I wave to the people but the wind just blows ‘em down


• Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Now that they've neutralized unions, they're going after everything unions ever won -- including the five-day work week.• Scott Paeth, "Jesus Wants You Heavily Armed" I suppose, if we wished to take the passage strictly literally, we could interpret it in line with Jesus' follow-up statement. After his disciples pull out two swords, he declares, "That's enough!" Enough for what? Who knows! But I'd be perfectly happy with an interpretation that say … [Read more...]

Evolution and the profit motive behind evangelical tribalism, in 8 panels


Sometimes people think I'm overstating the case when I describe American evangelicalism as primarily driven by culture-war tribalism in service of partisan politics.Or when I criticize that tribalism as a tool cynically employed by hucksters seeking to cash in on the tribal market niche.Or when I suggest that those hucksters are the lackeys and servants of wealthy plutocrats.But I don't think I'm overstating any of that.That's from the 1975 Spire Christian Comics … [Read more...]

The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal

In 1979, McDonald's introduced the Happy Meal.Sometime after that, it was decided that the Bible teaches that human life begins at conception.Ask any American evangelical, today, what the Bible says about abortion and they will insist that this is what it says. (Many don't actually believe this, but they know it is the only answer that won't get them in trouble.) They'll be a little fuzzy on where, exactly, the Bible says this, but they'll insist that it does.That's new. If you had … [Read more...]

‘Harmful, domineering and controlling’

David Moore at the Burner blog really, really, really does not like Mark Driscoll's new book about marriage.Moore is not a feminist, or even an "egalitarian," but he still finds: "This book is an astoundingly unbelievable work of disrespect for women."It's good to see that assessment coming from that corner of the evangelical world.I mean, one sort of expects that someone like Rachel Held Evans would find the book immature, chauvinistic and disturbing. Or that she would write, "The … [Read more...]

Millennials will change the future of the church

First let me tell you a story from almost 20 years ago. My buddy Dwight and I were arguing over what I was going to wear to a meeting."I'm not a catcher," I told him. Catchers have to wear their baseball caps backwards because of the mask. But if you're not a catcher and you're not, say, riding a bike into a headwind, then it seemed to me that wearing a baseball cap backwards was unnecessary."Just turn it around," he said. "They expect it.""And I don't even own ripped jeans or a … [Read more...]

Free Will Baptists respond to racist congregation

I want to give some credit to the National Association of Free Will Baptists for responding quickly to an eruption of ugly racism in one of its congregations. You may recall that last month the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church of Pike County, Ky., voted to ban interracial couples from joining the church or participating in worship services.Peter Smith of the (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal reports on the response from the association: The publishing arm of the Free Will Baptist … [Read more...]

Chuck Colson and the evangelical idea of avoiding vice by avoiding virtue

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -- James 1:27 (NIV) The above passage, I think, provides the key to understanding American evangelical Christianity.For American evangelicals, the emphasis is all on that final phrase -- "keep oneself from being polluted by the world." This is a paramount concern for evangelicals, and one of the main ways they … [Read more...]

Chuck Colson calls himself an envious, soak-the-rich socialist


Chuck Colson's latest column -- "Killing Your Neighbor's Cow -- Income Inequality" is not the work of an honest man.If it were, then the only way to make any sense of it would be as a confession -- as Chuck Colson calling himself a soak-the-rich socialist firmly in the grasp of the deadly sin of envy.That's not what Colson says, at first glance. At first glance it seems he's just accusing a bunch of other people of being a bunch of soak-the-rich socialists driven by the sin of envy. … [Read more...]