Machen, Evangelicalism, and Worldviews

On the recommendation of a friend, I recently read through J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism. As one who will soon be attending a more left-leaning divinity school, I thought that going back to the Fundamentalist/Modernist controversy might be a good means of understanding that into which I will soon be stepping. While I think Machen’s work is quite prescient in its nature, I often found myself frustrated with him.For the past year and a half, I have been discussing the nature o … [Read more...]

The Evangelicals You Don’t Know

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 Any reportage on American Evangelicals that cautions its audience not “to dismiss these people as... zealots who have surrendered their ability to think rationally” immediately stands apart from most religious journalism. So Tom Krattenmaker’s The Evangelicals You Don’t Know: Introducing the Next Generation of Christians is a welcome work by that standard alone.Unsatisfied with the attitude that “not only insults these Christians but also mocks what is supposed to be a hallmark of t … [Read more...]

Millennial Presumptions

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Rachel Held Evans’ latest post at CNN's religion blog has stirred up controversy in just the way RHE knows how to do so well. See here and here for some reactions. Part of what’s challenging about her piece (and all her writing, really) is that it contains a lot of truth. In her comments on liturgy, authenticity, and a broader Christian cultural-political mandate, RHE offers or, at least, approaches some important insights.  The merits of some of her points have not been fully appreciated by some … [Read more...]

The Theo-Logic of Costly Adoption

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The New York Times recently ran an article entitled “Eager to Adopt, Evangelicals Find Children, and Pitfalls, Abroad.”  These pitfalls include local corruption and poor communication to the birth families about the terms of the adoption, among other things. The international adoption process, moreover, is notoriously expensive, laborious, and emotionally draining. In light of these difficulties, it might seem that the safe course of action would be to adopt domestically or even to forego adop … [Read more...]

The Beast in Its Tracks

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I found myself dreading the release of Josh Ritter’s latest album, which is strange, because he’s been a favorite of mine since I first heard The Animal Years back in 2006. His songwriting is truly superior, and he’s got a talented and versatile band supporting him. If Fare Forward were electing a poet laureate, he would be my nominee.His attitude toward Christianity is an especially powerful current under his music. His lyrics are saturated with biblical and theological language, but unlike … [Read more...]

“The Bible” and Our Bland Theology

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Bible documentaries tend to skew toward the fringe in order to get a high viewership: I have seen documentaries that argue that Ezekiel’s wheel was a UFO, and that Jesus performed his miracles using David Blaine-style street magic.  So I was wary about the History Channel’s new, much-hyped mini-series “The Bible."  Shortly before the show premiered this past Sunday, however, I read a Christianity Today interview with the producers—Roma Downey from “Touched by an Angel” and her husband Mark Burnet … [Read more...]

Evangelical Scholars’ First World Problems

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 Peter Enns recently voiced a frustration shared by many Christian scholars with the anti-intellectualism that is widespread in the Evangelical movement. His complaint is that Evangelicals reject scholarship that fails to confirm their beliefs and validate their biases. Borrowing an idiom from Mark Noll, Enns writes, “The scandal of the Evangelical mind is that degrees, books, papers, and other marks of prestige are valued—provided you come to predetermined conclusions.” The effect of th … [Read more...]


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