A foretaste of ‘Donald Trump’s America’

Such acts of violence and intimidation are implicitly first person plural. They convey the message “WE don’t want your kind.” When that undefined, presumed first person plural is not challenged — when it is not loudly refuted and shouted down — then acts of violence like this gain momentum and power. [Read more…]

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This is where we draw the line

“(We Don’t Need No) Color Code,” is a raucous, righteous middle finger directed at Bob Jones University from Steve Taylor’s 1984 “Meltdown” album. It’s a fun, foot-stompin’ anti-racism song. The album’s producer, a long-time CCM recording whiz, even joins in on the call-and-response chorus. That guy? Turns out he was also a member of the KKK who eventually went to prison for his role in an attack on a Nashville synagogue. [Read more…]

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Shenanigans: Evangelical identity and the evangelical brand (part 3)

Say, “Most evangelicals support Donald Trump” and they’ll say it’s unfair to deny the vast diversity of political and theological views that constitute the broader whole of evangelicalism. Say, “It’s possible to be both evangelical and gay” and suddenly you’ll find that such diversity is not allowed. They’ll inform you that it’s impossible to be both gay and evangelical, and impossible to be both gay “affirming” and evangelical. [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 105: ‘Conditional election’

“Ecumenical” is another bogeyman word in these books. Generally speaking, it should be read here as connoting “relativistic, truth-denying.” Keep in mind also that Tim LaHaye is a longtime John Birch Society member, and that the main offices for the ecumenical National Council of Churches are in New York, in a building donated by John D. Rockefeller, and you’ll begin to get a sense of how ominous and portentous this is meant to seem. [Read more…]

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Shenanigans: Evangelical identity and the evangelical brand (part 2)

Ten years ago, the National Association of Evangelicals was battered by a string of scandals. The association’s president was forced to resign in 2006, and then two years later, it’s vice president was forced out. First Ted Haggard got caught using drugs with a male prostitute, then Rich Cizik was revealed to be a registered Democrat. Horrified board members and constituents of the NAE didn’t seem sure which was worse. [Read more…]

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Shenanigans: Evangelical identity and the evangelical brand (part 1)

Evangelical Christianity is a notoriously nebulous thing. Religious historians have long struggled to define the term. Pollsters still haven’t figured out how to distinguish the category or to mark its boundaries. And all of their efforts are further complicated by the nature of evangelical Christianity itself, which is perpetually contentious and disputed — a community marked by fierce intramural battles over who does and who does not legitimately belong to it. [Read more…]

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Of, by, for

What does it mean to read Psalm 72 or Romans 13 in a time and place where there is no king and the people are sovereign? “Well actually …” we rush to say, the people have never really been sovereign. That whole Gettysburg Address thing is just lofty rhetoric and the people have never actually had the power. So we’re not responsible. At all. [Read more…]

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Haw haw haw

Jack Chick’s cartoons were infused with the abominable fancy — the idea that the supreme delight awaiting true believers in Heaven would be that they got to watch the eternal torment of wicked sinners in Hell. That was pretty much the essence of Chick’s faith. He wasn’t driven by his love for God or for God’s love for us, but by the eschatological hope that one day God would settle all the arguments he was never able to win here on earth — settle them with remorseless, bloodthirsty finality. [Read more…]

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Sunday favorites

“We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hour
and sing an American tune …” [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 104: ‘It could be bunnies’

“Dr. Rosenzweig believes that some confluence of electromagnetism in the atmosphere, combined with as yet unknown or unexplained atomic ionization from the nuclear power and weaponry throughout the world, could have been ignited or triggered — perhaps by a natural cause like lightning, or even by an intelligent life-form that discovered this possibility before we did — and caused this instant action throughout the world.” [Read more…]

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