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, one emplotment of structured explanation amongst many. In the attempt to understand and explain the past historians offer scholarly stories in which evidence is intentionally collected, critically evaluated, and […]
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 […]
Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind by Mark Noll. Eerdmans, 2011, 196pp.
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 […]
Andy Samberg’s impersonation of Nicholas Cage is not perfect, but it’s hysterical. I’m thinking, of course, of the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update segment “Get in the Cage,” in which Samberg, impersonating Cage, interviews other actors. At some point during the interview, after recounting the details of the guest’s recent movie, Samberg/Cage asks, “How am […]
Ross Douthat’s new book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, reminds us that there is an alternative to the partisan culture of contemporary Christianity: Christian Orthodoxy. The idea that Christianity is not intrinsically liberal or conservative, but instead is founded on timeless truths that will appear to be conservative or liberal depending on […]
The Bible Made Impossible:Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture by Christian Smith. Brazos, 2012, 256pp.
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 […]
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 […]
Months ago, I wrote about Jack Cashill, a man whose conservative ideals go beyond mere political opinion into blind paranoia. He is an American historian whose favorite topic of writing, it seems, is finding new angles to historical events and creating new and cohesive narratives in which to fit these “fresh” perspectives. (Another name […]
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