Smart people saying smart things (7.29)

Laurie Penny, “I’m With the Banned” It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t mean it. It doesn’t matter that he’s secretly quite a sweet, vulnerable person who is gracious to those he considers friends. It doesn’t matter that somewhere in the rhinestone-rimmed hamster wheel of his mind is a conscience. It doesn’t matter because the harm [Read More…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 92: ‘When the pawn …’

Wherein both the authors and their heroes grow so bored with the London conspiracy subplot that they all decide to just kind of drop it, without ever explaining or apparently even wondering what it is that this conspiracy was conspiring to do. Also too, we learn more about nefarious polyglot Nicolae Carpathia, but it’s still not clear whether he looks more like Bill McKay or The Electric Horseman. [Read more…]

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‘Therefore, we are saved by hope’

“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.” [Read more…]

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With these hands, with these hands

Walter Hagen said great athletes “Make the hard ones look easy and the easy ones look hard.” You will never live long enough to read all the criticism written about Hillary Clinton’s capacity for sometimes making the easy ones look hard, but take a moment this week to acknowledge that she has just accomplished something historic, unprecedented, and incredibly hard — and she made it look so easy that we take it for granted. [Read more…]

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How to make a fortune (and lose your soul) prophesying the End Times

Want to make some easy money? A bit of creatively implausible exegesis and some conveniently elastic numerology can give us a new-and-improved End Times countdown that starts next year. There’s a fortune waiting to be made for anyone who doesn’t mind that this would entail becoming a soul-less, blasphemous, predatory monster. [Read more…]

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‘One will be taken, and one will be left behind’

Tim LaHaye has died at the age of 90. The death of any long-lived End-Times “prophet” is always an inherently awkward thing. Each, in turn, is disproved by their own longevity, just as each, in turn, is exposed by their own well-planned retirement and well-structured estate. [Read more…]

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Sunday favorites

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

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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…]

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