Articles

Roy Moore And The Moral Mirror Of Hatred

November 16th, 2017
Judge Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions’ ascension to attorney general, has long been a purveyor of pietistic hate speech. The self-proclaimed Christian has used racial slurs in public speeches, blamed 9/11 on godlessness, and said that homosexual behavior should be illegal. But last week, The Washington Post uncovered multiple [...]
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Church Clarity Pressures Pastors And Churches To Disclose Views On Homosexuality

October 21st, 2017
(RNS) — Jim has happily attended his church for more than six months. But he decided that this past Sunday would be his last. Why? Because he attended a membership class and discovered the church’s position on homosexuality. Jim feels this is an issue over which he cannot compromise, so he has no choice except [...]
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Alan Jacobs’ Antidote To Christian Anti-Intellectualism

October 21st, 2017
Conservative theologian J.P. Moreland once wrote, “The contemporary Christian mind is starved, and as a result we have small, impoverished souls.” Indeed, Western Christianity, particularly in its evangelical Protestant expressions has often been accused of anti-intellectualism by the secular academy. Enter Alan Jacobs–both a Christian and distinguished professor of humanities at Baylor University–and his newest book, [...]
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First Look: Trump Talks Israel On Mike Huckabee’s New TBN Show

October 21st, 2017
The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), America’s premier Christian television station, is not just for televangelists anymore. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee will launch a new TBN talk show, “Huckabee,” which will air each Saturday at 8 pm Eastern. The promotional materials for the show positions it as a show for heartland conservatives, who often feel [...]
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The Gospel For Gun-Loving Christians

October 17th, 2017
(David Gungor wrote this post as a guest writer for Jonathan Merritt’s column.) (RNS) — At a church where I used to serve, one of our lead pastors owned an assault rifle. It was a glorious specimen as far as guns go, a black AR-15 type of weapon. The same kind that was just used [...]
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Sociologist Rodney Stark Gets Cranky About Religion

October 2nd, 2017
(RNS) — Among sociologists of religion, few names are as revered — and controversial — as Rodney Stark. He has authored 150 scholarly articles and 32 books in 17 different languages, and never shies away from controversy. In 2010, for example, Stark wrote a book defending the Crusades as a “justifiable response to a strong and determined [...]
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Evangelicals Squander Their Moral Authority By Sticking With Trump

September 17th, 2017
In the wake of President Trump’s waffling on white supremacy, his supporters and advisers have abandoned him in droves. After a wave of prominent CEOs defected from the president’s Manufacturing Council and Strategy & Policy Forum, Trump decided to disband both. On Friday morning, the entire President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities resigned. As their joint letter [...]
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The Rise And Fall Of The Christian Bookstore

September 17th, 2017
Back in the 1990s, it often seemed that every city and town in America had a strip mall with a Christian bookstore where you could purchase WWJD bracelets and enough devotional books to fill up the Ark of the Covenant. But today, these Christian bookstores are a dying breed. Indeed, it seems we are fast [...]
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Is God Boosting Stephen Colbert’s Ratings?

September 17th, 2017
Before 2017, Jimmy Fallon dominated Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel in the late night talk show ratings wars. But Colbert has since emerged as the victor, besting his rivals in overall viewership for the recently concluded 2016-2017 season. Colbert ended the September-to-May season with an average of 3.19 million nightly viewers, compared to Fallon’s 3.17 million and [...]
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What Is The ‘Enneagram,’ And Why Are Christians Suddenly So Enamored By It?

September 12th, 2017
A personality typing system has been quietly infiltrating Christian communities for the last quarter-century. But some believers may be excused for their skepticism. After all, the “Enneagram” is an ancient system of unknown origin with a strange name. It is replete with sacred language, but is not explicitly Christian in orientation. It centers on nine [...]
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Take A Deep Breath. The Nashville Statement Won’t Change Anything

September 4th, 2017
(RNS) — There is a way for conservative Christians to make a strong, winsome case for traditional views of sexuality and gender. Unfortunately, the Nashville Statement isn’t it. This week, a group of prominent evangelicals released a “Christian manifesto,” which argued that LGBT people who embrace their sexual or gender identity are living in sin. The statement [...]
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Brian Zahnd: No, God Didn’t Command Genocide In The Old Testament

September 4th, 2017
The following is an adaptation from “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God.” I have decided to feature it here because it was one of the most profound and readable theological reflections that I’ve encountered in my life. I highly recommend that you order it.  Even a casual reader of the Bible notices that between [...]
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The Rise And Fall Of The Christian Bookstore

September 4th, 2017
Back in the 1990s, it often seemed that every city and town in America had a strip mall with a Christian bookstore where you could purchase WWJD bracelets and enough devotional books to fill up the Ark of the Covenant. But today, these Christian bookstores are a dying breed. Indeed, it seems we are fast [...]
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Is God Boosting Stephen Colbert’s Ratings?

September 4th, 2017
Before 2017, Jimmy Fallon dominated Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel in the late night talk show ratings wars. But Colbert has since emerged as the victor, besting his rivals in overall viewership for the recently concluded 2016-2017 season. Colbert ended the September-to-May season with an average of 3.19 million nightly viewers, compared to Fallon’s 3.17 million and [...]
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Flaming Hypocrisy In Evangelical Disney Boycott

September 4th, 2017
When it was announced last week that Disney’s forthcoming Beauty and the Beast film would feature the company’s first gay character, many responded with singing and dancing. But some conservative Christians have opted for sackcloth and ashes. Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham and a lightning rod of controversy himself, tweeted that while Disney has the right to control the content [...]
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