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Haggard Comeback, Interrupted

posted by Patton Dodd

Ted Haggard has been making the media rounds in advance of next week’s release of HBO’s “The Trials of Ted Haggard” and an Oprah Winfrey episode featuring Haggard and his family. The documentary captures Haggard’s life in the months after […]

Jake Busey’s Christian Killer

posted by Patton Dodd

A month or so ago I announced that I was looking for movies with Christian killers, and many of you helped out with titles that hadn’t occurred to me. I’ve since seen more religiously motivated violence on screen than I […]

Blog of the Year: The Big Picture

posted by Patton Dodd

Few blogs, or media of any kind, have been as arresting as the Boston Globe’s The Big Picture. Alan Taylor’s blog tells captivating stories, post after post. Its big pictures offer windows into the small places we never see.  His […]

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 […]

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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