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...]

Parable

When you find a story particularly impenetrable, confusing or disconcerting, sometimes it helps to retell it. This particular story was itself a retelling of an older story (the new version left out the whale because people seemed to find that episode too distracting). – – – – – – – – – – – - [Read More...]

Human readers

(One last thing on Niebuhr, then we'll move on, I promise.) Reinhold Niebuhr is regarded as a "Neo-Orthodox" theologian. The "neo" there doesn't mean that he presented a new orthodoxy, but refers rather to the way that his profound consideration of sin and human nature was a reassertion of the classic biblical and Augustinian views. [Read More...]


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