50 Shades of The ‘Gospel Coalition’

The Rev. Anyabwile makes his "O Face." You don't want to know what was cropped out of this photo.

"Crazy Jane Talks With The Gospel Coalition" I met Thabiti Anyabwile And much said he and I. 'Those breasts are flat and fallen now, Those veins must soon be dry; Live in a heavenly mansion, Not in some foul sty.''Fair and foul are near of kin, And fair needs foul,' I cried. 'My friends are gone, but that's a truth Nor grave nor bed denied, Learned in bodily lowliness And in the heart's pride.'A woman can be proud and stiff When on love intent; But Love has pitched his … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (8.14)

Richard Rohr: "The Jesus Hermeneutic" To take the scriptures seriously is not to take them literally. Literalism is invariably the lowest and least level of meaning. Most Biblical authors understood this, which is why they felt totally free to take so many obvious liberties with what we would call "facts." In many ways, we have moved backwards in our ability to read spiritual and transformative texts, especially after the enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when religious … [Read more...]

Evangelical gatekeepers and conservative holiness

Gatekeepers police the fortified boundaries of evangelicalism, but only on the "liberal" border. There is no conservative border.

I want to follow up on a recent post about evangelical tribal boundaries -- "Bebbington, schmebbington." Part of what I'm getting at there is the way that white evangelicals scrupulously police their left-wing boundary, but the right-wing boundary is unmonitored. Because there is no right-wing boundary.Consider, for example, the ongoing "debate" over the full humanity equality of women in the church and in society. Some evangelicals are "complementarians" -- meaning they believe women must … [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars (7.20)


"He believes in order to be true to God he must be 'a bad guy' to me.""Both the longing for a Westminster Confession/Sola Scriptura/Inerrant Bible full of clear, theological guidelines and for an Infallible Magisterium and Tradition with a capital 'T' are ways of avoiding the hard work of thinking through the ambiguities and challenges of modern existence.""Let's just say that, based on the 100 or so signatories, an awful lot of the American religious community doesn't see it that way. … [Read more...]

Bebbington, schmebbington: Evangelicals’ politicized animosity to gays and women is not a media invention


At the Christian Century, Dennis Sanders echoes Skye Jethani's contention that evangelical hostility to LGBT people is an exaggeration -- a media creation resulting from disproportionate attention given to the loud voices of "politically rabid evangelicals" who "fit the narrative advanced by the news and entertainment media."It's certainly true that we're not all like that -- that all of us white evangelicals are not "politically rabid" right-wingers obsessed with anti-feminist and anti-gay … [Read more...]

7 things @ 11 o’clock (7.11)

1. Two videos -- both incredible, but in very different ways: One toke over the line. A flash of lightning.2. Scot McKnight shares a story about how Justices Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan have become "hunting buddies." I've often thought it would be constructive to organize hunting trips like this, sending NRA-beholden lawmakers out for a long weekend with, say, police officials who favor gun-safety laws. That might provide a chance for the cops to convince them that common-sense gun … [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars


"Christ could throw a punch.""Unquestionably, Big Mountain Jesus is a religious symbol commonly associated with one form of religion.""Life is difficult enough for most people without having a gaggle of pampered nags shouting, 'You're not doing it right!'""It seems the Catholic bishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has been paying for insurance for some of his employees that covers abortions and contraceptives.""Conservative frequently treat the Constitution the same way … [Read more...]

The other side of the ‘evangelical left’ (part 1)


"In one way or another," Mark William Olson writes, "I suppose that we all tend to live in worlds of our own making: little worlds that feel like big worlds."The little world he's writing about was, for more than a decade, my little world too. I'm fascinated by this essay of his because in recounting his own history he also retraces my own trajectory.Olson's post at Christian Feminism Today is technically a book review. The book in question is Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an A … [Read more...]