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Posted inPsychology

Why dissenters won’t (and can’t) save Christianity or evangelicalism

Reading Time: 8 minutes Eventually, one after another, various Christians have become completely positive that they know exactly how to save their religion from utter irrelevance. A recent New York Times op-ed post represents only the most recent of the tribe’s guesses about how to do it with evangelicalism. Today, let me show you some of the previous guesses. Then, let’s check out this most recent one. And then, let’s explore why it won’t work either–and why it can’t.

Posted inReligion

Gospelbound: Recruitment Through Jesus Auras (Still Won’t Work)

Reading Time: 8 minutes Yesterday, I showed you an episode of Gospelbound, a new-ish podcast from The Gospel Coalition (TGC). In that episode, a pair of hard-right evangelicals talked about how they could totally rescue their failing religion from utter irrelevance. And they proposed two prongs to their approach: showing off their Jesus Auras to impress potential recruits, and grabbing more control over the dwindling number of recruits they get nowadays. Today, we’ll look at how Jesus Auras work in TRUE CHRISTIAN™ mythology, and why this style of evangelism fails so hard.

Posted inUncategorized

An Ex-Christian Evaluates a Gospelbound Podcast

Reading Time: 7 minutes Gospelbound’s own marketing claims that it will give listeners ‘firm faith in an anxious age.’ We checked out their most recent episode, about a TGC-produced book called Before You Lose Your Faith, and we weren’t impressed. But hey, maybe they just forgot about their target audience because they were talking about their own book. So I wanted to check out what else they were telling potential doubters. Today, let’s evaluate another of their episodes — from the point of view of a Christian who desperately needs a jolt of ‘firm faith in an anxious age.’

Posted inReligion

A Crisis of Conscience for a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ Clerk

Reading Time: 8 minutes Hi and welcome back! Gosh, being a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ is so hard nowadays. Not only do TRUE CHRISTIANS™ have to Jesus harder all the time, but they have to make sure everybody around them knows they’re the most Jesus-ified Jesus-ers who ever Jesus-ed. And there’s no better way to demonstrate their Jesus-ification than inserting themselves […]

Posted inReligion

Evangelical Disobedience in Personal Evangelism (Means a Lot)

Reading Time: 6 minutes Hi and welcome back! We’ve been talking about personal evangelism lately — that person-to-person kind of recruiting that evangelical laypeople do themselves when they’re away from church. Recently, I’ve noticed that evangelical leaders have been demanding this evangelism more and more from their flocks. And by the same token, the flocks seem to obey less and less. […]

Posted inReligion

Christianese 101: ‘Conviction’

Reading Time: 11 minutes Hi and welcome back! For a long time now, I’ve studied Christianese. That’s the jargon that Christians use among themselves — particularly the really fervent and toxic ones, like fundagelicals and Catholic hardliners. Thanks to Christianese, they can be utterly unintelligible to outsiders — or, conversely, can hold an entire conversation using common words in English […]

Posted inReligion

The Heartbreak of the Teen Zealot

Reading Time: 9 minutes Recently, I saw something that downright dismayed me: a young evangelical who’s very upset about upsetting her family with evangelism. It reminded me very much of how I acted at that age. As you can imagine, her tribe gave the very worst advice imaginable. Today, let me show you the damage youthful zealots can do to their relationships and lives, and why it doesn’t bother older Christians in the least to encourage this behavior. 

Posted inGeneral

An Exorcism in Christian Fantasy-Land in ‘This Present Darkness’ (LSP #128, Ch. 15)

Reading Time: 11 minutes In this installment, a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ wages honest-to-goodness spiritual warfare–and he wins, because of course he does, because this is a cringe-inducing Christian fantasy based around the idea of Jesus Power being a real thing that actually really exists and actually really does stuff in the real world. Today, Lord Snow Presides over an imaginary battle for imaginary stakes that today’s fundagelicals still think is all in deadly earnest.

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