Sunday favorites

“Why does the way of the guilty prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?” [Read more…]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 91: ‘Enchanted’

The alternative to evangelism as hospitality is to take the approach that Rayford takes above, insisting to Chloe that she requires forgiveness because she is a “selfish, greedy, jealous, petty, spiteful” sinner. Rather than getting bogged down here in a discussion of why I find this tack immoral, let me just say for now that it’s not particularly wise. “Trust me, you’re a filthy sinner,” is not the most winsome or promising form of evangelism (and you’d be hard pressed, apart from satires like Jonah, to find biblical models for such an approach). [Read more…]

Police, yet again, refuse first aid for man they shot for no reason

The police who shot him for no apparent reason did not provide even rudimentary first aid as Charles Kinsey lay there, handcuffed, unarmed, and bleeding. This is monstrously irresponsible. It is, frankly, evil. And it is par for the course for trigger-happy American police. [Read more…]

Jesus loves you more than you will know

A new Left Behind movie and a new Jerry Jenkins book tour have the World’s Worst Books back in the news, with new profiles and puff pieces revisiting all the inaccurate claims of previous versions. Plus: “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All;” Secretary of Labor Tom Perez gets all Laborem Exercens; and the Lemonheads cover a famous song written by Melania Trump. [Read more…]

‘You will find out on that day …’: False prophets and lost endings

The Republican National Convention opened yesterday in Cleveland with a horrifying “benediction” from prosperity-gospel huckster Mark Burns. Burns has me thinking again of Zedekiah son of Chenaanah, the ridiculous court prophet-for-hire from the Bible. But as always when dealing with this story, I wind up getting frustrated and sidetracked by it’s missing ending. [Read more…]

Culture warriors have weird ideas about how courts work

Litfin is so eager to minimize the legitimacy of LGBT people’s claims to legal and civil equality that he starts from an “activist judges” narrative that fails to grasp even a Schoolhouse Rock-level understanding of how government works. In Litfin’s telling, the “judicial branch” just suddenly decided one day to start legislating from the bench — “pressing hard” to create new “controversial” rights for LGBT people. That’s not how courts work. [Read more…]

Rewriting evangelicals’ past to preserve our mistakes

Christianity Today was co-founded by L. Nelson Bell — Billy Graham’s father-in-law and also the founder of The Southern Presbyterian Journal, a pro-segregationist magazine explicitly dedicated to what Bell (a Wheaton graduate) called “racial integrity.” Bell’s argument in opposition to the Civil Rights movement was irreducibly and emphatically “moral and religious.” He categorically denied that “bare-knuckled racial discrimination” or animus had anything to do with his position. It was, he insisted, a matter of faithfulness to God and of defending the authority of the Bible. [Read more…]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 90: ‘Driving to O’Hare’

This is Rayford’s first trip back to O’Hare since he fled it six days ago, threading his way across the tarmac through scattered charred bodies and the wreckage of multiple airliner crashes. It must have been a very busy week at the airport, as everything there has apparently been cleaned up and restored. Rayford is too distracted even to notice this Herculean achievement of post-disaster logistics. He’s too busy trying to figure out how to talk to Chloe about her status as a sinner in need of salvation, and he’s not sure how to do that. [Read more…]

Subsidiarity: ‘Policing was never meant to solve all those problems’

The usurpation by Big Gubmint that Reagan imagined everywhere is always possible, and sometimes happens. But far, far, far more common is the situation Chief Brown describes: government forced to take on ever-greater responsibility due to the irresponsibility of other actors in our network of mutuality. Government is far too burdened with the responsibilities abdicated by all those other actors to have much time or resources left over for the nefarious usurpation of even more responsibility. [Read more…]

First responders and guns (cont’d.)

When people with guns are summoned in an emergency, they sometimes respond as people with guns — whether or not guns are capable of addressing the emergency in question. This makes things worse. This is particularly — and often tragically — the case when police are called on to be the “first responders” in an emergency involving someone suffering from mental illness, emotional distress, or psychosis. [Read more…]