'Heather' is pushing 30

Mega-church pastor, televangelist and "Bible prophecy" peddler John Hagee really needs to update his stock sermon about how America is turning into Sodom and Gomorrah due to the secular humanism threatening the safety of our good, godly children.Seriously, John Hagee's "Faith Under Fire" sermon rallying the persecuted majority reads like he wrote it during the Clinton administration and hasn't bothered to change any of it since then. He gave this sermon last month, but is there a single … [Read more...]

Rich Dominionists in an Age of Hypocrisy

My first up-close and personal encounter with the dominionists came back during the days I was working for Ron Sider, the Mennonite theologian and activist best known as author of the book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger.That book, first published in 1977, lays out the massive biblical case for economic justice and radical generosity. The core of the book is an argument for what Sider calls a "graduated tithe" -- a way of committing to and structuring voluntary, individual sharing.The … [Read more...]

That's how the light gets in

It's not the years, it's the mileage. Alisa Harris may seem a bit young to be publishing a memoir, but while she can't look back on a long life, she can reflect on a long journey.Harris proves a lively and insightful guide to that journey, which begins with her childhood in the activist infantry of the religious right during which she was picketing abortion providers as a home-schooled soldier in the army of the Lord.Harris' memoir, Raised Right, doesn't offer a straight chronology, but … [Read more...]

Lots more on dominion theology

Jim Burroway: "Christian Dominionism Is Not a Myth" These are not the people within the broad spectrum of Christianity, nor are they even those within the outer 10 percent of its fringes. We’re not talking about the Pat Robertsons, the Joel Osteens, the Albert Mohlers or the Rick Warrens. No, we’re talking about people who are far, far more fringe than anyone whose name immediately comes to mind whenever most people think of Christian evangelicalism. … When [Michelle] Goldberg says, “If you want … [Read more...]

One more point on biblicism

I want to mention one more problem that arises from biblicism, or biblical literalism: It fosters conflict.It fosters really nasty conflict -- the kind that starts with the belief that The Other Side must be evil and then goes downhill from there with little hope of resolution.Biblicism invites this kind of conflict because it creates a framework in which bad intent becomes the only possible explanation for differences of opinion. This isn't a failure of charity or generosity on the part of … [Read more...]

Christian Smith on biblicism

Books & Culture just posted a review of the latest from Christian Smith, a sociologist who has produced some of the most insightful and useful studies of American evangelical Christianity.Smith's new book tackles a subject essentially important to evangelical culture and faith: biblicism, or biblical literalism. He's against it, as is clear from his title: The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture.The B&C review is largely negative. It … [Read more...]

Richard John Neuhaus did not think dominionism was a myth

Richard John Neuhaus, the neoconservative intellectual and editor of the journal First Things, thought that adherents of "dominion theology" were nutty, but he did not think they were inconsequential.In his May 1990 article "Why Wait for the Kingdom? The Theonomist Temptation," Neuhaus introduced the prominent players and prominent ideas in play among the "theonomists" or "reconstructionists" or "theonomic reconstructionists" -- the gothic Presbyterian wing of dominion theology or … [Read more...]

The fans might hate the movie

The good news for any filmmaker planning to do a Civil War movie is that you can tap into a pre-existing fan-base of enthusiastic Civil War buffs who are sure to generate plenty of buzz for the project.The bad news is that this same fan-base might just kill your movie if you don't get the details right. Like all fandoms, Civil War buffs are proprietary and prickly about outsiders on their turf. Get the tiniest details wrong -- the wrong buttons on a general's uniform, the wrong color for a … [Read more...]