Abandoned church in Louisiana, photo by Rick Galvan on Flickr.

Holy Saturday

Saturday, this Saturday, is all we’ve ever known. Yesterday was this same Saturday, and so was the day before that, and the day before that, and the day before that. Why should we expect that tomorrow will be any different? Seriously, just look around. Does it look like the meek are inheriting the earth? Does it look like those who hunger and thirst for justice are being filled? Does it look like the merciful are being shown mercy? [Read more...]


Good Friday and Western Civ. 101

The frustrating thing here in Luke is that we’re told Jesus had a longer explanation, and that he shared this with his disciples. “He interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.” Might have been nice if, you know, someone had written that down. [Read more...]


Two images for Holy Week

Many Christians who revere Sallman’s “Head of Christ” would balk at Blanchard’s gay vision of the Passion. Contextual theology is fine for those folks as long as the context is white Anglo-Saxon Protestantism. But reimagining Jesus as a powerful, privileged white guy, the way Sallman’s beloved painting does, contradicts and distorts the story in the Gospels. Reimagining Jesus as a despised outcast, as Blanchard’s paintings do, helps us grasp the core of that story. [Read more...]


I’m always failing to connect the dots

A simple rule for white men invited to speak at conferences or to join boards of directors. Bryan Fischer offers prayers and supplications to his god: the 1 percent. Why are contemporary Christian music lyrics so … kinky? Choose your conspiracy theory carefully, you only get one. Where have you gone, Jackie Robinson, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you … [Read more...]

I all these people are "coming forward," and no one is leaving, then shouldn't evangelicalism be growing?

If young people are not leaving evangelicalism, then no one is joining it

Southern Baptist data maven Ed Stetzer says that “evangelicals have been relatively steady as a percent of the population over the last few years.” Daniel Darling says this is evidence that young people are not leaving evangelicalism, but if that’s true, then it means no one is joining evangelicalism either. That would mean that evangelicals have become really bad at evangelism. [Read more...]

Frederick Douglass' problem, according to Daniel Darling, is that he was too "nice."

‘Having the goodwill of all the people’

Folks like Daniel Darling see a conflict between “the world hates you” and “having the goodwill of all the people.” A Southern Baptist is bound to find that confusing because Southern Baptist theology was invented to be otherworldly — to accommodate and to bless injustice in this world. It is what Christianity looks like when Christians are trying to both: 1) Read and follow their Bibles, and 2) Own, buy, sell, steal from, beat, rape, scourge, torture and proselytize other human beings. [Read more...]


NRA: Driving while Katz

When you’re writing an adventure story in which the hero is fleeing from Country A to Country B, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep track of which country is which. It should be even easier in a book like “Nicolae,” in which the entire world has been simplified down to only two countries. But never underestimate the ability of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins to get something wrong. [Read more...]


Turn around, bright eyes: ‘Something is about to change’

For “Bible prophecy scholars,” a lunar eclipse is a sign of the End Times. But of course for “Bible prophecy scholars,” everything is a sign of the End Times — eclipses, earthquakes, floods, droughts, Wednesdays, dandelions, war in the Middle East, peace in the Middle East, Middle Eastern restaurants in the Midwest. … [Read more...]


12 reasons I still call myself an ‘evangelical’

After the FlusterCluck and the ClusterDuck, and after the latest Proud Ugly Sneerfest in which white evangelicals defined their faith by cancelling their sponsorship of 10,000 poor children, it’s reasonable to ask why anyone would still want to be identified by that term “evangelical.” That question is particularly pressing for someone like me. I’m pretty much constantly being told I’m not “allowed” to call myself that. So why keep fighting that? Here are 12 reasons why I still want to call myself an evangelical. [Read more...]

"Salem" debuts this month on the WGN network.

Witch-hunts are dangerous; witches are not

In the trailer for the new cable TV show “Salem,” one character says, “There is something worse than a witch hunt: A witch.” This is one of the deadliest lies ever told. Witch hunts and witch hunters are a deadly menace responsible for the deaths of uncountable innocents and the ruin of whole communities. There is nothing worse than a witch hunt. [Read more...]

"'Let such a one be to you as a Gentile and as a tax collector ...' WTF?"

Matthew 18 abuse needs to stop

Matthew 18 has become a refuge for scoundrels. Yes, Jesus taught us to forgive one another — not seven times, or 70 times, but 70 times seven times. But that does not mean that if you steal from me 77 times you’re entitled to recoil in holy offense when I call you a thief. That does not mean I can punch you in the face 489 times and then pretend I’m more righteous than you are because you demand that I stop. [Read more...]


Drowning in echo amid the stained glass towers

Most Americans don’t do things way before the deadline. Louisiana — where church isn’t boring. Flood stories and fairy stories. When are we gonna get a movie of “The Man Who Was Thursday”? A suggestion for “repeal and replace.” [Read more...]


Pay attention to how people describe the Bible

If you want to understand the ongoing “battle for the Bible,” then you need to understand this: The words people use to describe the Bible are often the clearest indication of how those people think of themselves. Listen carefully to the adjectives they use and the attributes they ascribe to the Bible. These are often words that the speaker longs to be associated with. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things

Brittney Cooper is not pleased with the call for her to simmer down and keep things polite and civil so that we can all just get along. Neither is Bruce Garrett and neither is Eric Waggoner. Robert Boston notes that, yes, they are coming for your birth control. [Read more...]