Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 82: ‘yes I said yes I will Yes’

Re-read those personal testimonies but imagine that the topic is not religious conversion. Imagine that each is, instead, one of those little video interludes in “When Harry Met Sally” in which some charming old couple is recounting how they first fell in love. This is, after all, what all such testimonies are: people recounting how they fell in love. Disregard that love and such stories are meaningless. They become merely accounts of people going through the motions without context. They become pornography. [Read more…]

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Billy Graham and the rise of the religious right

Syndicate theology brings together some leading religious historians to discuss Billy Graham’s legacy in a thoughtful, collegial exchange. Samantha Bee helpfully covers some of the same territory, albeit with a few more jokes about butt stuff. [Read more…]

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Sunday favorites

“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” [Read more…]

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Calling out in transit

The male leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are now mumbling about maybe, some day, ending the late-developing innovation of a ban on women deacons. We can’t talk about that without talking about Paul’s first-century letter to the church in Rome, which was carried by a woman deacon and greets, by name, a long list of women leaders in the church. Also: Londoners get to vote; all change is incremental; a sexual predator is also a financial predator; and I am really old. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 81: ‘What’s on second’

want us to read Billings’ surprisingly inaccurate predictions as unerringly accurate. The sense one gets from this passage is that the LaHaye and Jenkins are using Billings’ video message to rewrite the account of the previous 200 pages, to fill in or even change the details of events we’ve already read about. It’s a bit like listening to someone botch the telling of a long joke, when they realize halfway through that they’ve left out essential details and they start backtracking and correcting themselves. [Read more…]

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Some days you’re the pearlfish, some days you’re the sea cucumber

Character actor William Schallert found something he loved to do, he got good at it, and he never retired, even after nearly 70 years. May you be so blessed. Also: Nature is really strange; a searchable database of the sleazy rich; and Bartolo’s shot heard ’round the world. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (5.11)

Elias Chacour, Barack Obama, Liz Plank, Rebecca Solnit and 111 United Methodist clergy and candidates discuss friends and enemies, truth and fiction, hope and cynicism. There may be a theme here. [Read more…]

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The Rod D. Horror Picture Show

Rod Dreher’s story never happened. The Bad Jackie of the tough Texas suburbs — if any such person really exists — is making stuff up. And she’s so focused on making her story shocking that she forgot to make any of it plausible. But the question isn’t whether Dreher is deliberately lying or just credulously bearing false witness against his neighbors. The question is WHY Rod Dreher so desperately wishes that fantasies like this story were true. [Read more…]

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