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Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood

Twible Archives

Fun with the Book of Lamentations

posted by Jana Riess

Actually, no. That title was just a teaser. There really aren’t any fun moments in the Book of Lamentations, which is why I had to make my own with the Twible. As you’ve probably guessed, Lamentations is a bit of […]

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Why I Hit the “Dislike” Button on the New Facebook

posted by Jana Riess

I love Facebook, as and I’ve explained before, I think the idea of social media has strong theological import as well as pure entertainment value. (I admit there’s not much theological insight to be gained from looking up ex-boyfriends, but…there […]

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Try Your Hand at the Twible

posted by Jana Riess

Hi friends — This past weekend when speaking at a retreat, I presented some highlights from the Twible project and then had workshop participants try their hand at tweeting some chapters. We had a fantastic time and I think people […]

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The Serpent Beguiled Me, and I Did Tweet: A Twible Presentation

posted by Jana Riess

Here’s a 12-minute talk I gave last month about the Twible project, with some of my favorite tweets from the Old Testament. Hope you enjoy it.

Ecclesiastes: For Everything, There Is a Season. Even for Contradictions.

posted by Jana Riess

“I had no idea how cynical the Book of Ecclesiastes could be,” I told my writing group a couple of weeks ago. “It also contradicts itself over and over again: Life sucks, and then it’s beautiful. There’s no reward in […]

Have You Hugged a Proverb Today?

posted by Jana Riess

This morning I tweeted the last chapter of the Book of Proverbs: #Twible Prov 31: Dawn to-do list: Buy estate. Make winter coats. Weave cloth 1st. Make family look good. Be strong. Get Michelle Obama arms. As I worked my […]

Quiverfull, the Duggars, and Reading Psalm 127

posted by Jana Riess

Ever heard of the Quiverfull movement? Chances are you have and just didn’t know it. If you’ve ever watched 17 18 19 Kids and Counting with the Duggar family, you’ll be familiar with the basic premise: don’t use birth control, […]

We Are More Than Halfway through the Twible…

posted by Jana Riess

I don’t have any pithy thoughts on this week’s rather random collection of Psalms from the Twible, but I do want to say this: 1) We are almost finished with the Psalms. I love the Psalms, but man, I need […]

Learn Your ABCs: Big Bible Fun with Acrostic Poetry!

posted by Jana Riess

Remember when you were a kid and you had to make little “poems” where the first letters spelled out a word, like your own name? Here’s an example: Twible is a Winsome but Irritating Bible for Left-Leaning Evangelicals and others. […]

Happy Psalms. P.S. Ask Your Doctor Before Reading the Bible

posted by Jana Riess

Since I began the Twible project, people have sometimes asked me what the hardest parts of the Bible are to tweet. I didn’t have an answer for them at that time, but now I do, and it’s an unexpected one: […]

Wake Up, God, and Get the Hell Out of Bed

posted by Jana Riess

In doing the Twible recently I’ve come across a whole genre that I like to call the “Wake Up, God, and Get the Hell Out of Bed” Psalms. These are the Psalms for when God feels impossibly far away at […]

Thank You, Psalm 88

posted by Jana Riess

What do we make of Psalm 88? We saw last week that the Psalms of lament are a beautiful, if misunderstood, part of the Psalter, and that they serve a clear spiritual purpose. I talked about how much I liked […]

Psalms for When Your Life Completely, Totally, and Utterly Sucks

posted by Jana Riess

Ah, the Psalms of lament. In terms of the “big categories” of Psalms, this one is the granddaddy. It seems I’m not the only one who likes to complain about life occasionally. Or daily. Here’s a sampling of some of […]

Psalms of Shame for an Achy-Breaky Heart

posted by Jana Riess

#Twible Ps 69: G, I know you don’t really want my enemies to triumph here. It would make you look like a total wuss deity. Man up, please. There’s a whole lot of shame in the Psalms. I guess it’s […]

The Bible in Legos!

posted by Jana Riess

This past Sunday I spoke about the Twible project at an Episcopal church, with a Power Point presentation that drew heavily on images from The Brick Testament. And you thought the Twible was a quixotic project . . . ha! […]

