If we confess our sins

At this point in the sermon, pastors often balk and attempt to do the impossible — to provide an example of their personal “sin” that is not actually shameful or hurtful or distasteful. They’ll bring up some minor matter of akrasia, some petty foible or embarrassment. They’ll confess to once saying a dirty word when they accidentally hit their thumb with a hammer, or to being impatient in traffic. Their personal illustration, being something trivial, trivializes the entire sermon. [Read more…]

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I can’t forget the glamour

Today is the centennial of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald, and thus a day worth celebrating. Also: The Temple of Knowledge; the trash-can-as-trash problem; literal navel-gazing with creationists; and Orrin Hatch refers to Native Americans as “far-left special interests.” [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (4.26)

Rick Perlstein on the unpleasant political lineage of Trumpism. Adam Kotsko and Deborah Jian Lee on the whiteness of white evangelicalism. Andre E. Johnson on the old arguments resurfacing as “bathroom bills.” And John Oliver on abortion laws. [Read more…]

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

A five-day work week? That’s a union thing — and unions are evil doncha know. “Jesus wants you heavily armed.” Houston church desperately fighting to get on the wrong side of the gospel. (You thought I was gonna say “wrong side of history”? That too.) After they finished writing the Constitution, the Founding Fathers had a drink or two. “This is a problem.” [Read more…]

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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 [Read More…]

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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 [Read More…]

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‘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 [Read More…]

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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 [Read More…]

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