Reading 66 books in one year

The start of a new year brings us a wide variety of read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plans. Some of these are more sophisticated than others, but ultimately all such checklist approaches boil down to basic arithmetic. Our Bibles have been conveniently chopped into 31,102 verses, divided by 365 days in a year. So then it’s just a matter of slicing it into little 85.2-verse chunks for daily consumption. This is a very strange, unhelpful way to read a book. [Read more…]

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Media bias should be Good News

This is how news works. It is inescapably “biased” in that it is presented and received as either Good News or Bad News. And most of the time, no one complains about the bias implicit in all such judgments because everyone agrees. What kind of sicko wouldn’t agree that a family losing their home is Bad News? And who could be so demented as to not understand that the family surviving the fire is Good News? [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 114: ‘Three Days of the Chicken’

So all of the taking-separate-cabs and switching-press-ID tricks that Buck and Steve employ in this little set piece fail to impress. It’s hard to be impressed when all those tricks are in the service of our so-called hero trying to negotiate the terms of his surrender with the bad guys. [Read more…]

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Jesus never read ‘The Bible’

“How can we know the way?” Thomas asks.

“Read the Bible,” says the evangelical preacher down the block from me.

“Read the Bible as absolutely true and authoritative, in every word,” says Tim Keller.

But that’s not what Jesus said. Not at all. [Read more…]

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Broken wing (update)

My wife’s arm is now in the high-tech cast she’ll wear for the next several weeks as the tendons in her arm heal. That’s possible because of your generosity, so thank you again. And again and again. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (12.26)

Charles Dickens on the poor of London; Kelly J. Baker on “nice, decent folks;” Katherine Franke on the default assumptions of default identity politics; Ijeoma Oluo on the least we can do; and President Barack Obama being as Niebuhrian as the Serenity Prayer. [Read more…]

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Peace on earth, good will to all

“So I’ll tell you what the promise of Advent is: It is that God has set up a tent among us and will help us work together on our stuff. And this will only happen over time. …” [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 113: ‘Skipping steps’

Hattie’s behavior in this conversation is later characterized as “nasty.” And her subsequent storyline is the classic cautionary tale of the “fallen woman” — the kind in which the authors make it clear that they think “fallen woman” is redundant. So despite the apparent criticism of Rayford’s motives and timing here, we’re apparently still supposed to interpret Hattie’s hanging up as a rejection not simply of Rayford’s clumsy overture, but of the gospel itself. [Read more…]

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If I get good behavior, I’ll be out of here by July

“It begins with the first gesture of collaboration.” So don’t do that. Also: Sinbad truthers; white voters and the new Ghostbusters; the importance of Jerome; and another story about a shriveled miser who mistreats his estranged nephew Fred. [Read more…]

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The clarity of a dead end

Here we are. The wrong road that white evangelicalism has stubbornly been following has led us here, to 2016, and the election of Donald J. Trump thanks, largely, to the overwhelming support of white evangelicals. This is not an aberration, but a culmination. This is where that road takes you. It’s where you’re bound to end up if you drive long enough using only the segregationists and the wealthy donors as your GPS. [Read more…]

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