How conversionist stories promote dishonesty

Clive Rowe sings "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat" in the 1982 revival of "Guys and Dolls."

The evangelical conversion narrative encourages — maybe even requires — exaggeration, which is to say that it encourages or requires dishonesty. It compels/induces/rewards/expects/elicits a two-fold dishonesty — one that exaggerates our wickedness prior to the moment of conversion and then exaggerates our transformation after that moment. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (11.3)


Digby on David Barton’s growing influence in the Republican Party. Rick Pearlstein and Brad DeLong have more to say about the current state of the GOP. The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry states it plain. And Samantha Field on turning away from lies she’d been taught. [Read more...]

Protecting ‘our Christian values’


“You’re doing a lot to help the refugees,” one woman asked. “What are you doing to protect our Christian values?” That is an amazing question — almost eloquent in its obtuse blasphemy. Over here, in one distinct category, is this matter of helping refugees. And then, way over here, is a wholly separate and distinct category of “our Christian values.” [Read more...]

Baptism is always a political act


Believer’s Baptism requires the separation of church and state. More than that: Believer’s Baptism defiantly asserts the separation of church and state. It declares and demands and demonstrates the separation of church and state. [Read more...]

‘Purity culture’ isn’t just a sex thing. It’s a do-nothing thing.

Keep yourself from being polluted by the world.

What then, is a good Christian to do in such a world? As little as possible. Faith is a blank page that must be kept blank. It is a spotless, pure and undefiled white sheet that must be hidden away from anything and everything that might stain its pure whiteness. [Read more...]

The uncanny sex fiends of Christianity Today (No. 3)

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Ed Stetzer’s hasty guesstimate that 400 church leaders might possibly be resigning quickly morphed into a fact that metastasized and spread. Now lots of people “know” that “400 pastors resigned after Ashley Madison hack,” even though nothing like that actually happened. [Read more...]

Post-it burkas and the ongoing anti-Pentecost backlash


From the mean streets of Chicago comes news, via Emily Joy on Twitter, of an odd bit of guerrilla-style culture war at Moody Bible Institute. A bus-stop advertisement on the street outside of one of Moody’s boys’ dorms was perceived as tawdry and lascivious due to the Chanel model’s barely perceptible hint of the shadow of a side-boob. Side-boob is the devil’s playground, but the righteous men of Moody stood fast against the wiles of the evil one, quickly constructing a makeshift burka out of Post-it notes. [Read more...]

Who is [always, constantly] burning black churches?


We don’t have readily available data on the historic or current rates of arson attacks targeting black churches. We thus don’t know if the current wave of reports of such attacks represents an increase in the number of incidents or an increase in the amount of attention paid to them in the media. Whether or not the number or rate of such attacks is currently on the rise, the more important fact is that such attacks on black churches in America have never stopped. [Read more...]