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Text Messages

Text Messages

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The Last Text Message

posted by Patton Dodd

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 […]

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Obama and the Mexico City policy

posted by Patton Dodd

Steven Waldman and David Gibson list a bunch of data from a group called Third Way that attempts to prove that lifting the so-called gag rule, which would allow U.S. dollars to go to clinics in developing countries that perform […]

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The Inaugural Prayer of Confession

posted by Patton Dodd

Steve Waldman has created an archive of inaugural prayers throughout history. In my first read through these prayers, which go back to the 1937 prayer at Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inauguration, I was struck by how rarely we see a confessional […]

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The Top Comfort Movies

posted by Patton Dodd

Movie Mom blogger Neil Minow put together a list of the top Comfort Movies–flicks that go down just right on those no-good, crummy, sniffling, sneezing days. Not a bad list, and hard to quibble with something as idiosyncratic as this. […]

The Old Testament, Suffering, and Sin

posted by Patton Dodd

This Beliefnet discussion on the OT and suffering is, of course of course, perennial and ancient and never-ending. But anyone who reads the Bible regularly has to face this question all the time. Is the Old Testament a record of suffering […]

Mormons and Evangelicals

posted by Patton Dodd

Dave Banack is Beliefnet’s new Mormon blogger, and this week he’s launched a discussion series for a book titled How Wide the Divide: An Evangelical and a Mormon in Conversation. The book is 10 years old, but the subjects in […]

Can Liberal Christians be Fundamentalists?

posted by Patton Dodd

So asks Scot McKnight, prompted by a feisty exchange he had with Paul Raushenbush and the commenters at Raushenbush’s blog, which was prompted by Steve Waldman’s interview with Rick Warren.  The “evangelicals vs. fundamentalists” moment was the part of the Warren […]

Christmas is the Advent of Easter

posted by Patton Dodd

Glenn Paauw says that Christmas is but the beginning of the Christian year, and should be treated as such.  By all means, immerse yourself in Advent and prepare for Christmas. Begin the cycle. But save yourself for the moment that […]

Best of Beliefnet

posted by Patton Dodd

My favorite stuff from the last week: Scot McKnight on how a Third Way approach rankles liberals and irritates conservatives.  Rod Dreher on learning to be still in the face of constant media. Tony Jones on Multi-Issue Evangelicals (ie, the […]

Free Trip to Africa

posted by Patton Dodd

This is Josh. He’s a student at a small college in Pennsylvania, and I had the pleasure of calling him a couple days ago to tell him he’d won the trip to Africa we sponsored with Children’s HopeChest. He’ll be […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 afternoon. I've chosen to pursue new opportunities, but I'm n

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; rather, she's a churchgoer who wants churches to work wel

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 joins a suburban church in order to reach the Christian h

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, influential men and women like Haggard:Most people who fail n

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 iteration--very soon. This was written as a stand-alone essay

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

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