Downton Abbey and Churches

Recent episodes of Downton Abbey have focused a lot of attention on the way changing society in Britain led to the economic collapse of many estates owned by landed gentry. It struck me recently that this is a nice picture of the situation confronting churches in our time. Society has changed dramatically, and that doesn’t [Read More...]

Using Texts to Argue Against the Spirit

Conservative Christians often claim to be the most faithful interpreters of Scripture. But it seems to me that if we have ears to hear what the Spirit was saying to the churches down the ages, it will become clear that focusing on written words and using them to argue against what the Spirit is doing often [Read More...]

What Does Conservative Christianity Conserve?

[C]onservative Christians have long been engaged in a remarkably successful PR exercise to give the impression that they are the ones who are faithful to the Bible and historic Christianity. But in fact, what they conserve is an older but non-original form of Christianity as it came to be expressed in a particular historical and [Read More...]

Happy Holidays

Via Sad Jesus on Facebook. [Read more...]

Derek Flood, Disarming Scripture

I had a chance to interview Derek Flood recently about his new book, Disarming Scripture: Cherry-Picking Liberals, Violence-Loving Conservatives, and Why We All Need to Learn to Read the Bible Like Jesus Did. I had seen lots of interviews and blog posts about the book’s challenge for those with conservative views of the Bible, and [Read More...]

A Welcoming Congregation

When I saw this cartoon by David Hayward, it struck me as a poignant depiction of the dishonesty that pervades a great many religious congregations. The pastor has presumably been going through some challenging times. When he finally admits where he is at for the first time, the congregation finally feels that they can tell [Read More...]

Pamela Eisenbaum on Progressive Christianity

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How to Treat the Bible

The quote from Gregory C. Jenks comes from an article on the Progressive Christianity website, written back in 2011, “Taking the Bible Seriously but Not Literally.” Click through to read it. Neither the Bible nor God is well served by any tactics that seek to protect the Bible from scrutiny. We must, therefore, resist any [Read More...]

Older Conversation from the Pale Blue Dot

Someone asked me today if I am the same James McGrath that appeared in a podcast in 2010 of “Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot.” The answer is yes, and so I thought I’d share the podcast here. You can also download it from the Internet Archive. [Read more...]

Disquiet Time (and a New Patheos Blogger)

In an interesting convergence, I was asked to review the book Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Scoundrels on my blog, and not long afterwards, I learned that one of its editors and contributors, Cathleen Falsani, is now blogging at Patheos. It thus seemed [Read More...]

Unquestioned Answers

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