LOVE WINS? “2011: The Year of the Hell Debate.” I AGREE WITH THIS LETTER: “All American Muslim: An Open Letter.” “In our view, it is fundamentally unjust to tar all or most Muslims with the brush of extremism; and, as Christians and Americans, we must never countenance injustice. Moreover, effectively countering the threats posed by genuine extremists requires us to welcome as friends and allies Muslims who share our opposition to radicalism and violence, who value their American citizenship and American freedom just as we do, and who contribute constructively to their communities and the larger society. When we treat … Continue reading The World Wide Religious Web for Tuesday, January 3, 2012
“Why Liberal Religious Arguments Fail.” Over at Religion Dispatches, Peter Laarman reflects on what kinds of rhetoric are helping the pro-same-sex-marriage crowd, and concludes that religious argument is not one of them. Instead, personal testimonies are. Every poll and every wise observer points out that gay-affirming folks have not been winning on account of superior arguments, whether arguments from the Bible or theology or science. They aren’t winning on account of their superior debating skills. They’re winning by being present and visible in faith communities: by coming out in ways that clergy and congregations can’t ignore. Gay people are winning … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I hosted a “candid conversation” between my dad, who is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, and several young AG ministers. Four years ago, they started FutureAG.blogspot.com, which was controversial at the time. Anyway, I thought the conversation was interesting. Continue reading Candid Conversation with Future AG Bloggers
“Welcome to hell, bin Laden.” So said Gov. Mike Huckabee in the opening statement of his Huckabee Report. It’s a common sentiment, but is it a Christian one? James Martin SJ, asks, “What is a Christian Response to Bin Laden’s Death?” Jennifer Fulwiler writes about “The Shocking Truth That God Loves [loved?] Bin Laden Too.” Jim Wallis argues that “it is never a Christian response to celebrate the death of any human being, even one so given over to the face of evil.” Joe Carter reminds us that “our relief at his death must be tempered by a Christian view … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Psychologists discover “a statistically significant trend toward narcissism and hostility in popular music. As they hypothesized, the words ‘I’ and ‘me’ appear more frequently along with anger-related words, while there’s been a corresponding decline in ‘we’ and ‘us’ and the expression of positive emotions.” I am personally outraged at popular music’s narcissism and anger. Just kidding! Although I wonder what level of narcissism is present in contemporary worship songs. Al Mohler offers insights about why conservative churches are growing. Sure, evangelical churches are growing and the mainline churches aren’t. But what if the country as a whole is growing at … Continue reading The World Wide (Religious) Web for Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Rob Bell, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2011). $22.99, 224 pages. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love questions and those who love answers. Question-lovers focus on the ambiguity and uncertainty of belief. Reality is bigger and more complex than our theories about it. Consequently, we must be humble in the face of mystery, knowing how much we do not know. Answer-lovers focus on the clarity and certainty of belief. Reality may slip the grasp of theory at the margins, but … Continue reading Is Rob Bell a Hell-Believing Universalist?