Religion, Rules and Reality

One of the unfortunate aspects of Internet converse that I’ve noticed during my nearly twenty years online is that often interlocutors write as though they assume that what they see in front of them is in fact the only thing that a poster has ever written on a subject. I think this comes of living in a sound-byte world, in which it is proposed…

Why I Love (True) Religion, Epilogue

After well over 300 comments posted, and probably close to 200 ad hominem rants and attempts to get me to convert back to the Evangelicalism from whence I came deleted without being published, I’ve decided to close comments for my previous post, “Why I Love (True) Religion Because I Love Jesus.” I thank those who had something new and useful to contribute—even those who…

Why I Love (True) Religion Because I Love Jesus

The above video by Jefferson Bethke has been making the rounds lately via various bits of social media. A few people have sent it to me to ask what I think. This touches on a lot of themes that I’ve written on before, and while it doesn’t particularly make any new theological claims—it’s really just a sort of standard, monergistic, anti-ecclesial, sentimentalist Evangelical Protestantism—for…

Is the Rapture (really) today?

The following is a somewhat expanded and revised version of a post I made five months ago, the last time the Rapture didn’t happen. From suggestions that we should all release blow-up dolls filled with helium at exactly noon on May 21, to an invitation on Facebook for post-Rapture looting (here’s the Oct. 21 event; after all, many cars will be “unmanned,” you know),…

Encomium Fidei

In light of yesterday’s post, I thought it might be useful to comment on the “other” side of the questions of inter-religious relations. By no means is this a sort of antithesis of yesterday’s thesis. Indeed, I believe a vigorous engagement precisely on doctrinal terms is the basis on which the best inter-religious friendships can occur. I’ve known some good men who have been…

Ecumenism with a Gun

I was recently taken to task via email by a local acquaintance who is a senior clergyman in another Christian confession. At issue was my occasional habit of using sarcasm when discussing the differences between faiths. A couple of his parishioners had attended one of the Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy lectures that I gave in Emmaus in the Fall of 2009, and I think appalled…