Perfect Fear Casts Out Love

A recent PRRI survey has been making the news, and rightly so. As you can see from this chart, white Evangelicals have a persecution complex (or, if you prefer, a martyr complex): As the Episcopal Cafe highlighted, white Evangelical Protestant leaders are using fear and alarmism in an effort to drive people to faith. But the [Read More…]

Not Liberal, Just Literate

Hemant Mehta drew attention to an article in the Star Tribune about meteorologist Paul Douglas, who is an Evangelical Christian and wants to persuade his fellow Christians to accept the evidence for climate change. The quote in the meme comes via the article, but is originally from his recent book, Caring for Creation. [Read more…]

Elaine Pagels Honored by President Barack Obama

The video above includes video footage of Elaine Pagels receiving a National Humanities Medal for her work. Fast forward to 26:21 for that part. The video was drawn to my attention in an article in NewsWorks which also includes a lot of interesting details about Pagels’ life. Click through to read it! [Read more…]

The Novelty of the Personal Relationship with Jesus

I was asked on Reddit about a topic that I blogged about at some point in the past, but not finding the post in question, I thought I would revisit the topic. The phrases “personal relationship with Jesus” and “personal savior” are not only not found in the Bible, but are much more recent than that. [Read More…]

Hostile to Art?

I thought there were some interesting thoughts in a recent article interviewing Billy Smiley, formerly of the band White Heart and now of The Union of Sinners and Saints: Faith and spirituality can barely survive religion. Imagine how tough it is for art… I listen to Christian music now and ask, “Where are the poets? [Read More…]

Mapping the Origins Debate

I am grateful to IVP for sending me a gratis review copy of Gerald Rau’s book Mapping the Origins Debate. The book’s subtitle refers to the “Beginning of Everything,” but the book in fact looks at a number of quite distinct beginnings – the beginning of the universe, of life, of species, and of humans. Given [Read More…]

After the Monkey Trial

I am grateful to Fordham Press for sending me a gratis review copy of Christopher Rios’ book After the Monkey Trial. The book in fact begins its historical survey before the famous Scopes trial, and offers a survey of fundamentalist, Evangelical, and other Christian responses to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and subsequent scientific work on [Read More…]

Biblical Docetism

Samantha Field coined this very apt phrase for fundamentalism’s view of the Bible in a recent blog post. Here is an excerpt: To biblical docetists, cultural contexts don’t have to have any bearing on the text– it’s not really an ancient library of texts gathered together over time and with a lot of arguing. It [Read More…]

Conservative Evangelicals: Yesterday and Today

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Evangelical Fear of Scholarship

Two different people suggested that this quote should be turned into a meme. It is from a blog post which rounded up blogging about the Christology of Mark’s Gospel, in which I also referred to and summarized an article in Christianity Today about how Evangelicals view those who move into academia.     [Read more…]