What is responsible for the rise of atheism in history? According to Nick Spencer the answer lies in politics, not science. And it’s politics, he thinks, that explains why only 2% of American report being atheists, and why those atheists continue to be regarded more negatively than religious believers.
Spencer’s general argument rests on [...]
I read a lot of things I disagree with, but this post on Richard Dawkins by The Spectator’s Damian Thompson stands out as one of the more brazenly dishonest ones I’ve encountered in a while. Dawkins is currently in hot water with feminists and others for tweeting about rape, and a few people, [...]
Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation edited by John Fea, Jay Green, and Eric Miller. Notre Dame, 2010, 384pp.
How do we recognize the hand of providence? All historians have to confront this question in some form. Considered in literary terms providence is a trope, [...]
Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age by Robert Bellah. Harvard, 2011, 784pp.
Has triumphalism been defeated? That’s a purposefully ambiguous and potentially self-contradictory question. It may be safe to say that it has been seriously challenged, but you don’t have to listen to the news very long before you [...]
Since Sources of the Self Charles Taylor has contended that ours is a fractured world. The world in question is that of the North Atlantic, including Europe and North America. The world in question is also a worldview in that Taylor has examined what he takes to be the trajectory of the moral and mental [...]
The first song I learned by heart was Harry Chapin’s “Mr. Tanner,” (embedded below) a crushingly sad tune about a laundromat owner from Dayton, Ohio, who loves to sing. Here’s the first verse:
“Mr. Tanner was a cleaner from a town in the Midwest
And of all the cleaning shops around, he’d made his the best
Sometimes William James writes things that can still ring true. Consider a quote from the The Varieties of Religious Experience: “This inferiority of the rationalistic level in founding belief is just as manifest when rationalism argues for religion as when it argues against it.” I say “ring true” because James attempts to describe the varieties [...]
I’ve been eavesdropping a bit on the conversation about celebrity pastors. I first peaked in on Richard Clark’s piece at The Gospel Coalition, and then read this great followup on the irony of TGC hosting Clark’s piece and then tossing up a bunch of candids of everyone’s favorite celeb pastors and theologians [...]
Warning: Noah spoilers throughout.
Walking out of our screening of Noah last week, one of the first things I said to my colleague was, “I think the moral of the story was that God is evil.” While the movie strenuously, almost ridiculously tries to illustrate how much mankind deserved its fate, their [...]
I grew up in a fundamentalist church that purposefully and actively sequestered itself and its members from the rest of the world whenever possible. For example, when its founding members’ children reached school age, they started a school to spare their children the corruption of secular schools.
This is not uncommon, perhaps your Christian school [...]
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