is, generally speaking, the study of the end of the world, but when most people in the US hear the term, they generally think of Christian eschatology
Specifically, they tend to think of the barrels of ink
and that one movie (previously)
which have been devoted to the subject over the past couple of decades. Neither seems to have contributed to a wider understanding of the actual theology involved. [more inside]
was the lead singer for a band called Pedro the Lion
, who were big on the Christian rock circuit. A few years ago, Bazan began questioning his faith, and ultimately left Christianity. He has found understanding from his fans
In a five part series he wrote a few years ago, blogger J. Brad Hicks breaks down how, in the mid-1960s, the Republican party made a conscious decision to rebrand themselves as the party of Christians, and in doing so, how they had to shift the ideology of the churches to what he calls a "false gospel
". [more inside]
This week NPR
featured a five part series of stories entitled, "New Believers: A religious revolution in China
" that explores the growth and status of religion in China today. [more inside]
John Milbank and Katherine Pickstock are interviewed about Radical Orthodoxy [more inside]
Did Jesus die on a cross?
A Christian scholar says crucifixion was not an execution method in the time of the New Testament.
The man who made philosophy safe for theists again
The conference in celebration of his impressive academic career is in progress on the campus of Notre Dame University and has brought together many important figures
in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. Many of Plantinga's seminal works
are available in their entirety online.
On Good Friday, Filipino Catholics participate in a reenactment of the life and death of Jesus known as a Senakulo
. For some, the practice includes self-mortification and nailing to an actual cross
. Church leaders have rejected the practice: one bishop calls crucifixions a "tourist activity." [more inside]
Seven are arrested in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana
in FBI raids linked to Christian militia group Hutaree
, an extremist antigovernment group
whose members are "preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive", after threats to Islamic organisations.
The source Fr. Amoth refers to
, according to Fr. Fortea
, is the demons who are being exorcised
. Of this, the Spanish priest wrote that knowing whether or not the demon
is telling the truth "is in many cases impossible." "We can know with great confidence when a demon tells the truth in the subject directly related with the exorcism. That is, the number of demons, their name and similar things. But we cannot be confident in what regards concrete news relating to people." [more inside]
The New Ten Commandments by Christopher Hitchens
The Ten Commandments were set in stone, but it may be time for a re-chisel. With all due humility, the author takes on the job, pruning the ethically dubious, challenging the impossible, and rectifying some serious omissions. [more inside]
Over the last few days, a fair bit of attention on the web has been focused on Repent Amarillo MySpace YouTube
, an organization dedicated to converting Amarillo, TX to the organization's particular brand of Christianity. Their tactics include "Spiritual Warfare" and witnessing
, but also appear to involve harassing people who they believe to be sinners
. They've even got a map of sinful places in Amarillo
, including gay bars, Masonic lodges, rival churches, and other religions' places of worship. But not everybody is all that amused; blogs
have started springing up in response.
The Cotton Patch Gospel
is a bluegrass adaptation of the life of Jesus
, set in Georgia
. [more inside]
announced today that it would create a new structure
that would allow former Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church
while preserving elements of Anglican spirituality and liturgy. [more inside]
"This may truly be the most important new painting of the twenty first century."
The McNaughton Fine Art Company
presents "One Nation Under God" [cache]
, an... interesting
take on American history in a nifty zoom interface. Artist John McNaughton
, who calls himself "the only living artist in the world today"
to practice the Barbizon School
of French Impressionism, has an extensive body of less opinionated work
for you to admire. Interview
. Character list
Rifqa Bary, the Ohio teen who ran away from her Muslim parents because she believed they would kill her for converting to Christianity, has appeared on a weekly anti-Islam conference call
hosted by the National Day of Prayer Task Force
(headed by the wife of Focus on the Family's James Dobson, Lou Engle of The Call
& Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council). Rifqa, who is in custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families
and was not authorized to be on the call, shared some of her story and then launched into an extended passionate prayer. DCF officials are investigating how she came to be on the call.
Max Blumenthal writes about Matthew Murray
in the Nation article 'The Nightmare of Christianity'. [more inside]
You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind
The Alpha Course
has been a widely popular
- and controversial
- initiative by the Church of England to get people more interested in the Church. In 2000, the Jewish journalist Jon Ronson attended a course
to see what was going on.
scientifically summarises the scientific field of Creation Science (warning: science) [transcript]
We declare the man Paul of Tarsus [non-ebonite link], the false teacher against the mark of Covenant and God's Torah, to be outside of the Way taught by Yeshua, the anointed, son of Maria and Yosef.
Charles Pierce, author of the 2005 essay "Greetings from Idiot America"
decrying the rise of faith-based anti-intellectualism, has expanded his rant into a full length book: Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free
. (via) [more inside]
The Temple Gallery in London has more than 200 items of Eastern Orthodox religious art, principally icons, on its website, both from the current exhibit
as well as older pieces
. Icons have been a part of Orthodox Christianity for centuries and they are loaded with meaning. The theology is elaborated upon in this essay on the history, principles and function of icons
by iconographer Dr. George Kordis. One of the subjects of the essay is the Byzantine iconoclasm
, a central event of which was the Seventh Ecumenical Council, depicted here in an icon
. Here are some other icons I like: The Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia
, St. Alypius the Stylite
, Synaxis of the Archangels
, Dormition of the Virgin
and Presentation of Christ in the Temple
. [Click on any image for a larger view]
The End of Christian America.
