Bread and Bullying

Zainab Khan has a guest post on the Patheos blog AltMuslim, about a bullying volunteer at a mosque school. If you read the post, I think you will recognize the situation, whether from a mosque, church, or secular setting. Often we allow our institutions to be held hostage by volunteers and donors – we become [Read More...]

Reverse the Conveyor Belt

David Hayward shared the cartoon below: I don't see the church as a place that should convert humble questioners into confident (and, if the cartoon is accurate, rather grumpy-looking) exclaimers. I used to see it that way, but now my view is essentially the opposite. If anything, the church should be a place that brings [Read More...]

Pub Theology

A news article recently drew attention to the phenomenon of people gathering to drink beer and sing hymns. And then my pastor mentioned “Pub Theology” in his sermon on Sunday, which is apparently a popular phenomenon not just here in Indianapolis but in many other places.  This is their logo: It sounds more like the [Read More...]

Growth of the Jedi

Tomorrow in my class on religion and science fiction, we’ll be talking about non-theistic religion depicted in science fiction, in movies like Star Wars and Avatar. Today Religion Nerd brought two links to my attention. One is a Fox News interview about Jediism. The second is Benjamin Svetkey’s article “Church of the Jedi” about spending [Read More...]

Favorite Part of Church?

Jeremy Myers shared this drawing a child made on a bulletin, which asked them to draw their favorite part of the mass: I consider it a real privilege to attend a church, Crooked Creek Baptist Church, where the only reason I am glad it is over is because by that point I am starting to [Read More...]

Churches and Intellectuals

Stephen Mattson has written a piece for Sojourners, “Do Churches Alienate Intellectuals?” Here is a sample: By their very nature, intellectuals are curious. They analyze, theorize, and love to ask questions. These attributes are often criticized by church leaders and seen as an attack on traditional and established institutionalized beliefs. Innocent inquires are often met [Read More...]

Amazing Grace Book Burning

Via Matthew Paul Turner. One advantage of being Baptist is that you don’t have to be like other Baptists. One disadvantage of being Baptist is that you often hang your head in embarrassment at other Baptists, and have to explain “I am/we are not at all like those other Baptists.” [Read more...]

The Most Honest Places in Town

“Churches should be the most honest place in town, not the happiest place in town.” – Walter Bruggeman Pete Enns shared the above quote in a post that highlights the psalms of lament. The Bible, taken as a whole, doesn’t suggest that human beings ought to simply believe, or keep their doubts and complaints to [Read More...]

When Jesus Disarmed Peter

Tertullian had some very direct things to say about Jesus, warfare, and weapons. A sizeable portion of American Christians think that Tertullian got Jesus wrong. And, conversely, if Tertullian understood Jesus correctly, then a sizeable portion of Christians in American (though by no means all) actually (whether they admit it or not) think Jesus was [Read More...]

Unaccredited Church

J. K. Doyle shared (and offered a few critical comments about) the aboveimage that has apparently been circulating among those proud to be pretending to be Christians, and perhaps also among a small number of people who are as sincerely misguided about what being a Christian is as they are anout the use of scare [Read More...]

Church of Death

David Hayward posted this cartoon: I find it all the more interesting because it potentially highlights two possible ways of thinking about and approaching church, and Christianity. On the one hand, there is an approach that uses appealing things to lure people into a trap that ultimately results in their spiritual death, as they join [Read More...]


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