Blog Archives

Interesting Reads for May 7

“A growing group of Southern Baptist women called for Paige Patterson to be removed as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) on Sunday, due to what they claimed was his ‘unbiblical view of authority, womanhood, and sexuality.’…The letter comes from scores of Southern Baptist women, including leaders such as: Karen Swallow Prior, a Liberty University professor and research fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Convention; Lauren Chandler, an author, worship singer, and wife of The Village Church pastor Matt Chandler; Jennifer Lyell, a vice president at SBC-affiliated B&H Publishing Group; and Amanda Jones, a Houston church planter and daughter of Bible teacher Beth Moore.” Find out more about the letter at this Christianity Today article. If you want to sign the letter, go here.


The Dinner Party That Served Up 50,000-Year-Old Bison Stew


Why God Still Works Through Fools Like Samson. Good read. Will probably make you think of He Who Must Always Be Named. I doubt that was the author’s intention.


“Soon enough, the “need” to defend Trump will pass. He’ll be gone from the American scene. Then, you’ll stand in the wreckage of your own reputation and ask yourself, “Was it worth it?” The answer will be as clear then as it should be clear now. It’s not, and it never was.” Superb piece by David French


A Shaolin Monk Throwing A Needle Through A Pane Of Glass:

Sundry Dinner for April 19

Devout hero: Might Southwest pilot Tammie Jo Shults’ ‘nerves of steel’ be related to her strong faith?


Could artificial intelligence get depressed and have hallucinations? Of course. Haven’t they ever been exposed to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe?


Can We Please Stop Talking About Generations as if They Are a Thing? (David Costanza for Slate) I’ve studied generations for years. So, the complaints against the whole concept of “generations” is well founded. Still, I believe that an age cohort is influenced by their common experiences, especially experiences that happened in the formative years of late teens to early twenties.


WSJ: How to Raise More Grateful Children. A sense of entitlement is a big problem among young people today, but it’s possible to teach gratitude.


Creepy Chick-fil-A and New York(er) Values: The Shock (and Slander) are Getting Old,” a CT piece by Ed Stetzer. IMO, until the New Yorker also excoriates the city’s halal food trucks, owned and operated by people who have the same untoward traditional values, I can’t see their piece as anything other than a snooty rejection of that which is seen as Southern suburban evangelicalism.


Mind Games: The Tortured Lives of ‘Targeted Individuals’. Fascinating and sad, an article about highly intelligent people convinced they are the targets of experiments in mind control.


“While white evangelicals tend to be older, fully half of evangelicals under the age of 30 are nonwhite, and 18 percent are Latino….And these nonwhite evangelicals see politics differently than white evangelicals. While the largest plurality of white evangelicals identify as Republicans, most black evangelicals are Democrats. A plurality of evangelical Latinos, in contrast, identify as political independents — and they’re less supportive of the Democratic Party than Latinos overall — but they are still more likely to consider themselves Democrats than Republicans.” FiveThirtyEight


“Why would a Catholic Republican [Jeffrey Bell] back a Democrat [Bob Casey]? In a 1995 interview, Bell told me that he was worried many religious voters – especially evangelicals and Catholics – had already decided they had no choice but to support GOP nominees….As for evangelicals and traditional Catholics, Republican leaders “pat them on the head,” and “buy them off easy,” because cultural conservatives have few political alternatives. ‘Someday, this is going to cause BIG problems for evangelicals and conservative Catholics.’” Terry Mattingly, writing about the late Jeffrey Bell.


“That God is using Trump not as an agent of his good work but as a kind of ongoing test of everyone else’s moral character seems like a not-unreasonable inference to draw. That God would offer religious conservatives in danger of selling their souls a chance not just to step back from the brink but to literally replace Donald Trump with a fellow religious conservative — well, that seems like just the kind of opportunity that a beneficent deity would grant to erring members of his flock. And for those same religious conservatives to pass up the chance…would be a sad confirmation of the point that a beloved Christian author made many years ago: The doors of hell are locked on the inside.” Ross Douthat’s column, “Why Not Mike Pence?

Sundry Dinner for April 12


“The very places that made Austin so hip are being demolished to make room for the hotels and office spaces needed to accommodate the flood of tourists and newcomers who have come to enjoy what no longer exists.” From “God Save Austin,” an excerpt from Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright’s new book, God Save Texas.


