A whiskey priest is not the same as a Nazi

Greene

Did Luther’s anti-Semitism “affect” his theology, or did his theology foster his anti-Semitism? Yes, both. Did George Whitefield’s slave-owning shape his otherworldly revivalism or did his otherworldly revivalism rationalize his slave-owning? Yes, both. [Read more...]

Whatever happened to the clobber texts for slavery? (Unlearning the lies, cont’d.)

appomattox

When we see this text on the home page of this blog, we will know that WordPress’ excerpt function is functional, at which point we will replace this with an actual excerpt. [Read more...]

Darn Darn Floor Bad Bite: Happy Birthday Koko

a24ch

Our cousin Koko is fascinating in part because of her way with words. When she was just a teenager, she begged for a kitten for her birthday, naming her first pet “All Ball,” which was a brilliantly apt name for a kitten. She didn’t know the sign for a ring, but she knew “bracelet” and she knew “finger,” so Koko began to call rings “finger bracelets.” And when shown a video of an earthquake, Koko described what she saw as best she could: “Darn darn floor bad bite. Trouble trouble.” [Read more...]

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Unlearning the Lies, part 4)

Hirsch

Emanuel Hirsch’s complicity indelibly taints his writing and theology. How, precisely, does it do that? Well, that’s the difficult thing. It’s not compartmentalized, not a distinct, discrete ingredient that can be easily separated from the rest of Hirsch’s theology. It’s pervasive, a leaven that leaveneth the whole lump. We can’t simply read Hirsch’s theology, subtract the Nazi bits, and cheerfully keep the rest. [Read more...]

Unlearning the lies we learned from the theologians of slavery (part 2)

LOA

Jonathan Edwards’ understanding of “total depravity” illuminates our task when evaluating the heritage of American Christianity bequeathed to us from the theologians of slavery. The rot is pervasive — infecting every aspect of white Christianity in America. As Edwards argued, this depravity is not confined to a single location — a single misstep that can be identified and excised with surgical precision, leaving the remainder intact and unperturbed by that correction. Its roots are woven and interwoven throughout the whole. The depravity is total. [Read more...]

‘Ambiguity proposes, preference disposes’: We have to choose

BlakeRuth

To read the Bible is to interpret the Bible, which is to say it requires us to choose between possible meanings. This choosing is constant and unavoidable. There is no such thing as reading the Bible without making such choices. Those who imagine that they are reading the Bible without choosing are simply choosing subconsciously, or unconsciously. [Read more...]

This is not good news. This is not salvation.

Whitefield

The man who wrote those words was surely, at some fundamental, essential level, wrong about the meaning of the good news and of salvation. And yet today, in 2014, the white evangelical understanding of good news and salvation is still shaped and bounded by the model and teachings of the man who wrote that passage. That’s a problem. [Read more...]

Two images for Holy Week

amen

Many Christians who revere Sallman’s “Head of Christ” would balk at Blanchard’s gay vision of the Passion. Contextual theology is fine for those folks as long as the context is white Anglo-Saxon Protestantism. But reimagining Jesus as a powerful, privileged white guy, the way Sallman’s beloved painting does, contradicts and distorts the story in the Gospels. Reimagining Jesus as a despised outcast, as Blanchard’s paintings do, helps us grasp the core of that story. [Read more...]


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