Bebbington, schmebbington: Evangelicals’ politicized animosity to gays and women is not a media invention


Theological definitions don’t matter. You will never be branded as “controversial” or banished from the evangelical tribe for insufficient biblicism. Or because your enthusiasm for crucicentrism, conversionism or missional activism is regarded as suspect. But if you’re feminist or pro-gay, you’re out. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars


Jesus Christ, pugilist; Big Mountain Jesus; the Cardinal has long paid for contraception; reaching out to white voters; not standing by for street harassment; a woman is not a laptop; meat-eating vegetarian extremists; and more. [Read more...]

The other side of the ‘evangelical left’ (part 1)


David Swartz’s book “Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism” is a history of my own little world — a little world shaped by many of the same people who shaped me. The “evangelical left” is Mark William Olson’s little world too, and as Olson says, there’s another side to this history. [Read more...]

Rick Santorum: Hollywood mogul


Santorum’s talk about making “a positive impact on our country’s cultural challenges” is hogwash. EchoLight doesn’t make movies that aspire to influence the wider culture. It makes movies that will be deemed safe and permissible within the white evangelical subculture. These are tribal movies produced by and for members of the tribe. And Santorum isn’t really a member of that tribe. [Read more...]

The lies of Exodus were a bearing wall for evangelicalism


For American evangelicalism, Exodus was a bearing wall — a vital support column. It propped up the illusion that evangelical culture-warriors have any claim to the moral high ground. And, even more fundamentally, it propped up an otherwise unsustainable proof-texting hermeneutic. Without the support of Exodus’ lie, evangelicals would need to, in Tim Keller’s words, “Completely disassemble the way in which they read the Bible. Completely disassemble their whole approach to authority.” [Read more...]

When conscience and ‘obedience’ pull in opposite directions


Peter Wehner is clearly aware of the discomfort and anxiety that comes from the kind of faith Danny Coleman described and Tim Keller endorsed — a form of faith in which conscience and obedience are at odds, pulling in opposite directions. It’s like being stretched on a rack. And, one way or the other, such faith will always entail being racked with guilt. [Read more...]

The execution of Achan, son of Carmi, rescuer of children


And Achan answered Joshua, “It is true; I am the one who sinned against the Lord God of Israel. This is what I did: when I saw what it meant to devote to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, my conscience cried out within me. I saw among the spoil the children of Jericho who do not know their right hand from their left, and I hid them. They now wait hidden in a cave outside our camp, and their mothers with them.” [Read more...]

White evangelicals and immigration

AP photo from Dave Martin. Click the pic for the link.

Molly Worthen’s New York Times article on white evangelical support for immigration — “Love Thy Stranger as Thyself” — summarizes most of the reasons why I see this as a hopeful, and perhaps very important, development. At the same time, Worthen’s report ably illustrates many of the reasons that hopefulness is a bit qualified and tenuous. [Read more...]