“I’ve noticed, in my life as a doctor, that the truism is true: People die the way they’ve lived—even the demented and even, somehow, the brain-dead. The brave die bravely; the curious, with curiosity; the optimistic, optimistically. Those who are by nature accepters, accept; those who by nature fight for control die fighting for control.” Interesting quote from an interesting review of an interesting new book.


125 Conversation Starters For Virtually Any Situation. As an introvert, I like to review conversation starters like this from time to time.


Great read: Esquire’s Home. In February 2003, after the explosion of the shuttle two American astronauts aboard the International Space Station suddenly found themselves with no ride home. And things got worse from there.


American-style Buddhism is very different than what it has been historically (and what it is for millions in the rest of the world today). For example: “It’s wrong to say “Buddhism has no gods”….The religion believes in an elaborate pantheon of celestial beings [which] exercise powers beyond those of mere humans, are beseeched for favors, and ‘respond to the prayers of the devout.'” Good article.


George F. Will: Crisis Pregnancy Centers Have the Right to Remain Silent


White evangelicals are not the (only) problem: “We are told again (and again and again) that ‘80 percent of white evangelicals’ voted for Trump. But it’s also over 70 percent of Orthodox Jews, 61 percent of white Mormons, 51 percent of white Catholics, 48 percent of white mainliners.” Mark Silk


When a Survey Using Poor Methodologies Doesn’t Match Actual Experience: That Viral Study Claiming Most Young Gay Men Want Monogamy Shouldn’t Be Trusted

Sundry Dinner for March 22

The history of how ‘Keep Austin Weird’ became synonymous with the Capital City


What Your Bookshelf Organization Says About You (HT: Erin W)


Did Archaeologists Just Prove the Existence of Prophet Isaiah?


What’s the real Down syndrome ‘problem’? The genocide. George Will has always written powerful commentary on this issue.


Tara Isabella Burton for Vox says that, as feared, the new Disney movie, A Wrinkle in Time, excised the Christianity that was so central to Madeleine L’Engle’s cherished book. To me, some of L’Engle’s views made for an unsatisfactory Christianity. But her work cannot be understood without taking it into account.


David French: The True Sin of American Evangelicals in the Age of Trump


“There remains a persistent and widespread belief that Buddhist societies really are peaceful and harmonious. This presumption is evident in the reactions of astonishment many people have to events like those taking place in Myanmar. How, many wonder, could a Buddhist society — especially Buddhist monks! — have anything to do with something so monstrously violent as the ethnic cleansing now being perpetrated on Myanmar’s long-beleaguered Rohingya minority? Aren’t Buddhists supposed to be compassionate and pacifist?… There is, however, no shortage of historical examples of violence in Buddhist societies.” NYT: “Why Are We Surprised When Buddhists Are Violent?” Hat Tip: GetReligion


Mark Regnerus: “Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions.” Tracking Christian Sexual Morality in a Same-Sex Marriage Future

Sundry Dinner for February 22

Thoughts, Prayers Prove Ineffective At Preventing Neil DeGrasse Tyson From Saying Moronic Things On Twitter


Why did slaves adopt their oppressor’s religion? And how did they transform it? Here’s Dante Stewart’s answer. And here’s Mark Galli’s 2014 article on the same subject, “The Inconceivable Start of African-American Christianity.”


Here are some user-friendly short, animated videos on philosopher Alvin Plantinga’s most important contributions to the philosophy of religion. These ideas transformed how those within philosophy and the surrounding culture understood theism – the belief in a divine reality or god. In 2017 Plantinga was awarded the the Templeton Prize which each year honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.


Don’t Look Away: What I Saw Treating the Victims From Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns


Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On Originals apparel company, has become another figure in the battle over religious liberty for refusing to print T-shirts for a gay pride festival because of his Christian beliefs. Story


About Tom

ANCHOR COURSE LOGO Tom Goodman is a graduate of Baylor University and Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, and he holds a doctorate from New Orleans Seminary. He has served as pastor in Louisiana, north Texas, and overseas in Grand Cayman before becoming the pastor of Hillcrest Church in Austin, Texas. Diane and Tom have been married since their days at Baylor University, and they have two sons, Michael and Stephen. Tom enjoys scuba diving, watching the latest Netflix DVD with Diane, and chasing mis-hit golf balls.