America’s Top Concerns

The newest Barna study asked Americans about what concerned them most and what they would like our national leaders to focus on. The national survey among 1,000 randomly chosen adults found that more than 40 different national issues were listed by a significant number of people as matters that they consider to be the most [Read More...]

Evolution and Natural Theology

I want to dabble in a topic outside my expertise, and I do so to generate a conversation. The topic is this: natural theology is the belief that nature is the “theater of the glory of God” and that means nature reflects God. Well, yes, and much there is that evokes our admiration, our wonder, and our praise. Our trip this summer to Northern Ireland gave us opportunity to skirt along the coast to see things we have never seen, and nothing quite like Giant’s Causeway. It was like standing atop ages long ago. Yes, much there is that evokes the sense that creation is the theater of God’s glory.

But, yet, that same created order is filled with decay and death. It’s how it works. Which now pushes natural theology and the very belief that creation is the theater of God’s glory into new corners. [Read more...]

Beck’s Black Robe Brigade (by John Fea)

During Glenn Beck’s August 28 rally at the Lincoln Memorial he introduced a group of 240 pastors, priests, rabbis, and imams that he calls the “Black Robe Brigade.” (Despite the promotion of this group as ecumenical, I think most of them were Protestant evangelicals). The group is named after the so-called “Black Regiment,” a term employed by eighteenth-century Tories and Anglicans to describe dissenting clergy who supported the American Revolution and took part in the rebellion against England. Peter Oliver, one of the first Tory historians of the American Revolution, devoted several pages to the Black Regiment in his 1781 work The Origin & Progress of the American Rebellion.

Beck got the idea for the “Black Robe Brigade” from David Barton, a political activist who has become very effective at a practice that might be called “political indoctrination by historical example.” Beck has received help in mobilizing his brigade from an all-star cast of evangelical leaders that includes James Dobson, John Hagee, Richard Land, Jerry Falwell Jr., and James Robison. Beck wants all pastors who care about their country to join him in the fight to reclaim the religious and moral roots of the United States.

When I first heard about Beck’s “Black Robe Brigade” I knew it would only be a matter of time before local pastors would be faced with pressure to join the cause. [Read more...]


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