Hooking Up and Hanging On

As the father of a daughter, and a minister to boot, my fears of the fate of a pastor’s kid in high school and college escalate whenever I read about hookup culture. I’m not sure whether to be glad or sad to read Hannah Rosin’s latest (she of the upcoming book, The End of Men.) [Read More...]

Jesus+Nothing=Everything & Theology of Culture

  When asked what he had learned from his years of studying the Bible, the great Swiss Reformed theologian of grace Karl Barth responded, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” The title of Tullian Tchividjian’s award-winning book, Jesus+Nothing=Everything, offers in similar Barthian fashion a reminder that the Christian faith [Read More...]

Cure for Christendom

I’m getting some great questions relating to yesterday’s post, “You Don’t Need Adam to Need a Savior, You Just Need Sin” (some great discussion, both in the comments on this blog and on Facebook). I’m rushing to complete a draft of my forthcoming book on Kierkegaard and emergent Christianity, however, and I really don’t have [Read More...]

You Don’t Need Adam to Need a Savior: You Just Need Sin

The issue of the “historicity of Adam” (and Eve–why do we always forget Eve?) is becoming a flashpoint in evangelical theology. Books are being published, conferences are being held, and major money is being doled out by grant funders like Templeton to deepen the conversation and pursue theological solutions to the vexing questions. It’s no [Read More...]

The Kingdom is Near. In Orlando.

Today’s post is by Dr. Heather Curtis, Associate Professor of Religion, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. For most Americans, and especially for families with school-aged children, summer involves “vacation.”  As a historian, I’m always struck by what a recent invention the practice of taking an extended hiatus from work, school, and ordinary occupations is.  Like much of [Read More...]

Piss Christ, Revisited

The culture wars are back. And they seem to have a corporate sponsor that sells fried chicken sandwiches. With the Presidential election looming the political pundits are active, as are the Reformed and evangelical bloggers, girding themselves for battle, urging their minions not to retreat and fight for traditional middle American values in the face [Read More...]

Breaking Bad: Why Society Still Needs “Sin” Language

Like a lot of folks, I’m hooked on “Breaking Bad”– the drama about Walter White, a middle-aged high school chemistry teacher turned meth manufacturer. When Walt learned he had a severe case of lung cancer, and was given only months to live, the scramble was on for a way to provide for his family. He [Read More...]

Paul Ryan & Alex Keaton

A culture blog is the last place you want to talk politics (despite the role it plays in American culture), not to mention a culture and theology blog (despite the role theology plays in American politics). Nevertheless, did you read David Stockman’s critique Wisconsin Congressman and Vice-Presidential hopeful Paul Ryan’s budget plan? Stockman labeled Ryan’s plan [Read More...]

The Artist, the Work of Art, and the Freedom of the Unfree Will

What is the relationship of the artist to the work of art?  Is it merely the result of the artist’s intentions and nothing more—a visual, literary, or musical message sent to the viewer that contains the artist’s emotions, thoughts, worldview? This is a question that has long perplexed critics and Charles McGrath’s recent article, “Good Art, [Read More...]

Robert Hughes, Jackson Pollock, and Me

  The art critic has an impossible but necessary task. I was reminded of this earlier this week after learning of the death of Robert Hughes, one of the most successful critics of our generation. The art critic’s task is impossible because he or she must use one medium of expression (words) to communicate the significance [Read More...]

In Search of an Authentic Faith: Freud, Kierkegaard and Beck’s “New Apologetic”

In Richard Beck’s recent book, The Authenticity of Faith, he considers whether a truly authentic faith is possible. Freud had dealt a heavy blow to Christianity by offering up scientific explanations for what motivates religious belief. Believers are drawn to religion because it functions to repress our existential anxieties. Afraid of death? Don’t worry, there’s an afterlife. [Read More...]

Why Something?

Jim Holt’s new book, “Why Does the World Exist?, tackles the most basic question we humans could ever contemplate: why is their something instead of nothing? It’s the most perplexing challenge for philosophers and scientists alike (“We are at least five Einsteins away from answering that question.”). For Christians, the perplexity provides ironic comfort. The best answer [Read More...]


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