24 warning signs that your evangelical friend might be about to ‘depart’ for the Episcopal Church

Agents of Shield

Evangelical gatekeepers have been wringing their hands over the departure of yet another once-saved Christian, now lost to the clutches of the Episcopal Church. Are your evangelical friends safe from the menace of creeping Episcopalianism? Here are 24 warning signs to watch out for. [Read more...]

How I learned to stop clobber-texting and love George Bailey


These Bailey-ite “alternative investments” with their modest interest rates might seem to me to be a wise way to help the working poor, but I also had heard hundreds of sermons reminding me that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” I knew that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,” and that it was always dangerous to think that we knew better than what we read in the inerrant Word of God. [Read more...]

‘The Bible is really clear about usury’

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The problem is not that the Bible is lacking in clarity. The problem, rather, tends to be a surfeit of clarity. If you turn to the Bible looking for an unambiguous, definitive and categorical statement on almost any given point, you’ll be sure to find one. That would solve your problem … until you realize that you can find more than one, and that they’re not all the same. [Read more...]

Jesus is not like Joseph. God is not like Pharaoh.


John Hagee’s weird little “prophetic overlay” about Joseph and Jesus thus highlights the way his “Bible prophecy” scheme turns the book of Revelation on its head. It portrays God as Pharaoh. It portrays Jesus as Joseph — saving the world by enslaving it by force. [Read more...]

No time to wallow in the mire

Bishop Alma Bridwell White Supremacist.

This started out as a series of bland jokes about the idea of my parents listening to The Doors, then, via a short trip down memory lane, it took an odd turn into religious history and a consideration of white supremacist theology. Not sure exactly how that happened. [Read more...]

Southern Baptist leaders call for war … or something

An open letter signed by the 17 most recent leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention calls for the U.S. to begin some kind of military intervention against ISIS. None of these 17 Southern Baptist leaders apparently bothered to check to see if maybe the U.S. was already doing that — maybe since last summer, maybe? [Read more...]

When fantasy role-playing replaces faith (cont’d.)

A typical Unitarian church service.

Sustaining the kind of fantasy Linda Wall invites her readers to indulge in takes an enormous amount of imagination. It requires the collaborative effort of a community of fantasists who agree to cooperate by reinforcing one another’s fantasies. And it requires a willingness to reinterpret every mundane detail of the world around you into something fraught with all the drama of the pageant you’re creating in your head. [Read more...]

When fantasy role-playing replaces faith


The culture warrior faith of the religious right is sometimes criticized for being overly negative. That’s a misconception. All the things it seems obsessively negative about are really of no consequence to them. Their message is actually overwhelmingly positive. It is a steady stream of hyperbolic, unwavering, unquestioning praise and celebration. All of it directed toward themselves and their own pious righteousness. [Read more...]