‘It’s the Apocalypse, Stupid’: Matthew Sutton on how ‘Bible prophecy’ and Rapture mania deform American politics

Snatch

“My argument in a nutshell is that the apocalyptic theology that developed in the 1880s and 1890s led radical evangelicals to the conclusion that all nations are going to concede their power in the End Times to a totalitarian political leader who is going to be the Antichrist. If you believe you’re living in the last days and you believe you’re moving towards that event, you’re going to be very suspicious and skeptical of anything … that is going to give more power to the state.” [Read more...]

Evangelical biblicism is a new(ish) thing

IllWind

The first-century disciples at Pentecost and in the generations that followed were not Bible Christians in anything like the way contemporary white evangelicals think of that term. They couldn’t have been for the very simple reason that the Bible did not yet exist. … I’m not talking about theology, but about technology. The Bible is a book. And in New Testament times, books hadn’t been invented yet. [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Hal Lindsey — still defying prophecy after all these years

LindseyCountdown

Hal Lindsey turns 85 years old today. He told us that would never happen, but it just did. Lindsey’s admirers will likely celebrate his 85th birthday today without pausing to realize that this celebration disproves everything Lindsey himself ever taught them. [Read more...]

‘Do I need to turn her in?’ — something has gone very, very wrong

WelcomingTheStranger

How bad is the politicization of white evangelical religion? How thoroughly has faith been replaced by partisan political sloganeering? It’s this bad. … [Read more...]

A ‘Yankee abolitionist holiday’

FreedomFromWant

“This theatrical national claptrap of Thanksgiving … has aided other causes in setting thousands of pulpits to preaching ‘Christian politics’ instead of humbly letting the carnal Kingdom alone and preaching singly Christ crucified.” So said Virginia Gov. Henry A. Wise in 1856, preaching a “non-political” religion that was utterly and completely political. [Read more...]

‘God hates shrimp’: Picking and choosing among abominations

PeterCraftJackson

The key thing to notice when asking this question of white evangelicals in America is that they don’t usually try to answer it. They don’t respond with a hermeneutical argument for how to approach the Bible, but rather with a defense of their affirmation of particular commandments. Such non-answers don’t provide an explanation of the principles by which we can determine whether or not a biblical teaching ought to be regarded as binding. They offer, instead, after-the-fact, ad hoc rationalizations — attempts to defend our current practice by creating some retroactive explanation for them. I want to look here at three popular variations on this non-answer. [Read more...]

‘God hates shrimp’: A case study

Screen shot 2014-11-08 at 5.20.22 PM

The function of that argument is purely internal. It’s not an attempt to persuade others. It’s not addressed to others. It’s a therapeutic, self-help affirmation addressed to themselves — a way of reassuring themselves that they’re not being as cruel and unfair as it sounds. This mantra of self-assurance always includes a denial of personal responsibility: “It’s not me. It’s the Bible. The Bible is making me say these cruel things.” [Read more...]

‘God hates shrimp’ is a question. That question needs an answer.

JackJesus

If we are to be “Bible-believing” Christians — people for whom that scripture is, in any real way, authoritative or meaningful — then we have to have some principle or set of principles that allows us to distinguish between the various passages we are picking and choosing to be authoritative and those we are picking and choosing not to be. Otherwise, we’re just projecting our own preferences and prejudices into the text and then gleaning them back out of it through our self-serving, arbitrary selection of some prooftexts and our self-serving, arbitrary disregard for others. [Read more...]


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