Whole Stones is based on the premise that the teachings of Jesus and his life story provide a moral framework for his followers. The author of this blog believes that too often Jesus’ story and Jesus’ message have been marginalized in Christian life and thought, with the result that Christianity, especially Evangelical Christianity (at least as it is usually expressed in the United States), has forfeited its moral standing and its credibility in the eyes of non-Christians and earnest followers of Jesus’ teachings alike.
The title of the blog, Whole Stones, refers to the unhewn stones of the altar in Jerusalem’s Temple. According to a rabbinic midrash, the whole stones of the altar make peace between God and Israel, and it was for this reason that no iron tools were to be used to do violence to their natural form. The rabbinic sages reasoned that if the stones that create peace between God and humankind were not to be damaged, even though they can neither see nor hear nor speak, then all the more so are human beings not to be damaged, since we are created in the image of God. The author thinks it is possible that Jesus made use of an early form of this midrash in his teachings (see “Whole Stones That Make Peace”).
The author of this blog, Joshua N. Tilton, majored in Biblical and Theological Studies at Gordon College (B.A., 2002). He earned a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (2005) and a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2007).