When good things happen to bad people

Nobody sits easy when good things happen to bad people. In George Eliot's novel, The Mill on the Floss, Edward Tulliver is so miffed about an enemy he dictates a curse he wants inscribed in the family Bible."It's wicked," his daughter objects."It isn't wicked," Tulliver snaps. "It's wicked [that] the raskills should prosper."Though we might not dare (or even think) to memorialize it in our Bibles, we've all felt Tulliver's indignation. And the anger makes sense. Often enough the … [Read more...]

God can handle your anger–and your confusion, fear and doubt, too

An Egyptian court last week sentenced an author to five years in prison. His crime? Insulting religion. He penned a book entitled Where is God? which some Muslims deemed offensive.Egyptian law, according to one report, "gives all Muslims the right to file lawsuits in cases where an exalted right of God has been violated." But maybe God can take it. At least that's what Ian Punnett argues in his new book How to Pray When You're Pissed at God, a title that might spark similar offense in some … [Read more...]

The secret behind the Bible’s most highlighted verse

The current issue of The American Prospect features a short piece on ebooks and social reading. It mentions in passing that the Bible is the Kindle's most highlighted book and that the most highlighted verse of all is Philippians 4.6:Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.It's no scientific survey, admittedly, but it seems telling that the most underlined passage in the most underlined book … [Read more...]

Looking for the absent God

quapan, Flickr

The early Christians and later patristic writers read the Old Testament with a view to Christ. They saw his shadow in the law, the prophets, and the writings like Psalms. They also saw him in the Song of Solomon, seeing in the Hebrew love poem a picture of Christ and the church. … [Read more...]

Fear and the stories we tell ourselves

'Quiet the thoughts'

We live in a bramble of innumerable fears. We have anxiety about our families, worry about our jobs, concern about our futures. More the fruit of imagination than actuality, these fears can bud and grow in our minds until we are entangled and entrapped.Our creatureliness explains why we find ourselves enmeshed in this thicket. As creatures, we are self-protective. Vulnerable to life’s vicissitudes, we face a future with a million possibilities, some of them dangerous and threatening. Natural r … [Read more...]

The scary birth of Hal Lindsey

The Late Great Planet Earth

The late 1960s and '70s were a time of fear. Paul Ehrlich told us the world would run out of food and natural resources due to overpopulation. Popular movies like Soylent Green and long lines at the gas pump only seemed to confirm the grim forecasts of his 1968 jeremiad, The Population Bomb.Environmentalists felt the chills of an oncoming ice age and magazines as well regarded as Science gave credence to the notion that "a full-blown 100,000-year ice age" was "a real possibility." Said Nigel … [Read more...]


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