organize the Society. While the name for the new society has not yet been decided, the three main goals will be:
a. Promote scholarship of the Bible from a non-religious viewpoint.
b. Produce scholarly critiques of religionist biblical scholarship, and how it functions to maintain the authority and value of the Bible in the modern world.
c. Form a counterweight to the Evangelical Theological Society, and perhaps engage in cordial dialogue and debate with its members through written formats and through joint sessions.
2) I will be will be on 97.1 FM Talk Radio in St. Louis on Monday October 26th at 6:20pm Eastern time. I will be part of a program discussing the existence of God. The other two participants will be, Father Jeff Vomund and Rabbi Shmuel Greenwald. The discussion will last until 7pm Eastern. You can listen live at their website. They will also have the mp3 recording of the discussion on their website the next day.
I am excited about both of these news items. The Society proposed above will attract some top notch scholars and will prove to be a valuable anti-dote to the dogmas of evangelical theology. The talk program will be my first venture into this format. I will have to contain myself to short sound bites as the format will not allow for any kind of in-depth discussion. Hopefully, though, it will prove thought provoking for the listeners.