Public theology 1: Resurrection, vindication and bearing witness


This story of Thomas, from the 20th chapter of John’s Gospel, is aptly chosen for its relevance to the subject of body cameras, but Pinckney doesn’t simply appeal to the story as a simple parable affirming the value of visual evidence. His argument is framed by his affirmation of resurrection — and thus of vindication. The resurrection and vindication of Jesus Christ becomes the vindication, too, of Walter Scott. [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war (6.29)


“I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance.” [Read more...]

‘I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living’

Bree Newsome preaches a sermon on the 27th Psalm in Columbia, South Carolina. (Reuters Media Express/Adam Anderson Photos pic snurched from Vox.)

“We come against … hatred, oppression, and violence. I come against you in the name of God,” Bree Newsome said, high in the air above the statehouse grounds in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday. Newsome was arrested — charged with defacing monuments on state capitol grounds — but only after she had climbed all the [Read More...]

Sunday WTF?

“No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. … You shall never promote their welfare or their prosperity as long as you live.” [Read more...]

The equal protection of the law


“They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” Yes. Yes it does. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 39: ‘Nero’s fiddle’

It’s one of the most awful and awesome panoramas of human suffering ever imagined in a work of fiction. But the audacity of the wholesale suffering that LaHaye & Jenkins imagine is dwarfed by the greater audacity of their wholly disregarding the very scenario they have presented. The authors and their protagonists seem wholly unperturbed by all of this death and destruction, save in how it presents a logistical inconvenience and cramps the travel plans of our heroes. [Read more...]

A ride with a trickster and a javelin man

"No, man, YOU'RE a flat circle."

So far, season 2 of “True Detective” looks like a grimmer, slower version of “Terriers.” Here’s a plea for Netflix to bring back that surf-noir classic for a second season. Plus: Found poetry in a fundamentalist survey on modesty; and why paleontologists should study Franklin Graham. [Read more...]

Baptist white supremacy and Luther’s anti-Semitism

The title page of Martin Luther's "On the Jews and Their Lies" (via Wikipedia).

Protestant Christians today still revere much of Martin Luther’s theology, even as we (mostly) reject his truly vicious anti-Semitism. Mohler is arguing, or perhaps simply hoping, that we can do the same with Boyce and Broadus and Manly — preserving and venerating most of their theology while rejecting their white supremacy as an unfortunate, unnecessary, tangent. But abstracting some “pure” form of Luther-minus-the-anti-Semitism or Southern-Baptist-minus-the-white-supremacy isn’t quite so easy. [Read more...]

The Southern Baptists’ White Abstract of White Principles


The founders of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary did not affirm biblical orthodoxy, Baptist beliefs, and missionary zeal. They affirmed white biblical orthodoxy, white Baptist beliefs, and white missionary zeal. Like Mohler, these 19th-century white Baptists did not perceive any distinction between those things. They saw no difference between “biblical orthodoxy” and white biblical orthodoxy, and thus were unable to perceive or conceive of any way the latter might not live up to the former. [Read more...]

#JamesConeWasRight. #JamesBoyceWasWrong.


Southern Baptist conservative leader Al Mohler takes a forthright look at the reality of his conservative theological heroes of the past and attempts to begin grappling with the fact that those heroes were also fierce advocates of white supremacy. In other words, the theologians who created Mohler’s beloved “Abstract of Principles” were also thorough heretics. Mohler isn’t quite sure what that means yet, but give him credit for acknowledging the problem. [Read more...]