NRA: Prayer chain

If a prayer leaves Chicago at 5 p.m., traveling heavenward at the speed of sound ...

This is like one of those time-loop paradoxes from a time-travel sci-fi story. God intervenes to compel Loretta to pray for God to intervene to save Buck. Was someone else praying for God to “prompt” Loretta to pray? And, if so, was that person praying on their own, or were they also responding to divine prompting? How many loops and layers are at work here? [Read more...]

And just when I’d grown colder

Crouches

I ask for help casting the movie based on televangelist Paul Crouch’s FBI file. Plus: affirmative consent, advertising upselling, the Devil’s advocacy, 15 yards for a Muslim Tebow, convertible grace, and subsidiarity — it’s on us. [Read more...]

Gatekeepers and clumsy magicians

Vicari

Watching Ricky Jay perform will teach you what magic tricks are supposed to look like, but no matter how closely you watch him, you won’t ever learn how the trick is done. To learn that, you need to watch someone who isn’t a master at the craft. The clumsier and more inept the magician, the more you’ll be able to see how the trick works. That’s why it can be instructive, sometimes, to check in with our old friends at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. [Read more...]

Thinking outside the Hitler-shaped box

Why not Ming?

Half a point to Robert Oscar Lopez for trying to inject a bit of variety into right-wing, sky-is-falling hyperbole. Just calling everybody Hitler all the time gets a bit dull, doesn’t it? Let’s see more culture warriors follow his lead and branch out. [Read more...]

The white evangelical tribe is, itself, post-evangelical (cont’d.)

ckh2x

The fundamentalist retreat, according to this narrative of history, meant a withdrawal from society, from politics and from public life. That retreat lasted for several decades until the post-war rise of the “Neo-evangelicals” — a term meant to hark back to the glory days from before the great split in which evangelicals had devolved into either fundamentalists or modernists. [Read more...]

The white evangelical tribe is, itself, post-evangelical

GrahamCracks2

Bebbington Schmebbington. American white evangelicals no longer identify themselves according to the kinds of religious temperaments described in David Bebbington’s “quadrilateral” of biblicism, crucicentrism, conversionism and activism. That’s not how the tribe defines or enforces its own boundaries. Those boundaries have become political and defiantly partisan — anti-abortion, anti-gay, Christian nationalism, and a belief in “small government” in the Atwaterian sense of the term. [Read more...]

‘You don’t have any Baptist ministers going on jihad’

SenManonDog

Santorum’s invocation of “Baptist ministers” above shows that he doesn’t understand that history. And it shows that he doesn’t understand what Baptists are or where they came from. [Read more...]

Sunday favorites

“When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ But he turned and rebuked them.” [Read more...]


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