‘Religion’ Archive

‘Faith’ vs ‘Relationship’ July 27, 2017 No Comments

Christians have traditionally spoken of ‘faith’ as the means of taking hold of the salvation of Christ. Roman Catholics have tended to speak of ‘faith plus works combined’, but at their best they don’t regard salvation as a matter of ‘earned success’ but simply want to stress that the faith that justifies leads to works. […]

Christians May be Decreasing in Number in America, But Not Because of any ‘War’ December 30, 2015 No Comments

Jay Michaelson, in The Daily Beast, proclaimed on Christmas Day that there is a decrease in the numbers and influence of Christians in America, but that the “war” on Christianity is a myth.  I’m not sure the war on Christianity is a myth, but it’s not the cause of our problems, and to the extent […]

More on the Whole ‘Judeo-Christian’ Meme December 2, 2015 No Comments

In my post four years ago, “9/11, Ten Years Later” I talked a little bit about the concept of ‘Judeo-Christian’.  I’d like to expand on it.  As my source says, the meme ‘Judeo-Christian’ originated in the United States after World War II, partly in response to the Holocaust, partly in recognition that Jews were still unjustly […]

Comment on WSJ – Walter Russell Mead – On the Future of Middle East Christians May 31, 2015 No Comments

Walter Russell Mead really hits the nail on the head, here.  He explains that the four older empires, Ottoman, Russian, German, and Austro-Hungarian, were, whatever their weaknesses, “multiethnic and multi confessional states.”  After the fall of these empires, all these groups wanted their own states and not all this “diversity,” to use a term now […]

Hasn’t it Always Been Babylon? November 15, 2014 No Comments

Rod Dreher, one of our favorites on this site, has written a column called “From Israel to Babylon” of which the sources are largely drawn from the Southern Baptists.  The younger Southern Baptists expect to be a religious minority, which, of course, they are.  To quote Ryan Booth, “Older Southern Baptists are more likely to […]

The Shoe Is On The Other Foot? April 30, 2014 No Comments

A United Church of Christ is, it seems, suing the state of North Carolina because its ‘religious liberty’ is being denied because it cannot pronounce a same sex couple married under state law.  The UCC should have the right, I believe, to declare ‘holy matrimony’ [as distinct from civil marriage] under its own canon law. […]

There’s More to the World than America December 23, 2012 2 Comments

I am not all that upset about the November election, for two reasons: 1. The church is growing so fast in Africa and China that it more than makes up for our losses in America and the West.  I feel bad for America, in many ways, but there’s more to the world than America. 2. […]

Islamist Hypocrisy on Free Speech: Suppose They Got What They Wanted? September 29, 2012 1 Comment

Eric Posner, legal scholar and son of the scholar and judge Richard Posner, declares in Slate that free speech is overrated and that internationally, even to a small degree in Europe, it needs to take a back seat to order. He seems to think that the United States government should have found a way to […]


Recently it was revealed in a column by Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish liberal Muslim, that Newt Gingrich is a fan of none other than Mustafa Kemal Atatuerk. Say what? Kemal Atatuerk was one of the most radical secularists of the 20th century outside of the Communist world itself. Ruling Turkey from 1923 to 1939, he […]

Christmas and Steven Pinker’s Decline of Violence December 11, 2011 1 Comment

A few months ago biologist Steven Pinker released a paper (Article 1, Article 2) and a book claiming that despite 9/11, Rwanda, and other such events, violence is actually declining in the world. He rebukes the myth of the ‘noble savage’ by pointing out that most savages and our pre-civilized ancestors were incredibly violent. He […]

9/11, Ten Years Later November 1, 2011 2 Comments

When the 9/11 attacks happened, ten years ago, we knew that we didn’t like it.  But we in the Western World were forced to think about the delicate question of, if we were against this, what were we for?  Were we defending the older Western Christendom?  Or were we defending a new order that entailed […]

What a Seemingly Innocuous Request But Such a Triumphal Statement June 2, 2011 2 Comments

Why don’t the Muslims just buy the churches, if they want them? The Catholics need the money. Related: “Muslims in France Ask to Use Empty Churches” by Soeren Kern at Hudson New York  

Driven to Extinction, Indeed March 31, 2011 2 Comments

Well, that leaves 140 countries where religions (I prefer to use the plural, because there’s no such thing as ‘religion,’ only religions) are doing fine.  What’s going to be interesting about the nine is that when ‘religion’ goes extinct, a lot of the incentive to have children, especially more than one or two, also goes […]

The H-word, and the Other H-word December 6, 2010 2 Comments

In the ‘60s we had a lot of slang phrases using the word “head” – “head trip” “got a crazy idea in his head” “feed your head” (Jefferson Airplane) “we’d like to change your head” (The Beatles) “out of my head” “big head” “hard headed woman” (Yusuf Islam) In other words, the significance of the […]

