Mark Driscoll Speaks Today at California Leadership Conference

thrivelogoThrive Leadership Conference 2015 is hosted by Ray Johnson, pastor of Bayside Church in Granite Bay, CA.  Although not listed on the conference website, Mark Driscoll has been announced as a speaker tomorrow. He is slated to speak in a general session at 10am PT.
Bayside Church hosted Driscoll’s Real Marriage conference in 2014.
Driscoll will be interviewed by Brian Houston at the summer Hillsong Conferences in London and Sydney. These appearances have been targeted by a petition drive designed to put pressure on Hillsong to drop Driscoll from the program.

Robert Morris: The Yellow One's the Sun

Preachers, think twice before you use other people as illustrations.
Easter Sunday at Gateway Church Robert Morris preached about Jesus as the Son of God (link to the sermon on the Gateway site). He speculated about Jesus and the Father playing catch with the stars and Jesus creating the Earth as his school science project. Apparently Morris delivered the sermon to more than one crowd because the sermon on the website does not appear to be edited. However, in another delivery, Morris added a little joke (apparently a rip-off of Brian Regan) at the expense of the kid in school who isn’t “the brightest kid in class.” Watch:

Now, the depiction of the Trinity is troubling here. Is Jesus God’s little boy?
Readers who have experience with Morris/Gateway: Is it common in sermons to poke fun at less fortunate folks? I don’t want to seem picky but the disabled are stigmatized enough already. I doubt parents of kids with intellectual disabilities saw the humor.
Readers: Am I overreacting or does Rev. Morris owe his audience an apology?

Gary Scott Smith on Religion in the Oval Office

My Grove City College colleague Gary Scott Smith is featured talking about his new book on American presidents and religion in a podcast on conservative website Ricochet. Click the image to listen to the interview.
Gary is chair of the history department at GCC and an immense help to me in understanding how historians operate. He has reviewed and offered helpful suggestions for many of my blog posts debunking David Barton.
You can read an interview with Gary about the book at John Fea’s blog here.

Thomas Kidd on Why the Southern Baptists Canceled Ben Carson's Speech

Recently, the Southern Baptist Convention canceled Ben Carson’s appearance at a SBC pastor’s conference. A group within the convention, Baptist21, had objected and won the day. Baylor history professor Thomas Kidd had this to say in Monday’s edition (4/27/15) of the Washington Post:

This was a welcome outcome to what had the potential to be a serious snafu for the SBC. Whatever the organizers’ intentions, Baptist21 has this exactly right – hosting any political candidate carries a tacit implication of endorsement. Baptists and other evangelical denominations would do better to stop platforming political candidates at all. This includes handing out political pamphlets and “voter guides” at church.

Kidd has this exactly right. Perhaps churches have a right to speak politically but, in my opinion, they shouldn’t be arms of political parties whether on the right or left. Of course, this view of the church’s mission flies in the face of the Christian nationalist position. Fueled by a belief that their brand of Christianity should dominate the culture (dominionism), Christian nationalists view politics as a kind of evangelism where God is proclaimed as a political answer to political problems. Most conflate the Christian church with Old Testament Israel and mistake the promises made to Israel as promises to the church.

David Barton Hosts Kent Hovind on Wallbuilders Live

Today, David Barton’s Wallbuilders Live broadcast their interview with Kent Hovind.
There is a vigorous group of folks who have taken positions on Hovind’s crimes and I will be interested to read their comments about the interview.
Barton began by saying that people who do what Hovind did spend an average of 18 months in prison, if they spend any time there at all. Barton and Green think the length of his sentence is a red flag.
Hovind said he didn’t know any better, and he said the structuring law is stupid. He said he has paid every tax he owes. On this video, he says he hasn’t paid taxes in 28 years.
Barton links to; I encourage readers to also examine