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...]

Skewed Conservative Christian Priorities

Bob Cargill created and shared this checklist: I think Bob is right about some things and sort of wrong about some things. I think he is right when he says that the skewed prioritization has to change, and that there is reason to be hopeful that it is indeed changing. I think he is sort [Read More...]

Does Life Begin at Creation?

“Life begins at conception” is a common phrase to encounter in discussions of abortion and related issues. Despite what those with short memories may genuinely believe, the issue of abortion and the view that it is murder have not been the views of most Evangelical Protestants for all that long (as we’ve been reminded recently [Read More...]

Who Owns the Bible?

Over on her blog Love, Joy, Feminism, Libby Anne has joined in a conversation between Chris Hallq and myself which never really took off. Perhaps this time it will. Click through to read her thoughts about the diversity among the ways that fundamentalist Christians, liberal Christians, and atheists approach the Bible. And thank you, Libby [Read More...]

President Obama is a Christian

It is incredibly frustrating to see American after American say that Barack Obama is not a Christian. This sign from a church in Texas has been getting a lot of attention today:  0 The only way I can make sense of such statements is to conclude that many Americans are deeply confused about what a [Read More...]

What “Most Christians” Think

My last post included a slide that mentions “most Christians.” And so I thought I should offer a follow-up post, acknowledging that it is almost impossible to figure out what with precision what “most Christians” think, believe, and practice, without actually asking most Christians – and even then, we would still be unable to answer [Read More...]

Congressman Paul Broun’s Lies from the Pit of Hell

The news has been circulating for several days that congressman Paul Broun described evolution, the big bang theory, and embryology as “lies from the pit of hell.” Here is the video: In terms of initial plausibility, which is more likely: that the vast majority of the world’s scientists (including many Christians among them) who have [Read More...]