What’s going on with the Vatican?


“Are we capable of welcoming these people?” the Synod on the Family asks. It’s a question Christians have been asking since at least the book of Acts. It’s also a yes-or-no question, and for the Vatican, both those answers still seem in play. [Read more...]

False-bottom trunks conceal the big charade


Monday Night Linkball, including: marriage equality in another coastal elite enclave; endorsing torture makes you a dumb boy, not a Bad Boy; Charisma magazine and other forms of astrology; paying per laugh; and Jim Bob Duggar: birth control expert. [Read more...]

Foxworthy vs. Bebbington: Cultural definitions of ‘evangelical’


History professor and blogger John Fea recognizes the significance of cultural definitions for evangelical Christianity. He’s come up with a semi-serious, Foxworthian quiz to sketch the subcultural outlines and he’s invited us to play along. Invitation accepted! Here’s Dr. Fea’s quiz, with my answers. [Read more...]

The Harrowing of Hell House


Hell Houses are an irredeemably bad idea — a combination of the very worst forms of evangelism with the very worst forms of community theater. The only thing worse than their warped soteriology and eschatology is their stunted, politicized, culturally shaped notion of what constitutes human sin. They’re so very awful and cruel that some might be tempted to respond by, perhaps, Creating a Scene. [Read more...]

Faith sneaks up like a mischievous child


Far too many thoughts about the first episode of “The Flash,” plus: 6,000 spiders; the TSA encounters a Nobel Prize; the big difference between over and on; patriotic secessionists; and missiology for scientists. [Read more...]

Sunday favorites

” … a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak …” [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars (10.11)


“Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.” [Read more...]

Your passion’s an embarrassing thing


Some Friday night links, because of the angels, including: “Ideomotor Effect: The Movie;” the continuing scourge of white-on-white violence; Riley Finn and Tywin Lannister; Obama fulfills Romney’s campaign promise in half the time; and the BBC goes a bit nutty over “Pet Sounds.” [Read more...]

The case of the missing letter and the poisoning of the well

Warning: The denizens of urban coastal areas are trying to force Christianity to the margins of society.

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry is not pleased with my forthright translation of his column at The Week. That’s understandable. After all, if he had wanted to be forthright, to own his words and his implications, and to make his nasty accusations directly and honestly, he would have done so himself. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 3: ‘Meet Buck Williams’


Wherein we first encounter the Greatest Investigative Reporter of All Time, first realize that the co-authors of these books are represented by the dual protagonists as their fantasy surrogates, and first make some weak basketball jokes. [Read more...]