This Week in the Twible: Psalms to Fling at Enemies

posted by Jana Riess

#Twible Ps 35: G, please kick the asses of my enemies. Don’t hold back. Stab ’em with the spear, then the javelin. That’s the ticket! imprecation [??mpr??ke???n] n 1. the act of imprecating 2. a malediction; curse I don’t remember […]

Psalm 24-31: This Week in the Twible

posted by Jana Riess

Actually, these were from a couple of weeks ago, not this week, but there is grace for Twiblers everywhere. My personal favorite from this batch is Psalm 31. Enjoy –JKR #Twible Ps 24: “Lift up your heads, O gates! Be […]

My Unlikely Love Affair with the 23rd Psalm

posted by Jana Riess

When I was a kid growing up in an atheist/agnostic family (my dad was the atheist and my mother the agnostic), I did not learn about the Bible at home. Or anywhere else, really. My mom took us to Quaker […]

Did David Write the Psalms?

posted by Jana Riess

Short answer: no. Read on if you want to know why. Some Jewish and Christian traditions consider David the author of the Psalms, possibly all 150 but especially numbers 3 to 41, which are thought to comprise a collection. (They […]

Thoughts on Flunking Sainthood

posted by Jana Riess

I recently did a Q&A interview with fellow blogger Matt Litton, author of Mockingbird Parables, about my life as a religion writer. The interview was part of the “Five Good Answers” tradition he has on his blog every Friday, where […]

The Top Five Types of Psalms

posted by Jana Riess

In seminary I took a course on the Psalms. As I go through the Psalter now in the Twible, I am rediscovering all the marginal notes I made in my Bible of things I apparently knew back in those days […]

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

posted by Jana Riess

As many of you know, I am a daily Twitter person, tweeting out a chapter of the Bible every day with humorous — okay, sometimes snarky — commentary. For the last year and a half I’ve been deeply interested in […]

Does God Promise Justice? Job 24-30

posted by Jana Riess

Does God promise us justice? The short answer seems to be no. Well, maybe. Probably not. The Book of Job, which we’ve been delving into in the Twible these past few weeks, raises all the requisite questions about suffering — […]

I Know That My Redeemer–Uh, Make That Avenger–Lives: Job 25

posted by Jana Riess

In my church we sing a beautiful hymn called “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” based on a famous passage from Job 25: 25: 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter […]

Does God Respond When We Suffer?

posted by Jana Riess

In the months that I’ve been doing the Twible, there have been a few times when the Twible entries have spoken to a situation in my own life. That’s never been more true than now, as I push through the […]

The Princess Diaries: This Week in the Twible, The Book of Esther

posted by Jana Riess

Fun Facts About Esther: • Esther is the only book in the whole Bible not to speak of God. • Esther is the only book in the Old Testament that’s not also in the Dead Sea Scrolls, because lots of […]

Invisible Walls: This Week in the Twible, Nehemiah 7-13

posted by Jana Riess

So it turns out the reconstructing a community is a lot more work than reconstructing a temple. Stones are more flexible than people. Did we know this? While the first half of the Book of Nehemiah was taken up with […]

The Engineers’ Bible: This Week in the Twible, Nehemiah 1-6

posted by Jana Riess

Big picture: Another wave of exilees is retuning to Jerusalem. Under the guidance of Nehemiah, the governor, they work furiously to rebuild the city walls. And I do mean furiously. The Bible claims the walls were reconstructed in 52 days. […]

Shiksas Go Home: This Week in the Twible, The Book of Ezra

posted by Jana Riess

This week we begin exploring Ezra-Nehemiah, which was a single document back in the day, but which we have divided into two because our attention spans are very, very short. Ezra was a scribe, priest, and acting mayor who led […]

And This Little Piggy Stayed in Babylon: This Week in the Twible, 2 Chronicles 34 to Ezra 3

posted by Jana Riess

If you just had the text of Ezra and Nehemiah to go on (and, FYI, they were probably written by the same person and intended as one book–another piece of Twible twivia I’ve amassed in doing this project), you’d think […]

Is It Just Me, Or Is G Getting Nicer?: This Week in the Twible, 2 Chronicles 27 to 33

posted by Jana Riess

Remember that vengeful and smite-y G from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and just about every other book we’re explored in the Twible so far? I think he’s becoming an old softy. Sure, G still practices tough love, as we’ve seen with […]

