Sinéad O’Connor, Anne Lamott, and the many names of God

Sinéad O’Connor is bringing the gospel to the Lincoln Center Festival, presenting a set of spiritual songs tonight and Saturday.If her public statements are anything to go by, she's pretty excited about the opportunity. "In terms of maintaining my relationship with the Holy Spirit," she said, "that's going to be the biggest moment of my life, to be able to stand there and thank it."It?That nondescript, divine presenceDoing religious music well is a big deal to O'Connor, who sees l … [Read more...]

Cherry picking the Bible? Yes and no

There's been a little dustup recently about people supposedly "cherry picking" the Bible. Holy writ, goes the charge, is the highest authority in all matters, provided we can isolate certain verses and use them to support our predetermined positions.Neale Donald Walsch started the ruckus at the Huffington Post saying that -- surprise, surprise -- people actually do this! In fairness, he invoked another loaded metaphor, the buffet.Thomas Whitley responded for the Associated Baptist Press, … [Read more...]

Cormac McCarthy and all the broken children of God

Spend any time reading the news, driving the interstates, or peering into the recesses of your own heart, and it’s clear that people are messed up.After hearing dusty tales of “a bunch of lowlife thieves and cowards and murderers,” a young man asks an old timer if people were meaner in the past than the present. “No,” says he answers, “I don’t. I think people are the same from the day God first made one.”The exchange is from Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God, which is about a man named Leste … [Read more...]

Prince talks religion, says we’re not one big happy family

Pop icon Prince recently gave an interview to V Magazine writer Vanessa Grigoriadis.When it looked at one point as if the exchange might end, Grigoriadis got in what she deemed her big question: “How do you, as a religious person, reconcile the religious impulse with what most of your songs are about, which is the sexual one?” That's worth asking. Since Prince became a Jehovah's Witness some time back, more than one person has wondered about the incongruity.Prince said he didn't feel lik … [Read more...]

One forgotten Bible study tool every Christian needs

Everyone's got a Bible, or twelve. We've got access to commentaries, dictionaries, and other lexical aids -- any tool you need to dig deep into the original Hebrew. But what about the Greek?No, not the Greek New Testament. The Greek Old Testament. I've mentioned the Septuagint a few times in recent posts, though I've not done much to direct people to any resources for their own study.There are definite reasons for at least consulting the Septuagint in the course of Old Testament study. … [Read more...]

If you could Instagram God, what would he look like?

Downtown Nashville features a full-size reproduction of the Parthenon, a temple for the Greek goddess Athena. The name comes from Athena's title Parthenos -- "virgin" -- and if you head indoors you can see all fourteen yards of the old girl, decked out in gold.No one in the ancient pagan world had any trouble imagining what gods and goddesses looked like. A person could just walk into a local temple and see. Or maybe look at the little idols they kept tucked in corner at home.Of course, … [Read more...]

Angels, demons, and C.S. Lewis

I'm profoundly honored to be featured in this week's Breakpoint with John Stonestreet. Cornelius Plantinga leads off with a discussion of the understanding of Satan in our post-Englightment culture. I follow with a similar discussion of angels, keying off my book Lifted by Angels. Listen to the interviews here.If you're interested in more, you can listen to part of chapter 1 of Lifted by Angels here:Belief in the angelic realm -- including the demonic -- might seem farfetched to … [Read more...]


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