October 25, 2019

Divested of its apocryphal Pagan origins, Halloween isn’t the beast our fundamentalist Sunday school teachers described. It’s no accident that our celebration of the spooky happens in the autumn, when signs of life all around us wither and fall to the earth. Read more

August 22, 2019

In the internet melee following the recent shootings in California, Texas, and Ohio, the predictable arguments about guns, video games, and the NRA were interrupted by the emergence of a new catch-all explanation. This meme, shared mostly on right-wing social media pages, goes like this: mass-shooters all have one thing in common, and it’s not the gun used. They have all been on psychiatric drugs, most often antidepressants, meaning these medications must be causing mass-shootings. To borrow an overused neologism, this... Read more

July 29, 2019

Joshua Harris, author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” and inarguably the biggest name in so-called 1990s evangelical “purity culture,” announced on Instagram last week that he and his wife are divorcing. Shortly afterward, he renounced the Christian faith. This comes after several years of apologizing for his early work, which some say harmed them or drove them away from Christianity. Anyone who believes a word our Lord Jesus said should mourn this news, whether they had a strong opinion about “I... Read more

July 10, 2019

This piece was originally published at BreakPoint.org on August 22, 2016.  Late last month, the World Wide Web quietly celebrated its 10 thousandth day of existence, making it almost exactly my age. This information space makes up the vast majority of the Internet, which, though technically much older than the Web, didn’t become popular until my lifetime. At this juncture, the two terms are synonymous for most people, and no one knows or cares what “HTTP” stands for anymore. The point is,... Read more

July 2, 2019

See the end of this article for a response I received from Greg Johnson (Lead Pastor, Memorial Presbyterian Church, which hosted Revoice 2018). Last week was the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), my own denomination. For those who don’t know, the PCA is America’s largest conservative Presbyterian denomination, originally composed of Reformed congregations that split off from the liberal PC(US). We’re the Presbyterians who don’t ordain women, who affirm the inerrancy of Scripture, who condemn abortion,... Read more

June 18, 2019

There’s a scene in the 2004 adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel, “The Notebook” in which Ryan Gosling’s character tries to get Rachel McAdams’ character to stop playing games with him and clearly tell him what she wants out of life. “What do you want?” he asks repeatedly. “It’s not that simple,” she insists. I feel like Gosling nearly every time I read the latest condemnation of “purity culture” by ex-fundamentalists who say they still want all the benefits of Christian... Read more

May 24, 2019

Writing recently in USA Today, Oliver Thomas made an argument that’s become wearisomely familiar: that “American churches must reject literalism and admit we got it wrong on gay people.” Actually, this is more of an assertion than an argument. And Thomas, whose bio says he’s on the board of contributors at USA Today and is a retired American Baptist Minister, seems to be confusing “literalism” with “inerrancy.” To wit: he offers no metaphorical or symbolic interpretation of the New Testament’s... Read more

May 7, 2019

Here’s a truth Christian parents need to understand: In 2019, neither we, nor our churches, nor our extended communities, nor even the friends and peers our kids see from day to day are necessarily the strongest influences in their lives. In fact, many teenagers today, particularly young men, construct their worldviews from the unhinged rants of strangers hundreds of miles away—strangers who are eager to fill boys’ still-developing brains with vile, diseased, soul-rotting propaganda. And our kids may choose to... Read more

April 16, 2019

Two related habits of thought will render a Christian useless to his neighbors more quickly than just about any others. The first is the idea that our blessed hope is a disembodied existence strumming harps on clouds somewhere East of Mount Olympus for eternity. “This world is not my home, I’m just a’passing through,” as Jim Reeves sang. The other is that Christians are not citizens of this world in any moral sense, but live by an alien law from... Read more

April 1, 2019

At John Pennekamp State Park in Florida, just east of Key Largo, you’ll find a stretch of what is probably the continental United States’ best coral reef. It’s not much of a contest. There are only two (living coral reefs in the lower 48, that is). One of the most spectacular sections of that reef, which I snorkeled with my wife and little brother last week, is called Dry Rocks. Swaying gorgonians, sea fans, brain, fire, and mustard corals of... Read more

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