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: This Week in the Twible, 2 Chronicles 20-26

posted by Jana Riess

In doing research for the Twible I recently came across this chart of the kings and queens of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. Is it just me, or is this chart bending over backwards to give these rulers the benefit of […]

More Cabbages and Kings: This Week in the Twible, 2 Chronicles 13-19

posted by Jana Riess

I admit it. I am weary of the historical books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. There are only so many ways a king can turn evil, after all. Still, the play-by-play of Chronicles has made me see firsthand the importance […]

Jane Austen Wrote the Book of Ruth, and Other Truths I’ve Learned in My First Year of Tweeting the Bible

posted by Jana Riess

The Twible turned one last week! In celebration of its birthday I wrote a reflective humor piece for the Faith & Leadership newsletter, talking about what I’ve learned in a year of tweeting the Bible. A portion of the article […]

David’s Not-Quite-Naked Ark Pole-Dancing: This Week in the Twible, 1 Chronicles 15 to 21

posted by Jana Riess

The Chronicler’s Cleanflix version of the Davidic narrative continues this week with a wonderfully PG version of David and the ark. Gone is the full frontal nudity that marked David’s joy in 2 Samuel 6, though other parts of the […]

Don’t Touch That Ark! This Week in the Twible, 1 Chronicles 8-14

posted by Jana Riess

The first time I ever heard the Bible’s story of Unauthorized Ark Handling was in my temple prep class some years ago. One of the teachers told this story from Chronicles 13 — twice, in fact — to express how […]

The Fly-Over Bible: This Week in the Twible, 1 Chronicles

posted by Jana Riess

OK, I admit it. I’ve never actually read the Books of Chronicles before. I went to divinity school, and I’ve been a Christian since I was 14, but 1 and 2 Chronicles were among the many books of the Bible […]

Female Prophets in the OT: This Week in the Twible, 2 Kings 19 to 24

posted by Jana Riess

“But there were female prophets in Old Testament times,” I insisted. I was in the middle of an uncomfortable conversation with a fellow Mormon who had just made the claim that all prophets had always been men. “Well, no, not […]

Why “Jews Have No Dealings with Samaritans”: This Week in the Twible, 2 Kings 12 to 18

posted by Jana Riess

Last week we explored the big picture of the decline and fall of Israel (the northern kingdom) and Judah (the southern kingdom). Remember that the north fell to Assyra first, in 722 B.C., and that the south managed to hold […]

The “Big Picture” of the Old Testament: This Week in the Twible (2 Kings 5-11)

posted by Jana Riess

Recently at my church, the regular adult Sunday School teacher was on vacation and the assigned substitute was ill. I offered to substitute and was handed a lesson plan just before I walked in to class. Obviously, there wasn’t a […]

Baal vs. God. Advantage, God! This Week in the Twible (1 Kings 21 – 2 Kings 4)

posted by Jana Riess

It’s been an exciting week for the Twible. Thanks to an article in the Guardian on Sunday, there are new Twible fans in far-flung places like New Zealand, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Australia, Bhutan, the UK and the Czech Republic. Welcome […]

Great Twitter Bibles to Follow

posted by Jana Riess

A number of people have contacted me this week to tell me that someone else has started tweeting out the Bible a chapter a day, news that was carried on CNN and aol.com. A British man, Chris Juby, has just […]

How Much is Enough? This Week in the Twible, Solomon’s Wealth (1 Kings 7-13)

posted by Jana Riess

We have a short Twible post this week as I’ve been on vacation …. This week’s Twible entries showcase Solomon’s increasing decadence and life of luxury. Since I’m just coming back from a lovely warm island where I’ve eaten ridiculously […]

Solomon: Wise Ruler or Totalitarian Dictator? This Week in the Twible (1 Kings 1-6)

posted by Jana Riess

I have a like-hate relationship with Solomon. He’s a Tony Soprano character, ruthless on the one hand while unexpectedly blessed with wisdom on the other. How does Solomon get to be king, anyway? He’s fourth in line. He’s that guy […]

