Category: Theology

LifePop cultureTheology

The Bible Is Not a Slideshow For Your Hot Take

The suicide of a public figure almost invariably triggers a cringe-worthy season in the evangelical blogosphere. Time after time, Christian writers succumb to the temptation to wring a tragedy for its newsworthiness, then smash out a 700-word blog about it. At that point it almost doesn't matter what the blog says. Meaning is irrelevant. The…

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CultureTheology

Orthodoxy, Sexuality, and the Local Church

James K.A. Smith's post about orthodoxy, Christian creeds, and sexuality has provoked much commentary, most of it far more thoughtful than anything I could write here. I agree with Smith's critics that his case against labeling revisionist sexual theology as "heresy" is weak and relies on a reductionistic appreciation of doctrinal formulations. I don't necessarily…

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LifeMusingTheology

No Divination Against Israel

When Balak the king of Moab sees the victory of the Israelites against the Amorites, he calls for one of his oracles, Balaam (Numbers 22-24). "Curse this people for me, " he says, "since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for…

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BooksCultureTheology

God Is & God Does

I've been reading Joe Rigney's The Things of Earth: Treasuring God By Enjoying His Gifts, and cannot recommend it too highly. For me Joe's contemplations have been like cold spring water on a thick August afternoon. For years I have felt like something was missing in my understanding of how to love the things God…

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CultureLifeTheology

Why I Quote C.S. Lewis So Much

I don't have to do any research to know that C.S. Lewis is the most quoted person in my own writing. It's not close. In a given span of 5 blogs or essays, I would estimate that at least 1-2 will at some point cite Lewis in some way (whether paragraph quote or a simple…

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CulturePoliticsTheology

4 Thoughts on Eugene Peterson’s Retraction

Eugene Peterson told Jonathan Merritt in an on-the-record interview that he supported same-sex marriage. I, along with many others, publicly registered my disappointment and reasons I wish Peterson would have held the orthodox line. Today, however, Peterson retracted his comments and issued a statement of support for the biblical definition of marriage. Through the smoke,…

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BooksCultureTheology

What Hogwarts Can Teach Us About Friendship

Why were the Harry Potter stories so wildly successful? What was it about them, as opposed to hundreds of other "young adult" novels, that embossed onto the consciousness of a generation? Why are we celebrating the 20th anniversary of their US publication with the same kind of enthusiasm as if the books were published last…

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CultureMusingTheology

Does Conservative Theology Empower Abuse?

Here are three things that I believe are true and that are important for honest people to admit: It is a moral travesty when religious people or organizations use their beliefs, influence, or infrastructure to hurt, control, or manipulate other people. Theologically conservative organizations have been guilty of doing this, many times, often with disastrous,…

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CulturePoliticsTheology

Virtue and Signaling

One of the responses I keep seeing to the Southern Baptist Convention's statement about alt-right and white supremacy goes like this: "I agree that racism is bad, but this just feels like political correctness. It seems like the SBC just wants liberals to think they're good people. Why aren't we condemning all forms of racism,…

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