Tales from the Dark Side

The same challenge Jenkins is tackling here faces any Christian who attempts to consider what is widely and popularly believed to be the Christian doctrine of Hell. It’s almost impossible for us today to talk about — or even to think about — any idea of Hell that isn’t thoroughly intertwined with and shaped by a host of folklore, legends, pop-culture storytelling, tabloid sensationalism, and pseudo-academic malarkey that’s every bit as weird and bogus as the belief that poor Charles Walton was ritually sacrificed in 1945 in a “witch killing” intent on ensuring a bountiful harvest. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 93: ‘A routine flight’

“The flight to Atlanta was full and busy …” It’s the first Monday after the Rapture and everyone and everything is back to normal. Everyone is going about their business like nothing ever happened and like all of the world’s children hadn’t gone missing. This is Very Bad Writing, but it’s also worse than that. [Read more…]

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And if you float you burn

“This is a round up,” featuring two very different analyses of two very different candidates’ economic proposals; the perversity of pretending children are adults; folklore as memory and history; and North Carolina’s admission that it seeks to disenfranchise black citizens. [Read more…]

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Rekindled with fire from above

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?” [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (7.29)

Laurie Penny on Milo and nihilists and … a lot (just read it). Patrick Blanchfield on America’s Gun. Michelle Obama gives a speech for the ages. Prof. Patricia Leary seizes a teaching opportunity. And Binyavanga Wainaina teaches us “How to Write About Africa.” [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 92: ‘When the pawn …’

Wherein both the authors and their heroes grow so bored with the London conspiracy subplot that they all decide to just kind of drop it, without ever explaining or apparently even wondering what it is that this conspiracy was conspiring to do. Also too, we learn more about nefarious polyglot Nicolae Carpathia, but it’s still not clear whether he looks more like Bill McKay or The Electric Horseman. [Read more…]

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‘Therefore, we are saved by hope’

“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.” [Read more…]

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With these hands, with these hands

Walter Hagen said great athletes “Make the hard ones look easy and the easy ones look hard.” You will never live long enough to read all the criticism written about Hillary Clinton’s capacity for sometimes making the easy ones look hard, but take a moment this week to acknowledge that she has just accomplished something historic, unprecedented, and incredibly hard — and she made it look so easy that we take it for granted. [Read more…]

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