Ninevites are not ‘God’s children’

"Jesus loves [some of] the little children, [some of] the children of the world ..."

I just watched the new documentary Hellbound, and I'll have more to say about that film later. For now, though, I just want to highlight one quote from the film. It was given voluntarily -- not captured on a hidden camera or misspoken in response to some ambush "gotcha" question. The quote comes from Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Mich., and a popular blogger at the Gospel Coalition. Filmmaker Kevin Miller asked DeYoung if God loves everyone. … [Read more...]

‘Identity that sends us toward the other with love’

The truth is we are very, very different. Our biggest problem, though, isn't our differences. Our biggest problem is that we build identity -- whatever our religion -- we build identity by enforcing hostility toward the other. In other words, I learn who I am by learning who I'm against. I learn who I am by learning who's against me. And so when your identity is oppositional -- when identity is based in your fear of the other, then it doesn't matter whether you put a label of Christian, … [Read more...]

‘What is an evangelical?’ part 3,947 …

If you want to reclaim the word "evangelical," you'll have to take it back from the people who own it right now. And that means people like Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, David Barton, Bryan Fischer and Cindy Jacobs.

Timothy Dalrymple, who oversees the evangelical channel here at Patheos, takes a couple good swings at the perennial question of who is (and thus who is not) an evangelical. On Monday Tim asked "When Do You Stop Calling Someone an Evangelical?" It's a thoughtful and generally constructive discussion of "various attempts to provide a clearer definition of evangelicalism, from the famous Bebbington Quadrilateral to pseudo-creeds like the Lausanne Covenant." He's particularly "leery," he says, … [Read more...]

Gatekeeper gatecrashes a wedding (stay classy, Get Religion)


Terry Mattingly notes that popular evangelical author and speaker Brian McLaren recently officiated at a same-sex wedding. Mattingly takes this as an opportunity once again to remind everyone that he, Terry Mattingly, has personally discussed religion with Billy Graham. Have you? No? Well Terry Mattingly has. So there. And if that doesn't qualify Terry Mattingly to separate the wheat from the chaff, what possibly could? In his role as someone who has, personally, discussed the meaning … [Read more...]

‘The Right Club’ and what offends God


Hemant Mehta tells us about an atheist billboard in Kentucky and the tribalist response from a local church. "Don't believe in God?" the atheist billboard reads, "Join the club." So a local Nazarene church put up a sign that says, "We believe in God. Join the right club!" So much wrong there in the multiple meanings of that word, "club." The church's pastor said Christians like him were offended by the billboard. He seems to assume we'll all understand why such offense is … [Read more...]

3 things you can do if you want to be a big jerk


Here are a few recent stories in which various people -- including some public officials -- demonstrate how to be a really big jerk. I don't recommend being a big jerk, mind you, but if that's your goal, then study these stories carefully. These folks are putting on a clinic in jerkitude. 1. Walk into a store owned by Christians, throw their religious literature into the trash and insult their faith. Mayor Tonya Hoeffel of Garrett, Indiana, is a big jerk. Mayor Hoeffel walked into a … [Read more...]

More smart people saying smart things

Emily C. Heath: "How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions" I've come up with this little quiz. I call it "How to Determine if Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions." Just pick "A" or "B" for each question. 1. My religious liberty is at risk because: A) I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing. B) Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing. 2. My religious … [Read more...]

Evangelical tribalism: 3 more data points

Life inside the evangelical tribal bubble is a wondrous place. Come with me inside, through the un-looking glass, wherein we will learn that the oldest churches aren't sufficiently traditional, that a 47-year-old white rapper is the pinnacle of Christian art since "Butterfly Kisses," and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are more authentically evangelical than T.D. Jakes. 1. Fuller Seminary's Burner blog redefines "traditional" and "conservative" Here's a snippet of the Burner's review of … [Read more...]