You might be an evangelical …

In addition to our unexpected hospital adventure this week we've also been puppy-sitting for my brother-in-law's 6-month-old poodle (energetic, mischievous, adorable). Whenever there's a quiet moment around here it seems that means someone is probably eating something that isn't food. My brother-and-law and his family are on vacation in Costa Rica. I was initially confused when told where they were going because, as an evangelical, I instinctively got fixated on the idea that this must be a … [Read more...]

'Growing Up Fundamentalist'

Last weekend, after months of pestering, I got my old Christian Service Brigade uniform shirt out of the attic. My wife never quite believed it was real, so finally I had to show it to her, struggling to remember what all of the various achievement patches I had earned were for. The slacktivixen finds the whole idea of Christian Service Brigade hilarious. "Fundamentalist Boy Scouts?" she says, laughing. "What -- the Boy Scouts were too worldly?" Yep. For our church, they were. But I'm still … [Read more...]

'We too fall with it'

So I'm working on collecting some of the older posts here, bundling them into categories of sorts and cleaning them up a bit in the hopes of producing that book-like thing I mentioned earlier. And that entails writing short introductions for the various sections. The following is my first shot at the introduction for the section on young-earth creationism. - - - - - - - - - - - - The oldest book in our Bible contains a hymn of praise to the Creator that rambles on for chapter after chapter. … [Read more...]

Team Hell gets loud

The evangelical blog world seems all atwitter over a forthcoming book by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. The book's title, "Love Wins," is apparently regarded by many American evangelicals as an astonishingly heretical and controversial claim. Love wins? How dare anyone suggest such a thing? Even more controversial is the book's subtitle: "Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Has Ever Lived." Bear in mind that the book … [Read more...]

Mourn with those who mourn

The TV people on "Fox & Friends" were perplexed and offended by the Native American blessing offered at the memorial service Wednesday night in Tucson, Ariz. Fox's Brit Hume seemed to mock the prayer's inclusion of blessing for other living creatures. Hume said, condescendingly, "While I'm sure that is an honorable tradition with his people, it was most peculiar." (See video courtesy of Jon Stewart.) That just strikes me as an incredibly egocentric and … [Read more...]

L’affaire Waltke

This is a story about control. It is about, in the unintentionally candid terms of one of the main actors, "absolute authority" and the desire to wield that authority over a text so that the text, in turn, may be used to wield absolute authority over others. It is a story, in other words, about mortals who covet the authority of God and the lies they tell themselves and others when trying to usurp that authority. Our story takes place at an institution calling itself "Reformed … [Read more...]

Vincible GooFiness

So we're not quite done yet with the GooFi videos.These "exposés" of alleged Satanism in rock & roll are full of stupid, unbelievable assertions. This, sadly, makes them relevant for considering what has become one of the most urgent political issues of our time -- the widespread embrace of stupid, unbelievable claims. The GooFi videos are helpful because they let us consider this phenomenon in a nonpartisan context without the complicating passions of politics.I also think … [Read more...]

The Long March of the Koalas

It has been brought to my attention that Ken Ham, the man behind the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis, is originally from Australia and not the United States. So when I wrote last week of America as "the land of P.T. Barnum and Ken Ham" the general point about hucksterism here in the U.S. was correct, but technically ...Wait, hold on -- Australia?You can't be a young-earth creationist and be from Australia. I think if you're a young-earth creationist, you're not … [Read more...]