"Once upon a time, there lived a girl with a magic book."
The opening line of Rachel Held Evans' new book, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again—resonates. Like Evans, I grew up in the Evangelical subculture of the eighties and nineties, replete with sword drills, purity rings, and scare films about the rapture. We were well aware of the dangers of playing Dungeons and Dragons, listening to secular music, and backward masking. Like all good Christian kids of this era, we sang "Friends Are Friends Forever" at the end of summer camp every single year.
Evans describes her childhood affection for the Bible which told tales of "kings and queens, farmers and warriors, giants and sea monsters, and dangerous voyages." (She forgot unicorns, but we'll let that one slide.) She walks the reader through her stages of disillusionment, as she began to notice things like Abraham being rewarded for agreeing to commit child sacrifice. She notes the horror of the Canaanite conquest and the dark side of the Noah's ark story. She wrote, "If God was supposed to be the hero of the story, then why did God behave like a villain?" (p. xii)
Rachel Hollis is taking the world by storm—and I get it. She's beautiful, smart, ambitious, funny, and a crazy good writer. I mean, the girl can tell a story that will have you crying one minute and shooting Diet Coke out of your nose the next.
She's carved out a nice little corner of the internet for herself, cultivating a community over a million strong and growing. She cooks, decorates, gives advice, and is known for her no nonsense honesty and humor. "I love Jesus, and I cuss a little. I love Jesus, and I drink alcohol. I love Jesus, and some of my best friends are gay," she recently posted on Facebook. She and her husband invite couples of all stripes (unmarried, married, same-sex) to take part in their couples conference, where the participants are encouraged to "learn some tangible advice. . .and make-out like a couple of teenagers."
Let me start by saying I like Rob Bell. (You didn't think I was going to say that, did you?) As a part of some research I'm doing on Progressive Christianity, I've spent quite a bit of time with him lately—listening to lectures, interviews, and reading his books. Of all the Progressive authors I'm currently reading (Rachel Held Evans, Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, Steve Chalke, and Pete Enns among others), I enjoy Bell the most. This doesn't mean I agree with much of what he says, but he's articulate, clear, engaging, and seems like a genuinely nice person.
What the Faith & Science Conversation Reveals About God: With Melissa Cain Travis — The Alisa Childers Podcast #25
Have you ever been tempted to change a word of the Bible to make it communicate something you wish it said? Ever been inclined to leave out certain verses that make you uneasy … or add ones that make you feel a little more comfortable? That's exactly what Old Testament scholar and NIV Translation Committee member Dr. Andrew Shead believes has happened with The Passion Translation (TPT) of the Psalms. In a recent international, evangelical, peer-reviewed theological journal, Shead describes TPT as:
It can be daunting for Christians to share our faith in this politically correct 21st century world. The evangelistic nature and exclusivity of Christianity has never been more unpopular in America. With cultural mottos such as, "Live and let live," and "Live your truth," evangelism has become taboo. It's more difficult than ever to share the gospel with anyone.....let alone with Mormons, who share many doctrinal terms and values with Christians.
Welcome to the most depressing blog post ever....or is it the most hopeful? I'll let you decide. Could it possibly be a good thing to learn about and ponder the Nazi Holocaust, American slavery, the Nanking massacre, the Rwanda genocide, and the atrocities of ISIS? In his new book, Why Does God Allow Evil? Clay Jones argues that it is.
"Just ONE MORE chapter, Mom....PLLLLEAAAASSSSEEE!!!"
This became a regular plea during the 4 days (yes 4 days) it took to read J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace's new book, God's Crime Scene For Kids with my 8-year-old daughter, Dyllan. It took only 4 days because she could. Not. Get. Enough. She fell in love with Jason, Hannah, Daniel, Jasmine, and Detective Jeffries—and loved the challenge of solving the mystery of what they found in Grandma Miri's attic. She excitedly applied the skills she learned from that investigation to the investigation of the origin of the universe.
As a Christian parent, have you ever felt like the world has gone mad, and you aren't sure how to navigate it? Have you wondered how to deal with the challenges of addiction, racial tension, "hook-up culture," and consumerism? Have you wondered how to best help your child who is struggling with their gender identity or sexual orientation, or how to help steer your child's entertainment choices? Have you wondered how to love your gay neighbors while maintaining a biblical worldview? Have you ever wondered how to protect your children from pornography, or even face your own porn problem? You need this book.