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Posted by Fred Clark

For the privilege of basking in the presence of this theologically and aesthetically odious "artwork," Ken Ham's "Ark Encounter" midway attraction will charge you $40 per person. Fortunately, you have a host of better and far more affordable options nearby. (The Kentucky Department of Travel did not pay to sponsor this post.)$40 per person (plus parking) is a lot of money to spend to ogle half-assed dreck that is not good or beautiful or true.Fortunately, you and your family have plenty of other, far better options close by.
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Posted by Fred Clark

"Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire."
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Posted by Fred Clark

"Rediscovering an Evangelical Heritage" of opposing Indian Removal (and then of opposing those who opposed it). Plus: The rules of the pop-culture ranking game; Colorado codifies what shouldn't need to be codified; and the "Wicked Problem" of palliative pastoral care.
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Posted by Fred Clark

Résumés are forever. A year from now -- five years, 10 years, 30 years from now -- everyone who sees your résumé will see where you were and what you did in July 2017. They will not be able to ignore this or forgive this, and you will not be able to excuse it. But you can change that. You have a chance -- one chance -- to turn July 2017 into a badge of honor instead of an indelible mark of shame.
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Posted by Fred Clark

One way to understand such boundaries of identity is to look at who gets kicked out, and why. Trying to figure out who is -- or who still is -- an "evangelical" is notoriously slippery and difficult. But it's far easier to determine who is no longer accepted within the group, and why.

Theology, history, and context

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:11 pm
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Posted by Fred Clark

"We're doing history, not theology," the professor said. That suggests that theology, as opposed to history, is an abstract, objective field in which ideas and arguments and doctrines somehow arise wholly independent of "what else is going on." It doesn't work like that. It never has and it never can.

LBCF, No. 144: ‘Two Swell Guys’

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:40 am
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Posted by Fred Clark

“The scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward” (I Timothy 5:18). So tip 20 percent. At least. Divide by five and round up. If you also plan to: A) say grace aloud before the meal; B) ask your server if he/she is “saved;” and/or C) leave a gospel tract on the table when you leave, then make that 40 percent.
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Posted by Fred Clark

Glioblastoma multiforme killed my grandmother. And then, years later, it killed my mother. That's what this disease does. It kills people. It is, as we keep hearing today in the news, a very "aggressive" form of brain cancer. There is no cure. It is a matter of months. Perhaps a year, but not two.
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Posted by Kip Manley

I have, however, since entering the field, restricted the meaning I attach to the term “patriarchy.” For many, it is synonymous with “the subordination of women.” It carries this meaning for me, too, but with this qualification: I add the words “here and now.” This makes a big difference. When I hear it said, as I often do, that “patriarchy has changed between the stone age and the present,” I know that it is not “my” patriarchy that is being talked about. What I study is not an ahistoric concept that has wandered down through the centuries but something peculiar to contemporary industrial societies. I do not believe in the theory of survivals—and here I am in agreement with other Marxists. An institution that exists today cannot be explained by the fact that it existed in the past, even if this past is recent. I do not deny that certain elements of patriarchy today resemble elements of the patriarchy of one or two hundred years ago; what I deny is that this continuance—insofar as it really concerns the same thing—in itself constitutes an explanation.

Many people think that when they have found the point of origin of an institution in the past, they hold the key to its present existence. But they have, in fact, explained neither its present existence nor even its birth (its past appearance), for one must explain its existence at each and every moment by the context prevailing at that time; and its persistence today (if really is persistence) must be explained by the present context. Some so-called historical explanations are in fact ahistorical, precisely because they do not take account of the given conditions of each period. This is not History but mere dating. History is precious if it is well conducted, if each period is examined in the same way as the present period. A science of the past worthy of the name cannot be anything other than a series of synchronic analyses.

The search for origins is a caricature of this falsely historical procedures and is one of the reasons why I have denounced it, and why I shall continue to denounce it each and every time it surfaces—which is, alas, far too frequently. (The other reason why I denounce the search for origins is the use of its hidden naturalistic presuppositions.) But from the scientific point of view, it is as illegitimate to seek keys to the present situation in the nineteenth century as in the Stone Age.

Since 1970, then, I have been saying that patriarchy is the system of subordination of women to men in contemporary industrial societies, that this system has an economic base, and that this base is the domestic mode of production. It is hardly worth saying that these three ideas have been, and remain, highly controversial.

Christine Delphy

It’s about to be writ again

Jul. 19th, 2017 08:20 pm
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Posted by Fred Clark

Is there life on Mars? Republican House member seeks answers on Mars-ghazi. Plus: Backwards-masking and the P&G rumor; the 1811 pamphleteer who blazed a trail for Charismanews; the Rule of Threes; and another reminder that requiring children to recite a daily loyalty oath is creepy.
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Posted by Fred Clark

In an essay on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Stanley Hauerwas asks "What made it possible for him to see the character of the regime Hitler represented when so many others did not?" He looks for an answer in the academic theology Bonhoeffer studied in seminary, but the real answer is to be found several blocks north of there.

Shaking the dust off their feet

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:02 pm
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Posted by Fred Clark

In the age of Trump, John Fea writes, many "evangelicals are experiencing a crisis of faith as they look around in their white congregations on Sunday morning and realize that so many fellow Christians were willing to turn a blind eye to all that Trump represents." And the Rev. Lawrence Ware confirms this, explaining "Why I'm Leaving the Southern Baptist Convention."
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Posted by Fred Clark

Take a moment to ponder that and to consider the staggering level of hypocrisy and ingratitude it takes for Gentile Christians today to play the role of that circumcision faction. Are we so foolish? Did we experience so much for nothing?

When Christian Gatekeepers Attack

Jul. 17th, 2017 05:49 pm
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Posted by Fred Clark

Dave Gushee writes about last week's Eugene Peterson debacle as someone with first-hand experience of what it's like "When the evangelical establishment comes after you." It's not a pretty story.

LBCF, No. 143: ‘Care less’

Jul. 14th, 2017 12:28 pm
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Posted by Fred Clark

In order to consider such scenes on their own terms — in order to keep turning the pages without throwing this inhuman book against the wall — we end up having to accept Left Behind’s premise that trauma does not traumatize and that human suffering is peripheral, inconsequential and meaningless. This is the book’s great moral theme, its moral instruction.

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