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January 1970 Archives

More grist for the atheists-as-fundamentalists mill

posted by Patton Dodd

Alan Jacobs on Richard Dawkins’ suspicion of Harry Potter: It strains credulity, does it not, that someone of Dawkins’s education and intelligence could believe that there is no difference between allowing children to read fantasy stories or fairy tales and […]

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De-versifying the Bible

posted by Patton Dodd

I’m particularly excited about a project we’re working on about niche Bibles. Our feature will be a gallery of various Bibles, but it will be supplemented with an essay by Glenn Paauw, a longtime director at the International Bible Society. […]

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Top Christian Blogs on Blogs.com

posted by Patton Dodd

Blogs.com asked for a list of the top 10 Christian blogs. The list I offered is not the most representative, I admit, and it’s very idiosyncratic. It’s a combination of blogs I’ve been reading for years, blogs I return to for occasional […]

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Subscribing to the Bible (Illuminated)

posted by Patton Dodd

A couple weeks ago, I reacted to the news of the Angelina Jolie Bible (aka, “Bible Illuminated: The Book”) with my eyes rolling, but I also suspected that there might be more to the project than meets the eye. And […]

The new wave of niche Bibles

posted by Patton Dodd

More is coming soon from Beliefnet on the latest round of niche Bibles–I, for one, stagger at the sheer amount of these–but for now, just this photo:  More on this Bible here.

Is “Is the Bible historically accurate” the right question?

posted by Patton Dodd

It’s interesting how this reporter frames a debate that occurred last night between an atheist and a Christian at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The headline: “Atheist, Christian debate historical accuracy of the Bible.” The reporter’s lede summarizes the event […]

The Unshakeable, October 24 Edition

posted by Patton Dodd

Each Friday, I’ll try to post a few things–maybe 3, maybe 10–that stuck with me this week, wouldn’t leave me alone, and probably won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. IOW, the best kind of reading. This week’s list: From Culture11.com, […]

Stoning “W,” or The Silent Prayers of George W. Bush

posted by Patton Dodd

A quick word on “W,” Oliver Stone’s lazy bio-pic about our current president:  The movie is unimaginative and uninteresting on most every level–how many close-ups of the bottle of Jack Daniels do we need, exactly, before Stone has us convinced […]

Rob Bell’s 4 priorities for churches

posted by Patton Dodd

Relevant asks, “What are some crucial changes that our churches need to make to become a Eucharist that is broken and poured out for the world?” Pastor Bell answers: 1. Master the art of doubt. Faith needs it to survive.  […]

John Piper: Vote as if not voting

posted by Patton Dodd

John Piper’s engaged asceticism is timely advice for American Christians who are worshipping at the altar of patriotism and the electoral process. I wish he’d emphasize that “Godward purposes” are, in fact, a call to deal with the world in […]

Good questions from Culture Making

posted by Patton Dodd

Today’s blogged excerpt from Andy Crouch’s book at the Culture-Making site asks urgent, necessary questions. Forget about the election, and ponder this: If we believe that God is still on the move in human cultures, then our most basic questions […]

Daniel Clark’s culture shock

posted by Patton Dodd

Last Friday, I was working at Wisdom Tea House (a dream of a place) when my friend Daniel Clark came in to join me for the afternoon. “30 hours ago I was in a jungle,” he said as he sat […]

Don Lattin’s Jesus Freaks

posted by Patton Dodd

One of the most unshakeable reading experiences I’ve had in the last year is Don Lattin’s Jesus Freaks: A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge. Taking a cue from Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, […]

Creation vs. Evolution Redux

posted by Patton Dodd

The classic debate between Darwinian evolutionism and young-earth creationism is often seen as a moldy conflict between atheism and theism. That’s never been quite true–some of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Christians who articulated “The Fundamentals” of the faith (and […]

Prayer for the week

posted by Patton Dodd

Book of Common Prayer, Proper 24: Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession […]

