Posts tagged "Evangelicalism"

The Drunken Downfall (and Death) of Thomas Kinkade

To be honest, I didn’t even know Thomas Kinkade was dead. That was until I read this fascinating piece on Kinkade, America’s favorite sentimental “Painter of Light,” from The Daily Beast by Zac Bissonnette: “The Drunken Downfall of Evangelical America’s Favorite Painter.” I also had no idea Kinkade was (a) an Evangelical Christian and (b) an alcoholic. The story is at once alarming, yet not surprising, and ultimately really sad. Thus, I can’t help but explore it here.

(Before I move on, I should preface this essay by noting that Kinkade died on Good Friday two years ago, so I was probably distracted…

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Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

1. An uncommonly insightful piece by John Dickerson appeared in The NY Times about “The Decline of Evangelical America.” Writing as an evangelical himself, Dickerson recites some jarring statistics before launching into a sympathetic and genuinely hopeful conclusion, ht SZ:

In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, in a survey of 1,300 college professors, found that 3 percent held “unfavorable feelings” toward Jews, 22 percent toward Muslims and 53 percent toward evangelical Christians…

The core evangelical belief is that love and forgiveness are freely available to all who trust in Jesus Christ. This is the “good news” from which the…

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High-School Jesus Phases and Doubts About One’s Doubts

How to create a Pavlovian response in yours truly: 1. Produce extended, compassionate essays on Michael Jackson and Axl Rose. 2. Let it slip that you were raised Episcopalian. 3. Prompt a number of your colleagues to compare you with David Foster Wallace, going so far as to proclaim you his literary heir. 4. Write an extremely funny and not entirely unsympathetic article about a Christian Rock festival. This is what John Jeremiah Sullivan has done in the past few years.

I remember reading his piece on the initial GNR comeback shows in 2006 and thinking it was the best writing…

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Another Week Ends: Moonrise Kingdom, Foolish Folly, Conflicted Lewis Worship, Tiger Moms and Snake Handlers, Hitchens on Dickens, and New Shins

1. A couple of hot-off-the-presses reasons for living. First, pre-registration for the 2012 NYC Mockingbird Conference (4/19-21) opens on Monday! Again, the theme this year is “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts: Honesty, Humility and the Grace of God” and our keynote speaker will be none other than Michael Horton, Reformation Impresario Numero Uno and all around Gospel guru. He’ll be joined by Aaron Zimmerman, myself and a host of other birds of various stripes. Keep an eye on our events page. Second, and equally important, the trailer for Wes Anderson’s new film, Moonrise Kingdom, hit the web yesterday and it’s world-class….

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Reflections on a Midwestern Church

It meets in a old, charming church building, not an office park or a bar or a towering arena in the suburbs. Red bricks overshadowing gothic archways suggest a Methodist or Baptist past. From the lunch hall opposite the sanctuary one can almost smell the aroma of a thousand pots of coffee brewed and numerous potluck dishes served through the decades.

Don Shall

Updating has occurred. It is odd to see an espresso bar and metallic trimmings fill the foyer alongside the almond staircase and the understated clover windows of the narthex. Nonetheless, the combination puts everyone at ease, the young…

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Another Week Ends: Brooks on Empathy, more Quiet Beatle, American Commandments, Kaling on Chick Flicks, Meth to Master, Pre-Marital Hanky Panky, Psycho Congress, Tweedy & Ryan Adams

1. David Brooks continues with his one-man campaign for a more realistic conception of human nature, and the implications it might have on ethical behavior, in his new column, “The Limits of Empathy.” This time he focuses on the question of motivation, exploring how easily/frequently something as ‘good’ as empathy is subordinated to self-interest (and laziness), ht TB:

People who are empathetic are more sensitive to the perspectives and sufferings of others. They are more likely to make compassionate moral judgments. The problem comes when we try to turn feeling into action. Empathy makes you more aware of other people’s suffering, but it’s not…

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Reverse Intolerance and the Redemption of Evangelical Blowhards

If we malign Evangelicalism a bit too often on this site it’s not because it’s an easy target – which it is – no, as precious or naive as it might sound, we do it mainly because we care. Evangelicalism refers, of course, to a historical movement that has stressed the Good News of Salvation (the Evangel or Evangelium) – which is certainly something worth getting behind! Who doesn’t need some good news? Or some saving?! The problem, as we tirelessly point out, is how the movement has tragically come to stand for the opposite of “Good” or “News” (i.e.,…

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Mockingbird Interviews Mark Galli (Slight Return)

Last year, many of us at Mockingbird discovered the writings of Mark Galli, Senior Managing Editor of Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of Evangelicalism (started in 1956 by none other than Billy Graham). Galli’s grasp of the Gospel—God’s grace in Jesus Christ to broken human beings, including Christians who can’t get it together—was as deeply refreshing as it was (almost) unique in the wider world of Evangelical Christianity. We were so intrigued that we sought him out for an interview. Needless to say, it turned out to be a fascinating conversation, looking at the current landscape of Evangelicalism, the radical…

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