‘An excellent job at de-evangelization’

If you set out deliberately to destroy the church and pervert the gospel, you probably still couldn’t come up with anything as diabolically effective as the teavangelical nonsense of the angry white religious right. Here is some good commentary on Arizona from William Lindsey, E.J. Dionne and Rachel Held Evans. [Read more…]

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The tribal trilateral: White, Protestant, anti-abortion.

That’s what all those other tribal signifiers, past and present, tend to be — short-hand substitutes for the clobber-text hermeneutic of white American Christianity. Whether it’s the currently ascendent tribal marker of being anti-gay, or if it’s the tribal marker of young-Earth creationism, or if it’s the rapidly fading tribal marker of teetotalism, all of those things weren’t so much about the things themselves, but were, rather, ways of shouting, “But what about the Bible?” They were ways of demonstrating one’s allegiance to what tribal gatekeepers called “the authority of the scriptures.” Which is to say, really, the authority of the tribal gatekeepers themselves. [Read more…]

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Spring training, homework, fandom and evangelism

On Monday, Frank Robinson visited the Orioles spring training camp in Florida. That’s a big deal. Frank Robinson is the kind of hall-of-famer that other hall-of-famers regard with awe. He was Rookie of the Year in 1956, NL MVP in 1961, and AL MVP in 1966, when he won the triple crown. He hit 586 [Read More…]

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Can you obsessively patrol tribal boundaries without appearing to be a ridiculous self-parody who long ago lost every last vestige of faith, hope and love?

No. [Read more…]

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Rewriting evangelical history, with special guest D.G. Hart

I wish that Hal Lindsey hadn’t convinced tens of millions of Christians that their faith was an otherworldly business that consisted of little more than sitting around waiting for the Rapture. I wish that Francis Schaeffer hadn’t transformed American evangelicalism into a movement that identifies itself as an anti-abortion Van Helsing chasing after Satanic baby-killers. But it would be dishonest to pretend, as D.G. Hart does, that their lamentably massive influence was of no real consequence. [Read more…]

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A wise guy in the sky invites you to his guilty party

The perpetual catechizing by tribal gatekeepers; 2014 Pat Robertson denounces evil, socialist 2008 Pat Robertson; lots of free pizza in the pipeline for Fracksylvania; the twilight of the haters. [Read more…]

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Inhospitality: Play-acting evangelism to reinforce the tribe

Evangelism is hospitality, and hospitality is always about the guest, not about me. This video is all about me — all about us, our tribe, our team. Trash-talking the other “tribe” is not a demonstration of hospitality. Pretty much the opposite, actually. [Read more…]

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7 @ 9: The countdown’s getting lower ev’ry day

Instead of Bill Nye, I would like to see a formal debate between young-Earth creationist Ken Ham and a 6.5-meter core sample taken from a peat bog in Switzerland. Aww yeah, Acts 10 & 11, baby. More Jerks for Jesus. One problem with trying to write while the tribal gatekeepers are looking over your shoulder. Frank Luntz agonistes. [Read more…]

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