Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

New Atheism

June 13, 2015

An interesting read on the New Atheism. Here’s a good paragraph:

For secular thinkers, the continuing vitality of religion calls into question the belief that history underpins their values. To be sure, there is disagreement as to the nature of these values. But pretty well all secular thinkers now take for granted that modern societies must in the end converge on some version of liberalism. Never well founded, this assumption is today clearly unreasonable. So, not for the first time, secular thinkers look to science for a foundation for their values.

Pro-Israel Theology

June 12, 2015

This is an interesting take on how Christians should deal with the issue of Israel. There are a few problems with the account: 1) he overestimates the effect of dispensationalism on American religion and politics and 2) it overstates the impact of dispensationalism as a system on our approach on one’s view of the current state of Israel. But those are theoretical objections at some level, for at a populist level there’s a measure of truth to the comments.

Race and the American Church

June 4, 2015

Otis Picket is a couple of essays into a series on race and I think he strikes a pretty good tone.

More thoughts on Christian Perspective

May 30, 2015

Another piece on the cultural situation of the church. Having lost power, we are called to be the church. I think that’s mostly right (though we may not all agree on what the church actually looks like!).

Modernism and Religious Conservatives

May 30, 2015

Rod Dreher often has some interesting things to say. Here he highlights problems with some of modern evangelical (and fundamentalist) thinking – while observing that there are still some contributions to be made. Here’s the key argument:

Christians who refuse, even denigrate, the Church’s deep theological roots in history, strike me as holding a conservatism that is a hard outer shell. What happens when the experience of living in modernity, with its valorization of radical autonomy, erodes or pierces the armor? With their creedless, non-denominational, make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach to Christianity, they are sitting ducks. They deny themselves the wisdom and profundity of tradition, which would give them deep roots. Ironically, their approach to ecclesiology is itself part of modernity, the very thing they oppose so fiercely. Christian fundamentalism, especially in its nondenominational variety, is parasitic on older, more ancient forms of Christianity, in ways that its adherents don’t appreciate.

Letters to the Church in Minneapolis

May 3, 2015

Being a former Minneapolitan, I was intrigued to see these letters written by students of my friend Dennis Edwards. A reminder that culture has interesting implications.

American Apocalypse

May 3, 2015

This post (about the book American Apocalypse) has a helpful framing of different interpretations of American evangelical history. At least you can get a sense of different interpretive traditions. I read Sandeen and felt he overstated millennialism’s role (and don’t think he got a few other things right). Marsden was the major figure I studied, and I appreciated his more complex understanding of things. But I think it is true that there were other strains not captured well in Marsden’s approach. I’m not convinced that this new model is quite right either, especially as in my reading I’ve seen a more complex apocalyptic framework. But I have to read it first. We’ll see.

Rethinking religion

May 3, 2015

Since it’s approaching Sunday, here’s a bit of pointed religious humor. In this case, the target is not the faithful, but the critics who don’t seem to care for other people in the way the faithful do. I’m OK with that kind of humor.


May 3, 2015

While I don’t accept all the features of this article nor its conclusions (it has its own form of cherry-picked data for ideological purposes), I do think it’s an interesting thought experiment to compare how different interpretative traditions make sense of the whole.

Christian Apps

May 3, 2015

A good summary of some of the most popular and useful apps for Christians.