The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. How that statistic explains who we are now—and what, as a nation, we are about to become.
FoxNews copy-n-pastes Focus on the Family propaganda as news.
Longtime MeFi user owillis caught the fact that FoxNews took the press release of a supposedly independent student pro-life group called Live Action
/Live Action Films and essentially reprinted it verbatim.
Bad journalism, sure... but how does this little student group afford to send its people across the country to try to entrap Planned Parenthood workers, and how do they get big-name attention on FoxNews
and other major conservative media sources
Well, it turns out that Live Action was rather quietly founded by Stephen Reed
, who is a key surrogate of James Dobson
/ Focus on the Family/ the Family Research Council... and the media sources in question have close ties to Dobson
and a longstanding history of parroting his talking points
"The debaptism certificate
started out as a kind of satirical comment on the idea that you could be enrolled in a church before you could talk, but it seems to have taken off from there. People are beginning to take it seriously
Rev. Ed Young
challenged husbands and wives
among his flock of 20,000 to strengthen their unions
through Seven Days of Sex (perhaps FF to 2:15 on either video).
Their site has a comment section.
He was recently on The Colbert Report (Canadian version). [more inside]
"Church was not part of my family life, and I don't think I ever expected to find myself being a Christian or, as I used to think of it, a 'religious nut.'"
grew up an atheist. One day she went into a church
, took communion and had a moment with God. She's now a Christian that has made it her mission in life to feed the homeless
. She's started a food pantry
in the slums of San Francisco that feeds over 450 hungry families every week.
She's also a lesbian
who is outspoken for gay marriage
and considers herself a liberal but doesn't really care for liberal guilt
When Jesus met Buddha.
"Something remarkable happened when evangelists for two great religions crossed paths more than 1,000 years ago: they got along." [Via]
Thomas Muthee, the witch-hunting prayer warrior who anointed Sarah Palin, is part of a much larger movement called the New Apostolic Reformation. Researchers at religious watchdog site Talk2Action have released a 36 page report on the NAR (part 1
, part 2
, part 3
). Learn about Palin confidant Mary Glazier
, the Queen of Heaven
, the Christian Emergency Network
and much, much more.
Urim and Thummim were a mystical medium
used by ancient Israelites to divine God's will and, according to some interpretations, to distinguish sinners from non-sinners.
Todd Walker believes he has found the Urim and Thummim (in a Goodwill Superstore in Nashville, TN). He would like to share this miracle with you
. Quicktime trailer
(google video) A former priest's personal journey through the tangled and sometimes violent history between Christians and Jews.
(1460-1531) was one of the great late medieval sculptors. Riemenschneider worked in both wood and stone
, although his specialty was limewood sculpture
. (Not surprisingly, he had imitators
.) His greatest achievements, however, are his exquisitely carved
and spectacular altars
, of which the most famous is the Altar of the Holy Blood
). [more inside]
Christian Sex Retailing. Christian Sex Toy Retailing There's a new sexual revolution happening, and the people driving it are not exactly a bunch of free-love libertines. Many people probably think of evangelical Christians as being more preoccupied with denying the pleasures of the flesh. Christianity has always had a lot to say about sexuality. But attitudes are changing and new approaches to Christian sex are emerging. Dagmar Herzog was interviewed today on CBC's The Current (second segment, requires Flash Player)
, and, who says in a recent interview with Salon
: For liberals, sex has become the problem that has no name; one simply does not hear liberals articulate a defense of sexual rights. Instead, what we have witnessed is a coalescing of conservative evangelical and mainstream secular perspectives on sex. The conversation on sex in America -- when sex is discussed in a serious and earnest way at all -- tends largely to adopt the parameters set by the Religious Right.
Herzog's new book
. A collection of print interviews with Herzog can be found here
. [more inside]
Tina Manthorpe's Flickr set of churces and church carvings
has many lovely images of the kinds of things one isn't surprised to see in churches, trees of life
, colorful roof bosses
and many more such beauties. More shocking to modern sensibilities are the pictures in the set she calls exhibitionist church carvings
, featuring such images as a protogoatse
, Starbucksesque mermaids
, free-hanging genitals
and, uh... something involving thumb-sucking and snakes
If the Tiber rises so high it floods the walls, or the Nile so low it doesn't flood the fields, if the earth opens, or the heavens don't, if there is famine, if there is plague, instantly the howl goes up, "The Christians to the lion!" What, all of them? To a single lion?
So wrote Tertullian
. In the huge intellectual project that was the foundation of the Christian Church he was the great wit, most powerful rhetor and finest writer. Starting out as a pagan delighting in adultery and gladiator combat he became a great champion of martyrdom, defender of Christianity against its malefactors and heretics. His most famous contribution to our culture is undoubtedly the doctrine of the trinity. Towards the end of his life he threw his lot with a small group of hardcore ascetics called Montanists
and was denounced as a heretic. Ending his life among the defeated of ecclesiastical history he was forgotten for a millennium until rediscovered
during the Renaissance. The Tertullian Project
collects all his extant writing and information about his lost texts as well as biographical information, selected quotations
and much more.
As the gay marriage fight unfolds in California, some gays (and others) are fighting back: one gourp is boycotting a rich hotel owner
, others are standing apart
and one is suing the Bible
(who gets subpoenaed for that one?). Meanwhile, a key opponent to gay marriage
keeps its doors open (and its ballot committee going) despite being suspended
. They say they're working on it
, but no changes yet