Busted Halo
author archive
John D. Spalding :
7 article(s)

John D. Spalding is a contributing editor at BustedHalo and is the founder and editor of SoMAreview.com. He is writing a book about daily life in first-century Palestine.
December 17th, 2007
Why The First Christmas is not like any Nativity story you've ever heard before
Two years ago, biblical scholars John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg published The Last Week, a fascinating day-by-day account, based on Mark’s gospel, of how Jesus spent his final week in Jerusalem. Now, they’ve teamed up again to explore the beginning of Jesus’ life, unraveling what the news of his birth meant 2,000 years ago, so we can better understand its significance today. In The First Christmas, Crossan and Borg argue that the nativity story is far richer and more challenging than familiar sentimentalized versions allow. Not simply tidings of comfort and joy, the gospel stories of Jesus’ birth are also edgy visions of another way of life, confronting the status quo and demanding…
November 8th, 2007
The author of The Year of Living Biblically talks about what it's like to live by "The Book"
Countless believers pride themselves on leading Bible-based lives, but let’s face it: there’s a big difference between donating to the Christian Children’s Fund and downloading Jars of Clay onto your iPod, and diving headlong into the ancient world of Moses and King David—swearing off clothing made of mixed fibers, stoning adulterers, and growing a beard that makes you resemble the Unabomber. In his latest book, The Year of Living Biblically, Esquire editor A.J. Jacobs sought the “ultimate ancient-Israelite experience,” devoting 365 days of his life to following the Good Word—as literally as possible. Jacobs set out to obey every rule in the Bible. Thus,…
September 19th, 2007
An interview with the media visionary behind "Faces of Faith"
As both the founder of an online religion blog and a contributor to BustedHalo and other web-based religious news sites like Beliefnet, The Revealer and KillingtheBuddha there’s one thing I’ve observed: the simplest changes in terms of design or function can often take eons to implement. In other words, like Rome, a religion website isn’t built in a day. Or so I thought, until last week when I discovered Faces of Faith in America, a new religion news site that suddenly appeared on the web and that’s as cool and contemporary as any faith url out there. The sleek look and all the fun interactive elements aside, the site seemingly burst into existence with more than 80 top-notch video and print…
July 27th, 2007
The book that will make me rich and famous.
Yesterday I was stalked by Jane Austen. Every corner I turned at my local bookstore, there she was—her name emblazoned across titles in the New Fiction and New Non-Fiction sections, even over in Cooking, Food & Wine, where I bumped into The Jane Austen Cookbook. Displayed on the new book tables were Becoming Jane: The Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen, edited by Anne Newgarden, and Austen Land, a novel by Shannon Hale. Fresh out in paperback were Alexandra Potter’s Me and Mr. Darcy and Patrice Hannon’s Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine’s Guide to Life and Love. I asked the young woman at the information desk if the store’s book buyer is obsessed with a certain Regency-era female novelist.…
June 6th, 2007
Why it would be a sin not to include dinosaurs in illustrated children’s Bibles.
The other night I was reading Zondervan’s Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories to my four-year-old twins when I came to a disturbing realization. Though the children’s Bible includes hundreds of illustrations depicting all sorts of animals—snakes, camels, sheep, fish, doves, lions, donkeys, whales—I couldn’t find a single dinosaur anywhere. I hoped to spot at least a brachiosaurus grazing on treetops in the Garden of Eden, or perhaps a ravenous velociraptor chasing a shepherd across the Judean wilderness. But no. Until recently, I was unaware that the biblical world was full of dinosaurs. Last Monday, the $27 million Creation Museum opened in Petersburg, Kentucky,…
May 16th, 2007
Reflections from a former fundamentalist
The Rev. Jerry Falwell—founder of the Moral Majority and the leader of the religious right in the ’80s—died Tuesday after he was discovered unconscious in his office. We at BustedHalo offer our prayers for Falwell’s family, friends, and flock. Our prayers also go out to Falwell himself. Now that the evangelist has finally met his maker, we pray for his sake that God is an amiable old white guy with a long grey beard, and is not, say, a big purple Teletubby with a triangle above his head and a magic bag dangling from his arm. Tinky Winky as Divine Judge might have a beef with Falwell. Having outed Tink as gay, Falwell denounced the beloved children’s TV character as “damaging to…
October 19th, 2006
Some of the Church's very best people did some very bad things. A conversation with author Thomas J. Craughwell.
Many Christians are familiar with the virtues of St. Mary of Egypt, who lived in the desert as a hermit for 47 years, devoting herself to God in prayer and meditation. But even the most devout Catholic might be forgiven for not knowing that, before her conversion, Mary had a wild hare that would make even Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan blush. Mary was a seductress extraordinaire, who spent 17 years insatiably prowling the streets for sexual conquests. One day, she spotted a crowd of men—pilgrims, it turned out—waiting to board a ship bound for the Holy Land, where they planned to celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. Mary knew a party when she saw one, so she joined the voyage,…
powered by the Paulists