Subsidiarity and Saddleback

My frustration was showing a couple of weeks ago in a post titled: "Responsibility is differentiated, mutual and complementary, not exclusive, binary and competitive."That post consisted almost entirely of the sentence "Responsibility is differentiated, mutual and complementary; responsibility is not exclusive, binary and competitive," repeated 10 times with each repetition linking to a different longer and deeper discussion of subsidiarity, "sphere sovereignty" or some other framework … [Read more...]

You might be an evangelical …

In addition to our unexpected hospital adventure this week we've also been puppy-sitting for my brother-in-law's 6-month-old poodle (energetic, mischievous, adorable). Whenever there's a quiet moment around here it seems that means someone is probably eating something that isn't food.My brother-and-law and his family are on vacation in Costa Rica. I was initially confused when told where they were going because, as an evangelical, I instinctively got fixated on the idea that this must be a … [Read more...]

'Growing Up Fundamentalist'

Last weekend, after months of pestering, I got my old Christian Service Brigade uniform shirt out of the attic. My wife never quite believed it was real, so finally I had to show it to her, struggling to remember what all of the various achievement patches I had earned were for.The slacktivixen finds the whole idea of Christian Service Brigade hilarious. "Fundamentalist Boy Scouts?" she says, laughing. "What -- the Boy Scouts were too worldly?"Yep. For our church, they were. But I'm still … [Read more...]

'We too fall with it'

So I'm working on collecting some of the older posts here, bundling them into categories of sorts and cleaning them up a bit in the hopes of producing that book-like thing I mentioned earlier. And that entails writing short introductions for the various sections.The following is my first shot at the introduction for the section on young-earth creationism.- - - - - - - - - - - -The oldest book in our Bible contains a hymn of praise to the Creator that rambles on for chapter after chapter. … [Read more...]

Movieguide approves of blue material

Movieguide, "the family guide to movies and entertainment," weighs in on The Smurfs.They smurfing loved it.It received three out of four stars, with a +1 content acceptability rating for BBB, C, CapCap, Ho, L, V, N, A.For those unfamiliar with Movieguide's unique content rating system:BBB: "Very strong biblical or moral worldview, principles, perspective or character"C: "Mild or light Christian worldview or elements, Gospel witness, redemptive elements, or positive reference to Jesus … [Read more...]

Don't look at the finger

Molly Worthen's Slate piece -- "Sign Here, and Here, and Here" -- on the weirdly slavery-friendly "Marriage Vow" being promoted by the Iowa religious right group "FAMiLY LEADER," includes a shrewd summary of why such declarations and manifestos have become so common, and thus so meaningless, in the evangelical subculture: These Declarations and Calls and Vows underscore the ongoing problem of authority that has defined evangelicals ever since they first thumbed their noses at the pope and—in m … [Read more...]

From the archives: The Gay-Hatin' Gospel

(I'm collecting and recollecting some older posts in the hopes of possibly bundling some of them into something book-like. So since I spent a chunk of yesterday revisiting the posts below, I figured I'd re-post them here in slightly repolished form.)A 2007 poll conducted by the Barna Group revealed some remarkable developments in the public perception of American evangelical Christians: Today, the most common perception is that present-day Christianity is “anti-homosexual.” Overall, 91 percent … [Read more...]

The Gospel Blimp

PZ Myers encounters Spire Christian Comics and is predictably -- and appropriately -- horrified by Al Hartley's aggressively preachy and condescending take on the Archie Comics.I had most of those Spire comics when I was a kid, and Myers is right that Hartley's take on Archie and Riverdale seems like the work of a "demented fundamentalist." He links to a post by Josh Dobbin exploring some of Hartley's other overt proselytizing in the pages of the non-Spire Archie comics. They show a … [Read more...]