A deeper shade of soul


Old newspaper headlines employ the word “souls,” and we bring to that word all of our Platonic, dualistic baggage and assumptions about what that word means. But their use of the word suggests something wholly incompatible with those dualistic ideas. Their use of the word — their appeal to the concept — is quite the opposite of what we expect when we approach that word with all of the connotations we’ve absorbed from Plato and Augustine and revivalist altar-call soteriology. [Read more...]

Everything’s a little clearer in the light of day


Wherein we discuss the Worst Song in the 1970s playlist at the Big Box store. Also: Bobby Bonilla is getting paid what he was owed; Wheaton College outsourcing biology; the continuing creepiness of mandatory loyalty oaths for children; and shouldn’t Amazon be celebrating “Prime Day” on July 19 instead? [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 41: ’10 pages in the men’s room’


Here’s how Chapter 5 begins: “Buck Williams ducked into a stall in the Pan-Con Club men’s room to double-check his inventory. Tucked in a special pouch inside his jeans …” As a general rule, it’s probably best not to begin a chapter by having the protagonist enter the stall of a men’s room. If Buck needs to “double-check his inventory,” I don’t want to read about it. [Read more...]

Two things … no, wait, three things


First, a big, recurring Thank You to everyone who has set up a recurring donation to the Slacktivist tip jar. You are wonderful and generous and I’m obliged to rise to the trust and grace you’ve shown by not letting Other Things interfere with regular blogging here, as they have this week. Second, Other Things have been interfering a bit with regular blogging here this week. And so, if you are able and inclined to do so, this would be an excellent time for non-recurring donations to the Slacktivist tip jar. [Read more...]

Sunday WTF?

“The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands.” [Read more...]

Fourth of July fireworks


“These ministers make religion a cold and flinty-hearted thing, having neither principles of right action, nor bowels of compassion. They strip the love of God of its beauty, and leave the throng of religion a huge, horrible, repulsive form. It is a religion for oppressors, tyrants, man-stealers, and thugs. It is not that “pure and undefiled religion” which is from above, and which is “first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” But a religion which favors the rich against the poor; which exalts the proud above the humble; which divides mankind into two classes, tyrants and slaves; which says to the man in chains, stay there; and to the oppressor, oppress on; it is a religion which may be professed and enjoyed by all the robbers and enslavers of mankind; it makes God a respecter of persons, denies his fatherhood of the race, and tramples in the dust the great truth of the brotherhood of man.” [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 40: ‘Ars poetica’

The Steeles' bedroom looks something like this.

Sorrow is the main reason this section of the book sort of works. Rayford here seems to stumble across an insight that eludes Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. He realizes that this “Rapture” idea doesn’t make any difference. Irene and Raymie are gone, and it doesn’t make a bit of difference — to him, or to them — whether it’s due to a Rapture or to an aneurysm. [Read more...]

Unsolicited product endorsement: The Ultomato


Once your tomato plants get big enough to start drooping, they’re too big to use one of those wire-cone tomato-cage contraptions. There is a better way. Plus: The Bible celebrates non-procreative sex; “81 things Mike Huckabee has denounced;” recipes for land-shrimp; and just a stranger on the bus, tryin’ to make her way home. [Read more...]