The Roots of Evangelical Opposition to Syrian Intervention

Last week I wrote about “Paleo Evangelicals and Syria,” explaining why many traditional evangelicals will not support intervention in Syria’s civil war. Evangelicals are hardly the only Christians opposing intervention; indeed, the Syria question has become one of the most remarkably unifying issues for progressive, Catholic, Orthodox, and evangelical Christians that I can ever recall. [Read More...]

Paleo Evangelicals and Syria

I have written on a number of occasions about paleo evangelicals, those who are theologically and culturally conservative, and who feel out of step with the Republican Party at critical junctures. One such juncture is escalating American involvement with Syria. I find myself in disagreement with most of President Obama’s domestic policies, but I am [Read More...]

Duck Dynasty’s Cultural Christianity

I hesitate to add my two cents about “Duck Dynasty,” at the risk of revealing just how lowbrow I am, and at the risk of commenting on a show that probably has “jumped the shark,” as they say. (I cannot imagine that this season’s premiere will not be the high point of the show’s popularity.) [Read More...]

Rod Dreher’s Little Way of Ruthie Leming

I recently read Rod Dreher’s remarkable book The Little Way of Ruthie Leming. My expectations for the book were extremely high, as the near-universal praise of reviewers has been effusive, and Dreher is one of my favorite bloggers and writers. Reading his earlier book Crunchy Cons was uncanny: it explained a great deal of me to myself (why do [Read More...]

The History of the Jesus People: “God’s Forever Family”

Over at the Religion in American History blog, Randall Stephens has a fascinating interview with Larry Eskridge of Wheaton College about his new book God’s Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America (Oxford University Press, 2013), which Anxious Bench contributor John Turner recently reviewed at Christianity Today. Excerpt: Randall Stephens: What first got you interested in [Read More...]

The Bible, Slavery, and Sin

I have been reading Molly Oshatz’s thought-provoking new book Slavery and Sin: The Fight against Slavery and the Rise of Liberal Protestantism. Oshatz argues that the theological difficulties surrounding antebellum slavery gave rise to beliefs that became “hallmarks of liberal Protestant theology: God’s revelation unfolded progressively through human history, moral action had to be considered in [Read More...]

When God Spoke Greek

Over at First Things, Collin Garbarino has a fascinating interview with Timothy Michael Law about his new book When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the Making of the Christian Bible. Excerpt: Where did your interest in the Septuagint begin? One night in 2002, I was sitting with one of my best friends from college and seminary, [Read More...]

Do Christian Kids Need Christian Education?

This week’s post comes from the Anxious Bench archives. It is part of the new Patheos series “Passing On The Faith: Teaching The Next Generation.” There’s nothing like having school-age children to get you thinking about education. Yes, I went to college for eleven straight years (from B.A. to Ph.D.), and yes, I have taught at [Read More...]

Bible Wars and the Origins of the Term “Inerrancy”

Over at The Gospel Coalition, Andrew Wilson recently wrote a piece called “Why I Don’t Hate the Word ‘Inerrancy’.” He explains that when asked the street-level question, “Does the Bible contain mistakes?” I always answer, “When interpreted properly, no.” That first clause is important; after all, an awful lot of people in history have thought [Read More...]

The Strange Career of the Antimission Baptists

I recently wrote about “Calvinism and the Roots of the Missionary Movement,” in which I discussed the powerful (and to some, counter-intuitive) influence of Calvinism on early Baptist missionaries. There’s a flip-side to that story, which is the largely Calvinist antimission movement of the 1820s and 1830s. Baptists and other evangelicals founded a number of [Read More...]


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