Christianity, INC.

Bob Smietana* interviews scholars Brad Christerson and Richard Flory to provide an insightful and disturbing introduction to the next generation of Strang-ian hustlers reshaping charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity here in America: “The ‘Prophets’ and ‘Apostles’ Leading the Quiet Revolution in American Religion.” Here’s Smietana’s introduction: Largely behind the scenes, a group of mostly self-proclaimed “apostles,” leading ministries from North Carolina to Southern California, has attracted millions of followers with promises of direct access to God through signs and wonders. Their movement, which… Read more

Sunday favorites

Luke 12:2-3 Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops. Read more

LBCF, No. 145: ‘Imperio’

Originally posted January 4, 2008. Read this entire series, for free, via the convenient Left Behind Index. This post is also part of the ebook collection The Anti-Christ Handbook: Volume 1, available on Amazon for just $2.99. I have a theory that boilerplate text becomes invisible.  Volume 2 of The Anti-Christ Handbook, completing all the posts on the first Left Behind book, is also now available. Left Behind, pp. 384-387 Buck sat without interrupting as this most lucid and earnest professional calmly propounded… Read more

The Prosperity Gospel: You’re Soaking In It

Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all. — Ecclesiastes 9:11 Mainstream white evangelicals here in America want you to know that they do not agree with or approve of the “prosperity gospel” promoted by TV preachers like Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Paula… Read more

Geist und wurst

• “A cantata was written last year by composer Edward Rushton and lyricist Ulrich Knellwolf, to commemorate what might be considered the most momentous sausage-eating act in all of Christian history. The piece is called … ‘Geist und Wurst.’ Yes: ‘Spirit and Sausage.'” • Al Aronowitz’s “August Blues”: August is the month when wars start. It’s when the water dries up and the spirit begins to wither. Insomniacs pull down their shades and lock themselves in their rooms in August…. Read more

From deep on the religious right bench to Trump’s all-star team

Diana Butler Bass provides a Twitter history lesson on that Ralph Drollinger fellow we discussed yesterday. This guy’s a piece of work. A former college basketball player, Drollinger spent a year in the NBA as That 7-foot White Guy On The Bench Who Never Takes Off His Sweats. He’s played a similar role in the religious right ever since — a fringe player with fringe views way, way down on the depth chart. But you can still enjoy a nice living… Read more

Zedekiah always gets horny for King Ahab

This story is from Pat Robertson’s CBNNews, “Bible Studies at the White House: Who’s Inside This Spiritual Awakening?” It’s plenty creepy enough on its face, but its even worse if you’ve read Jeff Sharlet’s important book on The Family and you understand the warped, power-worshipping theology driving groups like this. Stories like this show that John Fea’s terminology of “Court Evangelicals” is spot on. The reference there is an allusion to the court prophets described in 2 Kings 22 — the… Read more

Chances of winning are slimmer than three

• “Who Said It: Donald Trump Or Rwandan Hate Radio?” I’m sure some will criticize Alex Ruthrauff for the impertinent incivility of pointing out that our president’s rhetoric is indistinguishable from the eliminationist dehumanizing language that motivated the génocidaires of 1994. But, well, it is. The president of the United States is demonizing whole populations with his “xenophobic torture porn” talk. That’s not good. • Hemant Mehta shares some fun videos from Rachel Oates about the “hot” and “cold” techniques employed… Read more

There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow

We’ll get today’s Left Behind Classic post up a bit later, but some news happened overnight and it might be good to have an open thread first to discuss that: “Senate rejects measure to partly repeal Affordable Care Act, dealing Trump and GOP leaders a major setback.” President Trump and congressional Republicans suffered a dramatic failure early Friday in their bid to advance a scaled-back plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, raising the prospect of emergency bipartisan talks to… Read more

Avoiding the Barnum-esque Rip-off of the Ark Encounter

Ken Ham, the Barnum of young-Earth creationism, offers a sneak-peek at some upcoming “diorama” attractions at his Ark Encounter theme park. This new artwork features a look at the decadent sinners before Noah’s flood enjoying the spectacle of coliseum-style gladiator fights between humans and dinosaurs. This is apparently the Next Big Thing for “scientific creationists.” This image is the product of people who claim to be the staunchest defenders of “reading the Bible literally.” OK, then, chapter and verse? Where… Read more

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian