The Harrowing of Hell House

Fred Clark has come up with a response to the phenomenon of conservative Christian “hell houses” for Halloween. His post literally made me laugh out loud. Here’s how it starts: Hell Houses are an irredeemably bad idea — a combination of the very worst forms of evangelism with the very worst forms of community theater. The [Read More...]

The Word You Are Looking for is “Moderate”

Michael Patton shared the diagrams below. What strikes me about them is the attempt to define “Evangelical” as the stance between liberal and fundamentalist. The word that he is looking for, where there is a balance between the essential, important, and non-essential, is “moderate.” Some Evangelicals are moderates, but most are conservative, in between the [Read More...]

“Liberty” Church

Stuff Fundies Like and Bruce Gerencser both pointed out this self-description from a fundamentalist church here in Indiana: The thing that struck me most was the incongruity of the name. Does “liberty” really seem to them to best sum up what their church is about? [Read more...]

Fundamentalist Pharmacy

By Signe Wilkinson   [Read more...]

Just Following the Bible

Stuff Fundies Like posted the following gem: I just follow the Bible. I just follow the obvious meanings of a 400 year old translation of a document written originally in languages I don’t speak, influenced heavily by cultures I don’t begin to understand, and by people who I mistakenly assume looked, acted, thought and dressed [Read More...]

Interpreting Scripture in Light of Scripture

I wrote the following in a comment on Facebook and thought I would share it here as well: The principle of “interpreting Scripture in light of Scripture” is a conservative excuse for picking texts that they like and then insisting that other texts cannot mean what they plainly seem to. In this way the rich [Read More...]

Christians at the Forefront

David Hayward shared a cartoon today depicting the church as a deliberately slow and obstructionist entity: He notes that this is not something that the church is by definition, nor something that it must be. And so I want to take a moment to remember some of the progressive voices in the Christian tradition: the [Read More...]

Core Doctrines Between the Lines and on the Margins?

Has anyone else ever noticed that conservative Christians of various sorts tend to emphasize things which are either not actually spelled out in the Bible, or which are mentioned in passing or by lone authors and so arguably less than central to the faith and practice of early Christians? As a New Testament scholar, I [Read More...]

Many Christians Are Compromised

In the country I live in, the vast majority of Christians (assuming one is willing to give that label to those who claim it, even if it seems not to affect their core values) are fundamentally compromised with the spirit of the age, with its values, with its aims and assumptions. Some are so compromised [Read More...]

Don’t Force Us To Obey The Bible!

Someone made a point on Facebook that I thought was really insightful and worth turning into a brief post here. Time and again, I have heard conservatives say that taxing the rich to care for the poor is antithetical to Biblical teaching because it is essentially forcing people “at gunpoint” to give, rather than allowing [Read More...]

Converting to/from Fundamentalism

David Hayward shared this older cartoon of his today: The title seems to me precisely wrong. There is indeed a dividing line between those who see the world in terms of binary opposites, and those who see the world as rich, complex, deep, beautiful, and defying simple categories. But that line cuts through the whole [Read More...]


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