Bahnsen on D’Souza and Catholic Protestants November 27, 2010 1 Comment

This is my opportunity to introduce my friend David Bahnsen to Blue Kennel readers. I myself happened to be under the impression that before D”Souza relocated to NYC he was in fact attending an evangelical megachurch in San Diego. But be that as it may. Yes, the Protestants mostly abandoned the Protestant “world and life […]

A Generational God October 19, 2010 No Comments

The God of the Boomers says: I know you believe in Me and trust Me, but I need love! I need attention! Faith sounds so old fashioned, I’d rather talk about R*E*L*A*T*I*O*N*S*H*I*P! The God of Gen X says: I love you and have a wonderful plan for your life and all that, but in the […]

The Devil’s Favorite Religion? October 8, 2010 2 Comments

We Historic Christians, who believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, as well as being God the Son, sometimes come up with theories as to which other religion is the polar opposite, or the devil’s favorite.  Many people instinctively assume that atheism is it.  More recently, especially since 9/11, a lot […]

Why The Religious Right Is Soft On Immigration: Plus, I Propose To Revive A New Deal-Era Institution September 23, 2010 No Comments

I read a recent New York Times article on the Mormon editor who is being lambasted by the conservatives for his views on immigration points up a little known fact – the strictly religious right is fairly soft on immigration.  First, they see a mission field, a chance to recruit new people to Red America […]

American Christianity – Soon a Phenomenon of the Educated? September 11, 2010 1 Comment

For years and years we have been fed with the story that orthodox Christianity and other conservative and demanding religions were primarily, though not exclusively, the domain of the less educated, and that the highly educated were inclined toward more “liberal” and “postmodern” forms of spirituality that did not claim to be exclusively true.  Now […]

Living Like a Liberal August 3, 2010 2 Comments

In this article Matt Labash explains how being liberal, or progressive, is becoming more than a political belief but a way of life – I would almost say a spirituality of sorts. The text, he says, is Justin Krebs” work “538 Ways to Live Work and Play Like a Liberal.” Ultimately, this is a trend […]

Why I Could Never Be a Good Catholic June 19, 2010 1 Comment

I think most anti-Catholicism is either based on rather outdated stereotypes or is the “anti-Semitism of the respectable” as has often been said.  Nevertheless, there are several reasons why I would find it difficult to be a good Catholic [it is, on the other hand, very easy to be a bad Catholic]. Probably the most […]

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism June 15, 2010 1 Comment

Sometimes there are advantages to my advanced age. The World magazine article here from a few years ago was part of a major rumpus concerning something called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism that most of our adolescents, including many in evangelical churches, actually believe. Big deal, I thought. It bore a great resemblance to what everyone around […]

Church Fights Back After… March 21, 2010 1 Comment

So much for the libertarian reputation of Goldwater’s state! Related: “Church Fights Back After Arizona Town Bans Home Bible Study” at FOXNews.com

Political Partnership and the Prophet Jonah March 18, 2010 1 Comment

In the course of my “annual” reading of the Bible I happened to come across the book of Jonah.  This book has been spoiled for us by arguments about “did it really historically happen?”  I take the position that it could have happened, because we can’t rule out the truth of anything just because it […]

And We Expect Libertarian Politics From… March 16, 2010 2 Comments

And we expect libertarian politics from Arizona?  What would Barry Goldwater do? Related: “Church Fights Back After Arizona Town Bans Home Bible Study” from FoxNews.com

Are “Big Corporations” People? And Can Everything Be Blamed on Them? February 4, 2010 1 Comment

The recent decision that corporations and unions are free to make independent expenditures and public commentary on elections frightened a lot of people.  It did not empower these organizations to contribute directly to campaigns in unlimited qualities, only to engage in “independent expenditures” and advocacy, as individuals can.  People being frightened of the large size […]

I Saw This Poster at a Jewish Temple January 5, 2010 No Comments

I was amused when I saw this poster at a Jewish temple nearby. I have seen the rise of so-called Christian Contemporary Music, the counterattack by Gen Xers such as Mark Joseph who charged that Christian Contemporary Music was a ghetto and the equivalent of the Negro Leagues, to a situation where Christian Contemporary Music, […]

The Real Danger to the Faith November 18, 2009 1 Comment

Last weekend the Wall Street Journal had a weekend feature on “Man vs. God” in which neither side defended the Biblical Christian faith. Back in the ‘70s there was a book called the Peter Principle that declared that people rose in the system till they got to a position whose duties they were incompetent to […]

The Heart vs. The Gut 3 Comments

One of the common errors in modern Western thinking is to confuse the “heart” with the “gut,” the home of the emotions and moods. My emotions and moods change over time. The attitudes that trigger my moods and feelings are much more stable and change, if anything, very slowly. The Bible speaks constantly of the […]

Is There Something Wrong with Me? Or am I Just Protestant? October 19, 2009 1 Comment

I have just had the privilege of attending the preview opening of The Sacred Made Real, an exhibition of Spanish polychrome sculpture and painting from the 17th century, at the National Gallery in London. Some of the artworks are paintings, some are brightly painted wood statues. In some cases the paintings appear, in fact, to […]