Evangelicals and health care for the poor

During the 1990s, I worked for a parachurch nonprofit called Evangelicals for Social Action. We tried to get American evangelicals to share with and to advocate for the poor and the powerless. As you may guess, that wasn’t easy. Our message was often met with suspicion or even with outright hostility. Some people and some [Read More...]

‘Statements of faith’ are really long creeds for the anti-creedal

Christian Piatt discusses “The Fallacy of Statements of Faith“: A while back, I was applying for an editing job with a fairly prominent Christian media company, and in the application process, I was asked to sign a statement of faith. For those unfamiliar, this is a list of things that the organization in question claims [Read More...]

Candy canes and the manufacture of evangelical resentment


It’s late June, but candy canes are in the news. The U.S. Supreme Court last week let stand a lower appeals court ruling in the “Christian candy cane” case. That’s the nickname given to Morgan v. Swanson, a case involving the Plano Independent School District and the parents of a child instructed to proselytize his [Read More...]

‘Rights for me, but not for thee’

“Rights for me, but not for thee” creates all sorts of problems. For example, if the rights are not for thee, then they aren’t actually rights, and so I can’t be confident in the rights for me either. “Rights for me, but not for thee” means that even my rights aren’t rights, merely privileges — [Read More...]

Never Have I Ever, Leviticus edition

Tad’s Happy Funtime scores himself against the list of “76 Things Banned in Leviticus.” Seeing them all listed out like that does seem to invite a marathon game of “I Never.” (Or, depending on regional variations in college drinking games, “Never Have I Ever.”) But seeing them all listed out like that also invites a [Read More...]

‘The Big Four’ — ‘the package deal of Christianity’

Jonathan Dudley in Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics: I learned a few things growing up as an evangelical Christian: that abortion is murder; homosexuality, sin; evolution, nonsense; and environmentalism, a farce. I learned to accept these ideas — the “big four” — as part of the package deal of [Read More...]

You can’t deny people their rights and be nice about it


“The Theological Is Personal,” Dianna Anderson writes. She’s talking here specifically about the perennial controversy over how much equality women are to be allowed in the church, but her comments apply just as much to the “debate” over how much equality LGBT people are to be allowed in the church, and to the “debates” about [Read More...]

Hardcore Reformed theology from Jake VanDorn

One of my favorite movie moments was finally posted as a clip on YouTube: That’s George C. Scott and Season Hubley in the 1979 movie Hardcore, written and directed by Paul Schrader. And the scene really does, as the title of the YouTube posting says, describe “Calvinism in Three Minutes” — sadly cutting off just [Read More...]