Censored for 65 years, the final words of the Evangelical hero are revealed

Jim Elliot in Ecuador c.1956 (public domain)

When I was growing up an Evangelical Christian, Jim Elliot was the role model handed to me. He was the image of devotion, of being “on fire” for God.

He’s been a staple of Evangelical Christianity since the late 1950s. Three books about him by his widow, Elisabeth Elliot, Through Gates of Splendor, Shadow of the Almighty and Passion and Purity, have been all but required reading in the religion.

Since I was a bookish kid, I got the…


The Christian messiah loves to flaunt that body

I’m looking over the history of Christian art when the deity is naked or nearly naked—and that’s a lot. Jesus is the most naked man in history.

Since I might be an unusual Bible commentator to have worked as a male stripper, I’d like to discuss the many times when Jesus does his routine. It all feels strangely familiar.


A religion’s sins become visible

Here’s a tough truth: The Bible verses used to establish that God wants men in charge are different in the Greek text than in Christian translations.

It’s discussed by scholars, but Christians don’t read scholars — so they haven’t known. This year, however, many Evangelical women are learning what was done to them.

detail from: Terry O’Neill, “Raquel Welch On Cross” (1970)

Consider the key verse: 1 Timothy 3:12.

It is used to assert male supremacy at church. And isn’t it clear?

“A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must…


We’re learning more about the classic children’s series

To read the saga of a 19th century pioneer family—or watch the T.V. show—one might not be on alert for ‘queer’ themes.

Little House on the Prairie might seem no place for any gender funny business. Isn’t it about a girl who grows up and gets married? Don’t Christians love it?


Short answer: No.

Is it possible for Evangelical churches to throw in the towel on the LGBT wars and be ‘affirming’? Consider the example of EastLake Church in Seattle.

It was founded in 2005 by Ryan T. Meeks and his wife, and became a megachurch with multiple locations. In 2014, a staffer confided in Meeks that she was afraid of being fired if she was seen dating a woman.

“I realized I had been a coward for too long,”…


She was an Evangelical Christian who went off-script

Britney Spears was always an Evangelical. Her first concert, age four, was in church. Every aspect of her upbringing was keyed into the religious culture of the time.

She was homeschooled. The great Evangelical idea throughout the 1980s and 1990s was that public school was evil. She became a performer at Disney, a rare entertainment outlet to be Evangelically-approved.

In her public romance with Justin Timberlake, who was also Southern Baptist, she was the sexy virgin, ready to…


Looking at images found in 1932 at Dura-Europos, Syria

The earliest images of Jesus tend to be unknown to Christians—like those found buried in a lost city in Syria called Dura-Europos.

It’s a fascinating story. In 1920, British soldiers were digging a trench along the Euphrates, and saw fragments of paintings. Archaeologists came, and realized they stood on top of an ancient city.

c.1932; Yale Univ. Art Gallery; public domain; colorized

Persians called it ‘Dura’, and to Romans it was ‘Europos’.

The citizens were pioneering in many ways. Around 256 A.D., …

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religion. sex. facts.

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