Two images for Holy Week


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...]

OK, let’s talk about snake-handling

This is how Christians should handle snakes: The Rev. Bruce Puckett and the Rev. Meghan Feldmeyer of Duke Chapel bless two corn snakes and a boa constrictor on the feast day of St. Francis in 2012 at Duke University.

Snake-handlers’ weird, idiosyncratic distortion of the Bible produces an impressive display of commitment, but to what end? They’ve developed a form of religion that’s all about putting faith to the test without ever putting it to use. It’s a sign that doesn’t signify anything other than itself, which is to say it’s not a sign at all. [Read more...]

‘Readers should know’ of theologian’s abuse


“John Howard Yoder (1927-1997) was perhaps the most well-known Mennonite theologian in the 20th century. While his work on Christian ethics helped define Anabaptism to an audience far outside the Mennonite Church, he is also remembered for his long-term sexual harassment and abuse of women.” [Read more...]

‘Inerrancy’ is just Round 2 of the Bible-battle over slavery

Bookgun by Robert The. (Click photo for link.)

In every iteration, the conflict is the same. On the one side are those who declare that they stand for the absolute truth of the inerrant scripture. And on the other side are those who say that such an appeal to scripture can never be contrary to the “twofold love of God and our neighbor.” [Read more...]

Reformed seminaries ought to understand Reformed political theology


Michael Kruger is a Reformed theologian. He teaches, and serves as president, at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte. Yet Kruger seems wholly unfamiliar with, and wholly ignorant of, Reformed political theology. That’s more shocking than the credulous falsehoods Kruger swallows and regurgitates as his talking points against universal health care. [Read more...]

‘Hell House,’ abortion, and the mute zombie children of Heaven


New Destiny’s abortion mythology posits that every fertilized egg is a fully human person, and also that every fertilized egg that dies before reaching an “age of accountability” ascends to Heaven. That presents an unnerving picture of Heaven. [Read more...]

Are Mormons Christian? A series of unhelpful questions

Jesus loves Kevin Price and Arnold Cunningham. Heck, Jesus even loves Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Patheos is conducting an “interfaith round table” discussion of the question “Are Mormons Christian?” Here I will try to address this larger question — “Are Mormons Christian?” — by considering a set of other, related questions. These questions, I think, prove unhelpful when considered separately. Added together, however, I suspect they’re even less helpful. [Read more...]

Hell and soteriology Part 1: Bill O’Reilly’s accidental insight


Candida Moss does not euphemize or equivocate about what the text says that Jesus said or that Jesus said this as a direct assertion of fact. Jesus said that if you don’t give away your wealth to help the poor, then you will go to Hell. Period. As Keith wrote, Bill O’Reilly’s reaction was typical of “almost all readers of this story … surely that’s not what he really meant.” [Read more...]