Bible

It’s a Gift from God, Y’all

By Wendy Thomas Russell | April 3, 2014

Want to know what the Bible says but don’t want to read the damn thing? Yeah, you’re not alone. But Good News! In his newly published book, God is Disappointed in You, author Mark Russell has managed to rewrite the Bible—in all its crazy glory—the way you and I and, frankly, anyone under age 80 would rather read it. While completely accurate, Russell uses layman’s terms, contemporary metaphors, well-appointed slang and plenty of profanity to liven things up. And the best part? It’s short. Like short-short. Like, the entire 2,000-page Bible is condensed into 192 pages. And that […] Read more – ‘It’s a Gift from God, Y’all’.
Can the Bible Help Kids Think Critically?

By Wendy Thomas Russell | August 26, 2013

Once upon a time, I would have choked on my own vomit at the idea of buying a children’s Bible for my daughter. The way I saw it, the Bible was an indoctrination tool. I no more wanted to crack that book open than I wanted to get her baptized or plan her Bat Mitzvah or teach her to pray toward Mecca five times a day. It was all the same to me. In my mind, only religious people read the Bible. But, times have changed. Today, I don’t equate the Bible to religion; I equate […] Read more – ‘Can the Bible Help Kids Think Critically?’.
Quick! What the Hell is Purim?

By Wendy Thomas Russell | February 22, 2013

I always think of the Bible as sort of dry reading — difficult to understand, weighted down by archaic language and vague descriptions, full of stories that just kind of go on and on. But, of course, that’s not always true. And it’s especially not true in the Book of Esther. Reading more like a Shakespearean play, the 10-chapter Book of Esther tells one hell of an intriguing story. It’s a story of honor, greed, deception, justice, irony, death and triumph. There is a clear beginning, a clear ending and even a climax and denouement. And, […] Read more – ‘Quick! What the Hell is Purim?’.
A Shopping Guide for Nonreligious Parents (Part II)

By Wendy Thomas Russell | December 10, 2012

Are you looking to introduce religion to your child in a neutral and decidedly non-devotional way, but don’t know where to start? Do you lack the knowledge you think you should have? Do your eyes sort of glaze over when you hear the words “religious literacy?” Then this shopping guide is for you! In honor of the Judeo-Christian month of giving, I’ve amassed some of my favorite resources in hopes that you’ll encourage your child to learn a bit more about the religious world around them — and have some fun while they’re at it. […] Read more – ‘A Shopping Guide for Nonreligious Parents (Part II)’.
75 Reasons to Share the Bible with Kids (Even if You Don’t Believe Any of It)

By Wendy Thomas Russell | November 19, 2012

If we want our children to be religiously literate — and who among us doesn’t, honestly? — then it behooves us to talk about the Bible in respectful terms, even if we don’t think much of it is true. When parents call the Bible “a book of fairy tales” (direct quote from my survey for nonreligious parents), it makes the whole thing seem silly and unimportant. And not just unimportant in a religious way, but unimportant in a universal way. I grew up with parents who talked about William Shakespeare like he was THE MAN (with […] Read more – ‘75 Reasons to Share the Bible with Kids (Even if You Don’t Believe Any of It)’.
Taking the ‘Myth’ out of the Bible

By Wendy Thomas Russell | November 15, 2012

Oh, Bible. You do confound us so. You are so very dense, complicated and repetitive, not to mention confusing, contradictory, outrageous and far too long-winded to actually read. And yet you are so wise, textured and powerful. You are surprising and exciting and flush with cultural references. In fact, you make it almost impossible for any of us to understand who we are as a civilization without at least getting your Cliffs Notes. As author E.D. Hirsch Jr. tells children in The First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: The Bible is by far the best-known book […] Read more – ‘Taking the ‘Myth’ out of the Bible’.
Jesus & Julia: A Tribute to Real Books

By Wendy Thomas Russell | March 5, 2012

I love reading books on my iPad. I love that I can touch a word, and the definition pops up instantly. I love that I can change the font and read in the dark and buy books online. I love being able to access my entire library from a single page. And being able to switch to the Internet to find more information about what I’m reading. And being able to copy and paste entire passages into e-mails. I love that I can highlight text and make notes and bookmark pages — and then undo it […] Read more – ‘Jesus & Julia: A Tribute to Real Books’.
The Bible + LEGOs = Pure Genius

By Wendy Thomas Russell | December 1, 2011

Three words, people. The Brick Bible. I don’t know how many of you have stumbled across this little work of genius — or have heard about it, as it’s been a point of controversy in recent days. But I’ve just spent some of the best minutes of my life perusing the offerings of The Brick Bible — a collection of Old Testament stories illustrated entirely with LEGOs — and I’m not kidding, everyone’s getting one for Christmas. Because look: And this, too: Okay, so it’s not all fit for children. I mean, unless you consider […] Read more – ‘The Bible + LEGOs = Pure Genius’.

Relax, It’s Just God

A Blog for Secular Parents
For parents who aren’t religious, the task of talking to children about religion can be daunting. So daunting, in fact, that the entire subject often gets glossed over or ignored completely. Relax, It’s Just God is a blog (and soon a book) intended to help parents break their silence without breaking a sweat.
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