May 22, 2019

David Swartz interviews David Kirkpatrick about his new book on the Latin American evangelical left. Read more

May 21, 2019

As news spread of Rachel Held Evans’s death, one quote continued to pop up in my social media feed, a quote from her book Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church: But the gospel doesn’t need a coalition devoted to keeping the wrong people out. It needs a family of sinners, saved by grace, committed to tearing down the walls, throwing open the doors, and shouting, “Welcome! There’s bread and wine. Come eat with us and talk.” This… Read more

May 20, 2019

Someday, soon perhaps, the Juul e-cigarette will pass into the heap of cast-off youth fads and we may breathe sighs of relief that that’s over.  Until then, fuel for wild-eyed screeds against the product needs to come from somewhere. Religious and moral opposition to smoking has a long and varied pedigree, from the “Counterblaste to Tobacco” of England’s King James I, to the seventeenth-century papal rulings against tobacco use at Mass, to calls by long-skirted ladies of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union…. Read more

May 17, 2019

Not long ago, I posted about the Book of Acts, suggesting that some very early reader of that text went out and collected what all later ages now know as the collection of Paul’s letters. Specifically, I suggested the collector responsible was “Theophilos,” either the actual name or pseudonym of the person to whom Luke dedicated his writings. Following up on that, I returned to one of the very best scholarly works on Acts, which is of course by Ben… Read more

May 16, 2019

Chris writes his first letter to a member of the U.S. Congress. Read more

May 15, 2019

In 215 B.C., a defeated and cash-strapped Rome passed a new law. The context was their greatest military defeat ever. On August 2, 216 B.C., the Carthaginian general Hannibal destroyed their army at Cannae during the Second Punic War. Sources tell us between 50,000 and 70,000 Roman soldiers died that day. That is seven times as many soldiers killed at Gettysburg.  As the first century Roman historian Livy cried, “Certainly there is no other nation that would not have succumbed beneath… Read more

May 14, 2019

About a month after the fire that nearly destroyed Paris’ Notre-Dame cathedral, it’s clear that medieval church will rise again. But some of the churches obliterated in the two world wars were left in ruins, as memorials. Read more

May 13, 2019

Early Christians believed that Jesus had predicted his Resurrection, and associated that event with the third day. They also suggest that such a belief should have been obvious enough to anyone who searched the scriptures. That latter statement is puzzling, as there really is no very clear statement that associates the Messiah with such a third day chronology. Where would you even begin searching? Let me suggest a passage that people might have had in mind when developing these ideas…. Read more

May 11, 2019

My phone buzzed. I glanced quickly, then my brain clicked. I turned the car off and picked my phone up. Had Beth Moore just called complementarianism misogyny? Sexism? Had she just called it out as as more about arrogance and power than following Scripture? Named it sin? Read more

May 10, 2019

I have been posting about the passage in the last chapter of John’s Gospel in which the Risen Jesus meets the disciples at the Sea of Galilee, and suggested that this was the original and most primitive Resurrection appearance story, which long predated stories of an encounter in a Jerusalem garden. That scene also has an interesting echo in another Gospel story, which as it stands does not have a Resurrection context. But arguably, it should have had one. I… Read more

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