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...]

Renovation and conversion

Photo from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, via RNS.

This renovation, or conversion, of a cathedral requires us to think about the way space and design serve the focus of worship. Or how they may shape the focus of worship — how they determine what it is we think of when we think of “worship” at all. [Read more...]

Who do you say that I am?: Putting the ‘post-’ in ‘post-evangelical’ (part 1)

LydiaBean

American evangelicals changed the way they answer the question “Who do we say that we are?” And that means, inevitably, that they have also — consciously or not — changed the way they answer the question “Who do you say that I am?” For Christians, that’s a rather important question. Changing our answer to that bedrock question shouldn’t be something that happens without serious, conscious consideration. And yet that’s what happened. [Read more...]

Of ‘croco-ducks’ and the Zeno’s paradox shell-game of creationism

CrocsAndDinos

Unlike Kirk Cameron, the professional hucksters driving young-Earth creationism — the Ken Hams and Al Mohlers of the world — understand enough about evolution and common ancestry to recognize that the search for a croco-duck is nonsense. They offer a more sophisticated version of Cameron’s “transitional forms” argument — one that is less ignorant and far less honest. [Read more...]


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