Frederica Mathewes-Green on Suffering

posted by Patton Dodd

Check out this fascinating (if I do say so myself) essay we’ve just published by Frederica Mathewes-Green on suffering and perfection. She writes in response to a host of voices, from James Woods in The New Yorker to Bart Ehrman […]

Andy Crouch: We are terrifyingly unserious

posted by Patton Dodd

A must-read essay from Andy Crouch: “Why I Am Hopeful.” Andy isn’t gleeful about the fractures we’re seeing in capitalist structures, but the coming hard times, he says, give us a chance to become people of better, deeper, more godly […]

The Dishonesty of ‘Fireproof’

posted by Patton Dodd

At The Daily Beast, Daniel Radosh (who, incidentally, started a Beliefnet book club for his “Rapture Ready”) uses the occasion of the Christian blockbuster “Fireproof” to make a larger point about insular Christian entertainment: Not only does it speak exclusively to […]

Colin Powell, the Undecided Voter, and the Coin Flip

posted by Patton Dodd

I watched Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama with rapt attention yesterday. In terms of rationale, he essentially echoed the Christopher Hitchens approach, emphasizing Obama’s strengths of character, temperament, and personality and trusting that those strengths would be with him […]

Is Bill Maher a secular fundamentalist?

posted by Patton Dodd

In my post on “Religulous,” I made the point that Bill Maher exudes a shockingly self-righteous certitude in his own position–and at the movie’s end, literally preaches a gospel of Maherism and warns doom for all who don’t see his […]

Dr. Oliver’s Islam

posted by Patton Dodd

Congratulations to my dear friend and BU colleague Martyn Oliver, who passed his dissertation defense yesterday in Boston. (He’s also getting hitched in 3 weeks–not a bad autumn.) I’ve had the pleasure of reading bits of his dissertation, which is […]

Colson, Claiborne, Boyd – Three visions of evangelical politics

posted by Patton Dodd

There is a lot of talk about whether young evangelicals are moving anywhere politically, or whether they’ll be more of the same. There is plenty of evidence for the latter so far in this election cycle, but there is also […]

Crisis Pregnancy in Bulgaria

posted by Patton Dodd

Richard Mouw, the president of Fuller Theological Seminary, sent along this story by a woman who had a harrowing, inspiring experience with the delivery of her Downs Syndrome baby in Bulgaria. He heard the woman sharing her testimony in a […]

In “Religulous,” Maher is Less

posted by Patton Dodd

I’m way late to this, but just saw it last night and wanted to weigh in briefly. I had planned to address several of the key problems, as well as acknowledge its (few) pleasures as a movie, but Steve Waldman did […]

Rebuilding the Red Sox bandwagon

posted by Patton Dodd

I’m not sure if any team that has a whole nation of fans can claim to also have a bandwagon…but still, since both Bill Simmons’ father and I turned the channel before the 7th inning last night (in fairness, I […]

While We Wait for ‘Culture Making’…

posted by Patton Dodd

Coming soon in this space: an interview with Andy Crouch on his invaluable new book, Culture Making. Andy’s book is one of the wisest books on the subject of culture I’ve ever read, and it’s the single best work on […]

Blogging against poverty

posted by Patton Dodd

As I was writing that earlier post on Apple’s new MacBook, drooling over a product I want but absolutely do not need, I got a timely dose of reality. My Twitterific updated itself and showed me a long series of […]

Thou Shall Not Covet…

posted by Patton Dodd

…and all that. But, um, this isn’t fair: Not only is it gorgeous, but the hardware updates are impressive. The trackpad is glass, and does double duty as the mouse button. The shell is one piece of aluminum, and it […]

Forgive this Blog

posted by Patton Dodd

I still consider Text Message to be in beta form, and it’s a good thing, aye? Please forgive the blue background, odd layout, and any other oddities you see here in the coming days. We’ve just launched a rebuild and […]

