The Essentiality of Religious Argument in the Public Square

I just finished my second reading (the first was many years ago) of James McPherson’s outstanding single-volume history of the Civil War, Battle Cry of Freedom.  The first time I read the book I was primarily interested in his take on the military history of the war.  Was it a close-run conflict?  Was the outcome inevitable?  This time, however, I was less interested in the now-familiar contours of the Wilderness campaign than I was in the social history — how the union came to split apart, how the war aims changed from reunion to emancipation, and how the nation tolerated casualties at a rate unmatched before or since. [Read more…]

Brian McLaren’s Troubling Slavery Analogy

I often feel as if I live in a parallel universe from my progressive Christian friends, where they know what they know, and I know what I know, and never the twain shall meet.  Every now and then I come across an instructive moment — a moment of clarity — that illustrates the utter vastness of the divide.   [Read more…]

Relax, Evangelical Voters, Mitt’s Not Going to Mess With the Boy Scouts

Yesterday morning, I got a flurry of emails about Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul reaffirming that Mitt supported the right of Boy Scouts to define their own membership policies but also would apparently prefer that the Scouts allow gay scoutmasters.   [Read more…]