Dr Michael S. Heiser is a Scholar-in-Residence at Logos Bible Software. He holds a MA in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as MA and PhD degrees in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.
Below is an excerpt from Dr Heiser’s website, explaining what he aims to accomplish through his online ministry.
In a nutshell, my homepage, podcasts, other websites, and writing all aim to produce quality content for people who want certain things:
1. Serious academic content for understanding the Bible in its own context, unfiltered by creeds and traditions — but made decipherable to those who don’t live in the ivory tower. In other words, I view it my duty as a biblical scholar to make scholarship comprehensible to the interested non-specialist. You could think of me as a missionary to the church in terms of exposing the normal person-in-the-pew to serious academic scholarship on the Bible and biblical theology. I believe it’s a critical need. Most churches today are more about perpetuating their denominational subculture or keeping those who attend adequately entertained than making them think. In my experience, every church has five or six people in it who are desperate for content — who are withering from content malnutrition. The rest of the people in churches don’t know they’re malnourished. I’m here to help. If you sense that there’s got to be more to the Bible than self-help platitudes and Sunday School lessons with adult illustrations, and that Jesus just has to be more than a cosmic life coach, you’re in the right place. I write at the Naked Bible blogand teach through the Naked Bible Podcast with you in mind. You’re also the person I had in view when I wrote The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible. The book is a bestseller, despite the fact that it’s not available in stores. That was deliberate. You know that no one walks into a Christian bookstore looking for serious content. I know it, too.
2. Serious academic critique of the cyber-twaddle you find on the internet about the Bible and the ancient world. Think Ancient Aliens or Zeitgeist and you get the idea. It irritates me that people are presented with shoddy, intellectually indefensible blather disguised as research. This is why I was in the YouTube documentary Ancient Aliens Debunked(millions of views). It’s why I blog at Paleobabble. It’s why I critique the ideas of the late ancient aliens theorist Zecharia Sitchin, whose books have been translated into over twenty languages and sold tens of millions of copies. It’s why I do interviews on fringe / alternative history talk shows. Someone has to say something. I may not be able to stop the madness but I can be a voice of sanity.
3. Serious Christian engagement with modern alternative worldviews and the paranormal. Our culture is fascinated by ghosts, psychic phenomena, near death experiences, UFOs and extraterrestrials, and conspiracy theories. Movies featuring superheroes, vampires, artificial intelligence, and mutants are the rage. Why? They constitute an alternative to theism and Christianity. Science fiction and the paranormal capture the imagination by offering a means to our own divinity and glimpses of other realities. Space is heaven without the biblical God. The paranormal offers an escape from deterministic materialism and spirituality without centralized authority. It all satisfies the yearning for the transcendent and a destiny of becoming more than human, whether by modifying our bodies (transhumanism) or evolving with supernatural assistance that isn’t an (allegedly) angry deity. The message is simple and ancient: we will be as gods. Rather than belittle those who have rejected Christianity in favor of this new religion or denying someone’s anomalous experience, my goal is to help people consider that perhaps the problem isn’t the Bible, but the inside-the-box (or head-in-the-sand) thinking that often characterizes Christian approaches to these subjects. This is why I blog at UFO Religions, speak at UFO conferences, write sci-fi paranormal thrillers (The Facade, The Portent), and host the Peeranormal. http://drmsh.com/about
Visit the ministry’s website and explore topics relating to general biblical studies, fringe history and the paranormal.