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Text Messages

November 2008 Archives

Do Ed Young’s sex sermons speak to singles?

posted by Patton Dodd

The most emailed article at the New York Times right now is about Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Texas and his much-discussed sermon series on sex. As part of the series, he challenged all the married couples in his […]

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Who is your favorite under-appreciated musician?

posted by Patton Dodd

Mine is Bill Mallonee, whose painful story Nate Anderson tells beautifully in the latest issue of Christianity Today. When Paste Magazine came out with their list of the Top 100 singer-songwriters, I tore through the issue to see if Mallonee made it, and […]

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The Power of Negative Thinking

posted by Patton Dodd

Here’s the article I mentioned before. I wrote it right in the middle of an ill-fated week, partly because I was way past a deadline, and partly because I wanted to capture mourning in progress, rather than reflect on it […]

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Thanksgiving starts tonight

posted by Patton Dodd

Here in the Dodd household, Thanksgiving starts tonight. My mom flies into Denver from Mississippi early this evening. My beloved sister, her brilliant husband, and their three kids come tomorrow, on my birthday. We’ll cook up a mess of fried […]

Thank Heaven for Todoist

posted by Patton Dodd

If Todoist–the staggeringly simple personal productivity tool–isn’t my #1 app of the year, it’s only because Scrivener took my dissertation off life support. (That it’s back on life support now is not Scrivener’s fault; it’s a user error). But Todoist […]

Straight Talk on Gay Marriage

posted by Patton Dodd

Pun intended. Starting today, two of our bloggers–Tony Jones and Rod Dreher–will begin a debate discussion Beliefnet Blogalogue on same sex marriage. They’ll post on their respective blogs and link back to one another.  Here’s what’s unique about this discussion, and […]

Roger Ebert, speechless and chatty

posted by Patton Dodd

My undergraduate literary theory professor warped my brain, for better and worse. One item in the Worse category: He ruined my love of Roger Ebert. One dumb morning, Professor Grumpy (not his real name) worked up a full head of […]

7 Delightful Things

posted by Patton Dodd

For a variety of reasons, it’s been a distressing week. And it’s only Wednesday. And I didn’t sleep last night. Times like these, nothing to do but think about delightful things. Here are 7: 1. The new Life photo archive. […]

Colorado Springs, 2-paper town

posted by Patton Dodd

A tale of two ledes: Focus on the Family just announced a layoff of 20% of its workforce–big news here in Colorado Springs, where the ministry is one of the ten largest employers. Here’s how our daily paper, the Gazette, reported […]

This Just In: Obama Not Orthodox

posted by Patton Dodd

Based on remarks President-elect Obama made to Cathleen Falsani four years ago (and recently reprinted on Beliefnet), there’s been a dustup over whether he can legitimately be said to be a Christian:  Joe Carter at Culture11 says no. Rod Dreher […]

The Filmmaker of Light

posted by Patton Dodd

Vanity Fair reports on an internal memo from Painter of Light Thomas Kinkade in which he outlines 16 principles for making a film modeled on his paintings. (The film is called “Christmas Cottage”–which could also be the name of virtually […]

Which Bible translation is best?

posted by Patton Dodd

Scot McKnight says to find the answer, you have to ask another question: What’s your purpose in reading it?  

Three things from Steve Martin

posted by Patton Dodd

Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up is the most fun weekend reading I’ve done in a long time. Pensive yet page-turning. Three moments I’ll remember: 1. While studying Wittgenstein in college–which Martin was paying for by doing standup comedy–Martin was wrestling with […]

Evangelism or Entertainment? (Or, Evangelism IS Entertainment)

posted by Patton Dodd

A curiosity I noted over my cereal flakes this morning: Michael Spencer (the Internet Monk) linked this week to a year-old article by the New Yorker’s George Packer about the Creation Museum. In his summary of the article, Spencer says […]

De-versifying the Bible essay

posted by Patton Dodd

Without further ado, here is the promised essay by Glenn Paauw on International Bible Society’s additives-free Bible. I must say, I’m rather fond of the deck: Bible literacy is lower than ever. Who’s to blame? Try Bible publishers. Read it […]

Celebrity Bible characters

posted by Patton Dodd

Paul Asay put together a cast of characters for an imaginary “Genesis: The Movie,” with suggested celebrities to fill the roles. My favorite moment: She has no lines. She has no name. Lot’s wife is famous for one thing: turning […]

Pixar’s “Up” is totally cheating

posted by Patton Dodd

This looks to be another in a series of Pixar directors moving further away from pure pop and closer to pop art (though Brad Bird kinda skipped over the pure pop stage entirely). But does it bother anyone else that […]

Culture War and context

posted by Patton Dodd

On election night, a Facebook (and real life!) friend, Brandon, posted a status update to the effect that Americans were naive for voting for Obama. I took issue with Brandon’s remark, which he had first delivered to me over iChat, […]

The changing of the evangelical guard

posted by Patton Dodd

Sociologist Michael Lindsay (author of Faith in the Halls of Power, one of last year’s best religion books) weighs in on the shifting ground of evangelical influence in the Beltway. 

Cultivators and Creators: An Interview with Andy Crouch

posted by Patton Dodd

Andy Crouch’s Culture Making: Rediscovering Our Creative Calling is the Christian book of the year–its Publisher’s Weekly nod for best religion book won’t be its last. The concept of “culture” has been something of a snare for American Christians–we’ve critiqued culture […]

Welcoming Scot McKnight and Tony Jones to Beliefnet

posted by Patton Dodd

Join me in welcoming two new blogs to Beliefnet: Jesus Creed, crafted by the careful hands of Scot McKnight, and The New Christians, the brainchild of Tony Jones.  Jesus Creed, long one of the web’s most popular religion blogs, is […]

Christian reactions to Obama’s victory

posted by Patton Dodd

From status updates on my Facebook profile, a bird’s eye view of Christian responses last night. All names have been replaced with “Sally.”  Sally is no longer proud to be an American. Sally loves America. Sally is sad that America is […]

Tell us how you voted, and why

posted by Patton Dodd

Take Beliefnet’s Election 2008 survey. 

Support Kids, see Africa. If you can take it.

posted by Patton Dodd

This month, Beliefnet has teamed up with Tom Davis and Daniel Clark at Children’s HopeChest to raise support for orphans in Africa. You’ll see my charity badge on the right, and you can donate directly to CHC from that badge–as […]

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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