The evangelical bubble cannot be sustained (part 1)

The following unrelated items are not unrelated: 1. Latebloomer, who writes at Past Tense, Present Progressive, tells a familiar story about being an inquisitive kid in the insular world of American fundamentalist Christianity: I was in the middle of writing a homeschool high school essay called “Why I Believe What I Believe,” and one of [Read More...]

I’m looking through you

She sees colors that you can't even imagine.

I enjoyed this trippy, riffing and rambling reflection from John Van Sloten at Think Christian: “Spiritual perception and the science of color.” It’s half sermon illustration, half stoner epiphany. I probably enjoyed the stoner-ish aspects more, but Von Slaten’s sermon ain’t bad either. He writes: Dogs are bi-chromates, meaning their eyes have two cones enabling [Read More...]

Team Hell gets loud

The evangelical blog world seems all atwitter over a forthcoming book by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. The book's title, "Love Wins," is apparently regarded by many American evangelicals as an astonishingly heretical and controversial claim. Love wins? How dare anyone suggest such a thing? Even more controversial [Read More...]

A Vindication of Democracy

Another quick note in response to the Rev. John MacArthur's strange belief that Reformed theology compels one to be an apologist for autocrats. After all, who said democracy’s the best form of government? No matter what the form of government is, the Bible doesn’t advocate anything but a theocracy. The Bible proclaims God to be [Read More...]

The Beastly Counter-revolutionary Counter-Revelation

Revelation 13 In amazement the whole earth followed the beast. They worshipped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?’ The beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed [Read More...]

The Apostate and Me

I've finally finished reading "The Apostate: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology," Lawrence Wright's extensive, exhaustive profile in The New Yorker. It's a fascinating, provocative and revealing look at both the Academy Award-winning screenwriter and the religious empire created by the late L. Ron Hubbard. One comes away with a less-than-flattering sense of Haggis, [Read More...]

Epiphany: One of us

If you look at the calendar for the coming week you'll see this word written in on Thursday: "Epiphany." That seems strange. Epiphanies don't seem like the sort of thing one can schedule ahead of time and plan for like that. "Good meeting, Jim, let's meet again tomorrow to finish up." "Fine, just let me [Read More...]

The Language of Religion I

"The language of religion," Atrios writes, is "something I don't understand. It's gibberish to me. When people start invoking religion in discussing issues they may as well be talking Martian. I'm not being insulting here, I'm just saying it's utterly meaningless to me personally." And of course there's no reason such language should be meaningful [Read More...]


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