Friday, April 28, 2006

Remembering Azusa Street: Pentecostal Centenary

Krista Tippett and the good folks at Speaking of Faith have put together an excellent program on the Azusa Street revival, featuring the wisdom Mel Robeck, whose new book on the Azusa Street revival I've been enjoying since the Society for Pentecostal Studies conference back in March.

Along with the program (which can be listened to online or downloaded as a podcast), the SoF site includes a wealth of resources related to global Pentecostalism. Great stuff.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Kuyper and DeVos: If this is "transformation"...

My recent piece on Neocalvinism in Comment received some criticism either because (1) I suggested links between what now passes for Neocalvinism and the right-wing, libertarian elements of the Republican party, or (2) because I think that's a bad thing.

In that light, I find two recent local events almost laughable--if they weren't also disheartening. First, just a few days ago it was announced that what was formerly "Reformed Bible College" would henceforth be known as Kuyper College. Two days later it was announced that the very first commencement speaker for Kuyper College would be none other than Richard DeVos--co-founder of Amway (now Alticor), author of Compassionate Capitalism, and all-around symbol of the so-called "Reformed" tradition's baptism of Republican libertarian economics and war-mongering foreign policy.

Every square inch?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Is there a box marked "other?"

My recent article on Neocalvinism in Comment generated some curious comments and reaction (both at the site and via email). Most of it is not worth a reply, but I continue to be amazed by a lack of imagination on the right which thinks that a criticism of the Bush administration can only mean that someone loves all things Clintonian and Democratic. In other words, they seem to imagine that someone who criticizes “the Right” must be a card-carrying member of “the Left” (as if there was one). One would hope for a little more nuance. So I was surprised to see myself being dismissed as yet another “liberal.” I think I’ve pretty clearly indicated—in my critique of Jim Wallis and in my sympathy for Hitchens’ lambasting of the Clintons—that I’m no friend of the left. Instead, I find myself in deep sympathy with Ruskin who, in the very first letter of Fors Clavigera, trying to subvert such simplistic dichotomies:
“Consider, for instance, the ridiculousness of the division of parties into ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative.’ There is no opposition whatever between these two kinds of men. There is opposition between Liberals and Illiberals; that is to say, between people who desire liberty, and who dislike it. I am a violent Illiberal; but it does not follow that I must be a Conservative.”