Donors rescue the Faculty Lounge of evangelicalism

The faculty lounge is a place where teachers and professors can relax and talk amongst themselves without worrying about who might be listening in. I think that also describes the role that Books & Culture has played in American evangelicalism. [Read more…]

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Jesus Is Not At All Like That (my video for the NALT Christians Project)

I never made a YouTube video before, and that probably shows, but when John Shore invited me to contribute one to the NALT Christians Project, I couldn’t say no. (I’ve included the transcript — all the words, but none of the bad lighting and awkwardness.) [Read more…]

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The rules are funny, the ideas behind them are not

Defeating the Dragons: “The spirit, the beliefs, the ideas, the system that keeps the legalism alive is the problem. There’s nothing there worth protecting, and all of it deserves to be destroyed. Because this system is built on an ugly foundation of power, abuse, domination, and control. The people who perpetuate it aren’t there because they genuinely love people and want to protect them. Legalism gives them the power to wield massive control over entire groups of people – but they can only do that not because of the rules, but because of belief.” [Read more…]

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Evangelical gatekeepers and conservative holiness

Evangelicals scrupulously police their left-wing boundary, but the right-wing boundary is unmonitored. Because there is no right-wing boundary. “Egalitarians” are permitted to remain in the tribe, but not if they get TOO egalitarian. But complementarians need not worry about getting too complementarian because “too complementarian” is not a category the tribe recognizes. [Read more…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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