Popular theology is popular culture and vice versa

TheOmen

Consider Tim LaHaye’s portrayal of the “Antichrist,” Nicolae Carpathia. You can’t get to Nicolae without first going through Damien Thorn — the villain of Richard Donner’s 1976 horror classic The Omen, and of its numerous sequels and remakes and imitations. And you can’t have The Omen without first having Hal Lindsey. [Read more...]

NRA: Throwing Chaim under the (hypothetical) bus

Purple

It took centuries of hard work to transform the Bible into a manual of Hell-avoidance. It would be more credible, and far easier, to claim that the central theme of the dictionary is Hell-avoidance, since the dictionary mentions Hell more often than the Bible does. The Hebrew scriptures and the Pauline epistles of the New Testament have nothing to say on the subject. If you’re looking for Hell in the Bible, about the only place you’ll find it is in a handful of the semi-Pelagian parables of Jesus, wherein Hell is never the default destiny of the “unsaved,” but always rather the deserved punishment for selfish rich people. And yet none of the people who preach a gospel of Hell-avoidance seem to believe in that idea of Hell. [Read more...]

NRA: Chaim is one of my Jewish characters

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 6.17.07 PM

The authors only need two Jewish characters because they only need to illustrate the two possible outcomes for Jews in their End Times mythology. So we get Tsion Ben-Judah, the rabbi who repents of his Judaism and converts to fundamentalist Christianity, and Chaim Rosenzweig, the “nonreligious, nonpracticing Jew” who rejects Jesus and embraces the Antichrist [Read more...]

Soul freedom, Baptist baptism, and the knowledge of good and evil

Blake

James McGrath responds to Jim West’s attempt to play Baptist Enforcer, pointing out that Baptists, by definition, do not and cannot have enforcers. Pretty much the only way to break the rules as a Baptist is to try to enforce them on others. [Read more...]

Ninevites are not ‘God’s children’

"Jesus loves [some of] the little children, [some of] the children of the world ..."

“And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?” [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things

Kevin Miller: “Talking to Christians About Hell: It’s Not as Easy as You’d Think” Experience has shown me that too many Christians have a strong emotional investment in a doctrine of hell they’re unable to articulate, much less defend against rival interpretations. Worse, they’re not even aware such interpretations exist. And then they treat their [Read More...]

Robot Eurythphro and news from the religious right

“And a good day to you, Robot Euthyphro.” If you’re not familiar with the original, you can read it here. Go ahead, it’s short, and funnier than you might expect. (For best results: Imagine Peter Falk in the role of Socrates.) I found the video above after reading Libby Anne’s response to a column by [Read More...]

The righteous man and the wicked city: ‘Abraham Pleads for Sodom’

The New International Version of the Bible adds these little section headings at the start of each chapter or pericope. At the start of Genesis 19, for example, it adds the heading “Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed.” That’s a familiar story, even for people who haven’t read the Bible. The names of those cities endure as [Read More...]


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