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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Why ‘witnessing tools’ never work and why the acting is always bad in evangelism-training videos

By assembling one single Very Bad evangelism-training video out of several less-bad videos, this editing confuses the point. It blurs the different kinds of badness to be found in the originals. That makes it more difficult to analyze or understand why those different original videos were bad in different ways. [Read more…]

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Larry Pratt: Still dishonest and violent, and still an upstanding pillar of the white evangelical community

So obviously, that debate nearly 20 years ago was seen as controversial for Christian family radio. Because of Ron Sider. He’s a pacifist, urges rich people to give money to feed the hungry, and he once voted for McGovern. It was quite a bold move, then, for this radio station to ask a fine, upstanding pillar of the white evangelical community like Larry Pratt to agree to debate such a dangerous, fringe character. [Read more…]

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