IDLE TALES AND EMPTY SLANDERS

BloodLibel

I am rethinking my attitude to paranoia. For many years, I have written on the demonization of out-groups, the way in which similar charges are deployed against marginal minorities. Seemingly, the same sort of bogus allegations surface in widely different cultures around the world. Some such groups actually existed, even if they never committed the [Read More...]

ALEXANDRIAN CHRISTIANS

malabar1740max

With all the turmoil faced by modern-day Egyptian Christians, I hope it doesn’t seem inappropriate to write more on their ancient beginnings. It should remind us of just how much of the Christian heritage is at stake in these battles. I have described the oddly obscure nature of the early Egyptian church, suggesting that Christianity [Read More...]

Campus Ministry, Race, and Affirmative Action

We here at IVCF have a spiritual legacy that over the years has sort of dipped a little bit. Fifteen years ago, our fellowship was made up of a majority of white students, and one of the areas that students and staff began to be convicted about was the lack of connection with the rest [Read More...]

“Welcome to the Multicultural Church”

Tizon and Alexander 1

Follow.Jesus.2013’s final meeting, a Sunday morning church service, was striking. It followed a Friday evening roast of Ron Sider, the 40-year face of Evangelicals for Social Action, and Saturday’s more academic consideration of the organization’s legacy. The service was a glimpse of moderate evangelicalism’s future: a woman (Heidi Unruh) presiding, a black worship band leading [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 CRISIS OF EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANITY

This past week has been horrible for Egypt’s Christians. I offer this quote from the New York Times: In Sohag, Bishop of Mar Girgis [St. George] Church Moussa Ibrahim told Mada Masr that the church was set ablaze by Muslim Brotherhood supporters at 9:30 a.m. in the absence of police forces, despite repeated threats against [Read More...]

THE FATE OF THE PATRIARCHS

hermopolis3a

Once upon a time, the Alexandrian Patriarch Mark was visiting a provincial Egyptian city called Agharwah (Aghra). “And the clergy came out to meet him according to the custom, that they might chant before him, with a body of the laity, chief men and leaders of the people; and he blessed them and prayed for [Read More...]

Evangelical-Liberal Détente

Continuing in the vein of last week’s post on liberal Protestantism, I recently got my hands on the August 21 edition of the Christian Century. The biweekly editorial mentions the suddenly burgeoning historical scholarship on liberal religion (in particular, works by Elesha Coffman, David Hollinger, and Matthew Hedstrom), noting that it complicates the “question of [Read More...]

Surveying Church History

This fall, I am teaching the most pedagogically challenging course of my short teaching career.   Earlier in my tenure as a seminary professor, I expected that upper-level electives in the Master of Divinity program, doctoral reading seminars, and classes that stretched beyond my primary areas of teaching competency would provide the biggest challenges in course [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...]


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