Hindu Threat to Christians – Convert or Flee – NYTimes.com

posted by Patton Dodd

Must reading: Today’s Times has a report on the persecution of Christians in India. The photo above shows Christian refugees praying at a camp in Bhubaneshwar. It’s harrowing, harrowing stuff. An excerpt below, followed by a prayer. God help them:  A few […]

Mark Bittman — Food Culture is Progressing

posted by Patton Dodd

Mark Bittman–author of the most essential cookbook ever (I open it just about every single week)–offers cautious hope about the state of our food culture in this weekend’s NY Times Magazine:  [F]ood continues to be fetishized; organic food has been commodified; […]

Jeremiah laments the 49ers

posted by Patton Dodd

For Sunday morning – A San Francisco Chronicle reader finds a prophecy about the struggling 49ers: Editor – I was doing my daily Bible reading – yes, even in San Francisco some people do this – when I came across […]

Don Lattin’s Jesus Freaks

posted by Patton Dodd

One of the most unshakeable reading experiences I’ve had in the last year is Don Lattin’s Jesus Freak: A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge. Taking a cue from Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, […]

If it’s happening in Colorado Springs…

posted by Patton Dodd

Brandon Fibbs, a longtime Colorado Springs resident, political junkie, movie reviewer for Christianity Today, and current DC resident, reads Timothy Egan’s recent blog post on cultural and political shifts in Colorado Springs and adds some observations of his own: I […]

Angelina Jolie, Bible Centerfold?

posted by Patton Dodd

Last year, a Swedish ad man named Dag Soderberg published a Bible made in the image of Vogue magazine. Called Bible Illuminated: The Book, it featured glossy images of models and artistic contemporary photography, and it caused quite a stir–Sweden […]

Young Earth Wins Cameron Strang’s Facebook Poll

posted by Patton Dodd

Cameron Strang, the publisher of Relevant Magazine and the subject of much discussion this summer when he first accepted, then declined an invitation to pray at the Democratic National Convention, posted an informal poll question in his Facebook and Twitter […]

Best Political Film (or, Frank Capra is a Fascist)

posted by Patton Dodd

  The latest YouTube video from the always delightful, always informative Reel Geezers offers a brief history of Hollywood’s political films, focusing mostly on movies about the electoral process. They cover some of my own favorites–Born Yesterday, The Candidate–and also […]

Max Lucado’s Lamentation

posted by Patton Dodd

This is pretty remarkable–you’d think that Max Lucado, of all pastors, would offer an encouraging word, delivered with a smile, about the economic woes facing people today. But instead, he delivers nothing short of a lamentation. The message, essentially, is […]

Previous Posts

The Last Text Message
Today is my last day with Beliefnet, and my last day as the author of this blog. The Text Messages archives will remain live at this location, but posting will cease. If that sounds gloomy, it's an accurate reflection of my mind this ...

posted 3:47:12pm Feb. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Quitting Church: A Q&A with Julia Duin
Why do people stop going to church? This big question is the subject of Julia Duin's small book, Quitting Church: Why teh Faithful are Fleeing and What To Do About It. Duin is not a disinterested observer of the phenomenon of church-dropping; ...

posted 4:03:51pm Feb. 03, 2009 | read full post »

Rob Stennett vs. Marilynne Robinson
I'm overjoyed that my good friend Rob Stennett has won the Award of Merit from Christianity Today for his novel The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher. (Here's CT's review of the book.) Stennett's hilarious book is about a real estate agent who ...

posted 2:36:44pm Jan. 30, 2009 | read full post »

What is spiritual restoration?
Slate asked for an essay on Ted Haggard's spiritual restoration. I'm okay with what I came up with for now, but the more I think about it, the more I think we need better thinking on what restoration looks like for very public, outspoken, ...

posted 9:00:56am Jan. 29, 2009 | read full post »

It's Not TV; it's Ted TV
A blog might not be the best medium for an essay like this. But I want to offer some more considered thoughts on Ted Haggard and his HBO documentary; I hope this performs some kind of service in a story that I hope will end--in its public ...

posted 3:57:44am Jan. 28, 2009 | read full post »

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