The framework of fundamentalist propaganda distorts how we view every religion

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I think of this as a Yeatsian framework because it privileges the supposedly “more authentic” forms of religion due to their passionate intensity, while disregarding the supposedly “less authentic” due to their imagined lack of all conviction. And because it admires the passionate intensity of what I consider the worst aspects of religion while dismissing what I consider the best of religion as nothing more than that lack of conviction. [Read more...]

When some faction says they, and they alone, are the Real, True Christians, you shouldn’t take their word for it

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The compulsion to elevate oneself as the righteous remnant, and to draw boundaries between Real True Believers and everyone else, is the hallmark of a particular strain of fundamentalist religion. It is a mark of religion that, I think, has elevated the cardinal sin above the cardinal virtue — substituting pride for love. That pride drives the obsessive need to constantly make and enforce distinctions between Us, the righteous few, and Them, the apostate hordes falsely claiming the name of our religion as they trundle down the broad path toward destruction. [Read more...]

This is a big deal: David Gushee’s ‘Changing Our Mind’

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“It is difficult to overstate the potential impact of Gushee’s defection. His Christian ethics textbook, Kingdom Ethics, co-authored with the late Glen Stassen, is widely respected and was named a 2004 Christianity Today book of the year. He serves as theologian-in-residence for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a coalition of 15 theological schools, 150 ministries, and 1,800 Baptist churches nationwide. … Gushee is not someone who can be easily dismissed.” [Read more...]

Gatekeepers and clumsy magicians

Vicari

Watching Ricky Jay perform will teach you what magic tricks are supposed to look like, but no matter how closely you watch him, you won’t ever learn how the trick is done. To learn that, you need to watch someone who isn’t a master at the craft. The clumsier and more inept the magician, the more you’ll be able to see how the trick works. That’s why it can be instructive, sometimes, to check in with our old friends at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. [Read more...]

The white evangelical tribe is, itself, post-evangelical (cont’d.)

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The fundamentalist retreat, according to this narrative of history, meant a withdrawal from society, from politics and from public life. That retreat lasted for several decades until the post-war rise of the “Neo-evangelicals” — a term meant to hark back to the glory days from before the great split in which evangelicals had devolved into either fundamentalists or modernists. [Read more...]

The white evangelical tribe is, itself, post-evangelical

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Bebbington Schmebbington. American white evangelicals no longer identify themselves according to the kinds of religious temperaments described in David Bebbington’s “quadrilateral” of biblicism, crucicentrism, conversionism and activism. That’s not how the tribe defines or enforces its own boundaries. Those boundaries have become political and defiantly partisan — anti-abortion, anti-gay, Christian nationalism, and a belief in “small government” in the Atwaterian sense of the term. [Read more...]

Who do you say that I am?: Putting the ‘post-’ in ‘post-evangelical’ (part 1)

LydiaBean

American evangelicals changed the way they answer the question “Who do we say that we are?” And that means, inevitably, that they have also — consciously or not — changed the way they answer the question “Who do you say that I am?” For Christians, that’s a rather important question. Changing our answer to that bedrock question shouldn’t be something that happens without serious, conscious consideration. And yet that’s what happened. [Read more...]

The name doesn’t make the band, the band makes the name

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The new currency for the label “Progressive Christian” is something of an accident. It’s the label settled on for a bunch of Christians whom other Christians weren’t sure they wanted to share a label with. [Read more...]


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