Why Are There So Many Different Endings to the Book of Samuel? This Week in the Twible, 2 Samuel 18-24

posted by Jana Riess

Call it Lord of the Rings Syndrome (LOTRS). Remember how we all thought that The Return of the King was going to end with Aragorn’s coronation and the whole company bowing before the hobbits? It seemed fitting. But then the […]

Did David Plot His Affair with Bathsheba? This Week in the Twible (2 Samuel 11-17)

posted by Jana Riess

Well, here we go. David’s turning evil. Even here at Flunking Sainthood, where there’s quite a lot of grace for spiritual screwups, these actions sure aren’t ones we want to emulate. David’s downfall happens quickly: he stays home from battle […]

King David’s Impressive Resumé: Five Major Accomplishments as King (2 Samuel 4-10)

posted by Jana Riess

You probably know that next week I’m going to rag on David for little things like adultery, murder, bad parenting and the like. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer all the time, though, so I thought I’d devote […]

Thufferin’ Thuccotash!: On Saul, David, and Killing Kings (1 Sam 29-2 Sam 3)

posted by Jana Riess

You know those old Warner Brothers cartoons where Sylvester keeps trying to kill Tweety Bird? It’s a good image for the dramedy that framed last week’s Twible chapters, in which Saul keeps trying (unsuccessfully) to murder David, his usurper for […]

How Long Does It Take to Turn Evil? David, Saul & the Dark Side in This Week’s Twible (1 Samuel 22-28)

posted by Jana Riess

We’ve all heard the saying: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That’s come home to me anew in this week’s chapters of the Twible. How long does it take for political leaders to turn sour? Political leaders who start […]

Were David and Jonathan Gay Lovers? This Week in the Twible (1 Samuel 15-21)

posted by Jana Riess

This week’s Twible readings cover the Bible’s finest bromance: the love between David and Jonathan. The Bible doesn’t spill the exact details of how they met, but it’s clear that they’re kindred spirits from the start. Jonathan’s heart is “knit” […]

The Mormon Domestication of Deborah: What the LDS Gospel Doctrine Manual Did to One Kick-Butt Biblical Woman

posted by Jana Riess

Recently my ward’s Gospel Doctrine class tackled the Book of Judges, which the LDS teacher’s manual handles in one tidy lesson, #19. “Who was Deborah?” asked the teacher. “A prophetess,” piped up our bishop’s wife, who is probably the best […]

But Saul Used to Be Such a Nice Kid: This Week in the Twible (1 Samuel 9-14)

posted by Jana Riess

What the heck has happened to Saul? Remember how just a few chapters ago he was basically a nice guy, and maybe a little star-struck about suddenly becoming king? He was the guy that went out of his way to […]

Welcome to Flunking Sainthood

posted by Jana Riess

Welcome! If you’re here, I’m assuming it’s because you enjoy discovering the lighter side in the world of religion, or because you’re interested in reviews of new books and TV shows, or because my mother told you to come and […]

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Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Flunking Sainthood. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Fellowship of Saints and Sinners Happy Reading!!!

posted 3:12:01pm Jul. 05, 2012 | read full post »

Thank You, Flunking Sainthood Readers!
OK, I admit it. I have a Google Alert on the title Flunking Sainthood, so that the search engine lets me know when there are new reviews or discussions about the book. In the last few weeks it has been exciting -- and humbling -- to see the many different kinds of people who are reading and talking

posted 12:41:10pm Jan. 25, 2012 | read full post »

NYC Conference on Mormonism & American Politics, February 3-4
"First Mitt won Iowa, then he lost Iowa? That's a classic Romney flip-flop." --Stephen Colbert     Working with the theory that there hasn't been nearly enough attention to Mormonism and politics this year, what with it being in the news every single day and all, Randy Balmer and I

posted 11:09:19am Jan. 23, 2012 | read full post »

Writing Retreat
Friends, I will be offline until January 23 for a writing retreat. I'm bringing my computer, but the place where I am going doesn't have email access

posted 8:47:20pm Jan. 14, 2012 | read full post »

Fun with the Book of Lamentations
Actually, no. That title was just a teaser. There really aren't any fun moments in the Book of

posted 11:33:13am Jan. 13, 2012 | read full post »

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