July 8, 2020

Hi and welcome back! Back when I was Pentecostal, most of my denomination obsessed over the Endtimes. Many of us had whole boxes full of diagrams and photocopies of prophecies and analyses. We thought this stuff predicted ‘the day and the hour,’ to borrow the Bible’s phrasing. Recently, I got an intense reminder of one of the prophecies that blew me away early on in my time with that group. I’ll show you that prophecy today, and how it worked… Read more

July 7, 2020

Lately, a huge controversy hit social media when J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, offered a series of her own hot takes on transgender people. Some of what she said sounded very much like the stuff we see out of toxic Christians, so today I wanted to talk about the measure of a woman. What goes into womanhood? Who gets to decide? And who gets excluded by these lists of requirements? Read more

July 6, 2020

Hi and welcome back! Recently, we’ve been circling around the topic of how authoritarians approach problems and try to solve them. Their utter inability to solve their problems — or even really to accurately identify them — boils down to a mistake in focus. They’re approaching their situations completely backward, thus dooming their attempts to fix anything. Today, let me show you how I figured that out for myself on a roleplaying game. (Years ago, I briefly discussed today’s anecdote in Victim Culture…. Read more

July 5, 2020

Today, I’ll show you what Frank Keating did, how his effort failed, and how nobody in his tribe of theocrats cared. Read more

July 4, 2020

Happy Fourth of July! Today, I want to offer a funny palate cleanser for our holiday — something I noticed while researching the Unchurched series. In this little tidbit, you see, Lee Strobel accidentally illustrated the completely nonexistent power of prayer. I wonder if anybody in his audience even noticed? But I did, and now I’ll show you what he said. In this post, I speak of asking-for-stuff prayers. Depending on what’s being asked for, Christians call these supplications, intercessions, and imprecations. There… Read more

July 3, 2020

Hi and welcome back! Yesterday, we looked at what the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) are doing about their huge sex-abuse scandal. The answer turned out to be nothing whatsoever that’s tangible and effective. One of the worst examples of that answer might be their “CaringWell” website. Today, let’s look at CaringWell and see how well it addresses the SBC’s endemic, systemic, far-reaching abuse scandal. (Previous ‘Abuse of Faith’ posts: Russell Moore Reveals the Strategy; A Long-Overdue Reckoning; J.D. Greear Is SO… Read more

July 2, 2020

Recently, I wondered what they’ve been up to on that front. What’s changed since we last checked in on them? As it turns out, the SBC’s leaders have been busy. Today, I’ll show you the SBC’s general strategy for dealing with their sex-abuse scandal and what they’ve managed to accomplish in this past year-and-a-half. Read more

July 1, 2020

Hi and welcome back! Of late, we’ve been focusing on Lee Strobel’s 1993 book, Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary. Decades after its publication, it remains completely au courant. Evangelicals still use the strategies in this book, and they still believe the many, many lies that its author tells about atheists. But there’s more to the story of its enduring popularity than that. Today, let’s look at how Lee Strobel blows sunshine up the skirts of his readers by talking to the… Read more

June 30, 2020

Hi and welcome back! Lately, we’ve been talking about Lee Strobel’s 1993 Christian book, Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary. In this book, Strobel offers his evangelical followers a peek into the minds of those outside their church bubbles. Ostensibly, he offers these insights along with strategies for recruiting those folks — though the insights don’t resemble reality in any way, and the strategies backfire considerably more than they work. In Chapter 7 of his book, he outlines what he… Read more

June 29, 2020

Hi and welcome back! It being Monday, we turn our attention now to Frank Peretti’s grueling slog of a fantasy novel, This Present Darkness. In this installment, we whisk through a time of transition for the heroes — and see what prayer does in the fantasies of the ones who fancy themselves to be the real deal. It’s a dramatic departure from reality in both cases. Today, Lord Snow Presides over how Frank Peretti rewrote the game of prayer. (Please… Read more

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