I can remember a time when “secular” was a dirty word. Growing up in an evangelical home secular meant, primarily, secular music: the kind of music which was forbidden because it was by, of, and for “the world”. To my well-meaning parents, the secularism of secular music was a slippery slope which might cause me, [...]
Yes to God? For many believers, this has not been obvious for a long time. No to God? Neither has this been obvious for a long time to unbelievers. Hans Küng, Does God Exist?
Atheism has a long and fascinating history. In ancient Greece, as Diogenes Laertius informs us, men [...]
I’m excited to report that an essay I’ve been working on for a while is now live at Religion & Politics, an online journal that launched earlier this year. It’s a review of a couple of books about philosophy, politics, and religion, one that I loved (Simon Critchley’s The Faith of [...]
Nearly 20 years ago Mark Noll published The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, a clarion call for evangelical Christians to re-examine their attitude towards the life of the mind. Noll wanted to understand why contemporary evangelicalism seemed to ignore the life of the mind in preference [...]
I wrote several thousand words on Ross Douthat’s new book, Bad Religion, that ended up in my iMac’s trash bin. I felt my reactions to the book were either hazy or uninteresting, and, unfortunately, was too busy last week to spend enough time thinking about it. Now that’s it’s been widely reviewed, [...]
I think Andrew Sullivan has some reading to do. I say this mostly in jest – I hope he doesn’t spend his blog hiatus reading these books. But short of an essay that responds to Sullivan’s understanding of Jesus, history, and liberal democracy, I thought I would offer [...]
I haven’t had time to review Simon Critchley’s The Faith of the Faithless because I haven’t had time to finish reading it amid my endless cascade of texts and trying to read the prequel, Infinitely Demanding. I’m pretty confident, based on the first chapter and the strength of Infinitely [...]
In reading various reviews and reflections on Robert Bellah’s latest tome, Religion and Human Evolution, I was reminded of some thoughts I had written down about Peter Rollins’ work. I have tried to cobble something coherent together here which conveys my general criticism, which is basically historical in nature. One reflection on Bellah [...]
In The Bible Made Impossible Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith makes an impassioned argument for a move beyond evangelical biblicism and theological liberalism. Biblicism is a package of beliefs and practices about the Bible which emphasize its “exclusive authority, infallibility, perspicuity, self-sufficiency, internal consistency, self-evident meaning, [...]
Should religion be monitored in our politics through a separation between the public and private sphere? Is such a division even possible? Do liberal constitutional democracies depend on this division? In A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Shape the Common Good Miroslav Volf addresses these [...]
I have a review at The Daily Beast of Fed Up!, Rick Perry’s policy book from last year. I argue that he seems to identify more with the anti-federalists, and the anti-federalist-placating bits of the federalists, than he does with actual federalism. You can check it out here if you feel inclined.
In his book Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? John Fea explores the history of Christian nationalism, the relationship between Christianity and the American Revolution, and the beliefs of several of America’s founders. The most interesting and original part of the book shows that there have always been significant figures [...]
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