LBCF, No. 147: ‘The Holy Hand’

“If any of it was true, all of it was true” seems to be simply another version of the fundamentalist insistence that if any of it is not true, then none of it is true. This is the house-of-cards implication fundies draw from their notion of biblical “inerrancy” which, again, has very little to do with the supposed inerrancy of what the Bible actually says and everything to do with their own alleged inerrancy as its interpreters. Read more

Left Behind and Trumpism

The Left Behind series sold more than 65 million copies. I can’t offer a precise Venn diagram comparing those 65 million readers with the just-under 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump, but I would imagine the overlap in the middle would be pretty big. Their appeal is the same, and so is the audience. Read more

Tanned, rested and ready

The ocean is still very, very big, and quite impressive. The Atlantic definitely deserves a spot in any Top 10 list of oceans. Read more

Paula Deen and Charlottesville

Drew G.I. Hart’s discussion of Paula Deen seems timely. This is from his fine book, Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism. Hart reviews the “really ugly comments” the celebrity chef made back in 2013, resulting in her near-universal condemnation in public: Deen’s racism was too overt, and she broke all the rules. She used what we would call “old-school racism,” which is no longer acceptable in the public square, instead of “new school racism,” which has shifted… Read more

Sunday favorites

In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: “Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern.” Read more

Every rung goes higher and higher

The lyrics of “Jacob’s Ladder” involve indefensibly creative exegesis in the service of excellent hermeneutics. I’m a fan of that. Read more

LBCF, No. 146: ’28:06:42:12′

The central figure in this message is not Christ, but the Antichrist. It’s fair to ask, then, if LaHaye and Jenkins’ religion might not be more accurately called “Antichristianity.” In their defense, however, we should note that the essential focus of their religion is not to celebrate or serve the Antichrist, but rather to oppose him. That would make their religion something more like “Anti-Antichrist-ianity.” To their way of thinking, Anti-Antichristianity is pretty much the same thing as Christianity. Read more

A letter from the faculty lounge

Richard Mouw and Jerry Falwell Jr. are both evangelical Christians, both leaders of prominent evangelical institutions. But, as Mouw writes to Falwell, they “travel in very different parts of the evangelical world.” That understates the situation. They travel in different worlds — in the distinct realms of separate constituencies that rarely, if ever, communicate. Read more

Robert Jeffress and ‘The War Prayer’

I’ve come to think that Twain was wrong. The error here for misanthropic, disillusioned, cynical old Mark Twain was that he was not cynical enough. Read more

Mulder, it’s me (the evidence of signs)

Specific, skeptical questions about purported signs and wonders are not theological but journalistic — who? what? when? where? Whether or not those asking such basic factual questions can recite any given sectarian catechism is irrelevant to the answers. Catechizing me instead of pursuing those answers seems like an attempt to evade the original question of what, if anything, just happened. Read more

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