Day: September 14, 2008

Democrats and evangelicals

As Barack Obama and John McCain move into the final two months of this longest of elections, white evangelical or “born again” Christian voters are being fought over more fiercely than at any time in modern history. Both parties employ evangelical outreach specialists. Both are spending a lot of time courting evangelical leaders. And both are holding meetings with “values voters” to try to reassure them.

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Evangelicals and torture

The poll of 600 Southern white evangelicals was released Sept. 11 in Atlanta in connection with a national religious summit on torture. It shows not only are white evangelical Southerners more likely than the general populace to believe torture is sometimes or often justified, but also that they are far more likely—to tweak a phrase from Proverbs—to “lean on their own understanding” regarding the subject.

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Barring Yahweh

Observant Jews have traditionally not used the name Yahweh, refusing to pronounce the so-called proper name of God out of respect, or to be sure they do not misuse it. Now neither will Roman Catholics, at least in their worship services.

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Marilynne Robinson’s “Home”

“Home” is set in the Boughton household at the time of Jack’s sudden return, and is an intense study of three people: the Reverend Boughton, the old, dying patriarch; his pious daughter Glory; and the prodigal Jack.

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The cross and the kingdom

If there is one fact about which New Testament scholars are agreed, it is that ‘the good news of the Kingdom of God’ was the heart of Jesus’ preaching. Take away the references to the Kingdom in the gospels, and there is no gospel at all. Yet it is common to hear what passes for Christianity preached without reference to the Kingdom of God.

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