What does it mean to be pro-life? Time and again, I find that Christian conservatives seem to endorse a pro-life vision that is almost completely limited to the fetus-in-utero. Consider, for example, this tweet from Michael Brown: I was just interacting with a pastor friend who referenced a mega church in his area that supported […]
“Putting down wolves” and other chilling rhetoric
A few days ago film director and provocateur Michael Moore foolishly jammed a stick in the wasp’s nest by saying that all snipers are cowards (take that Chris Kyle). The comment is equal parts false and incendiary. But what most intrigues me are the responses that Moore’s comment elicited. Consider, for example, Don Mann’s response […]
A Wolf in Sheepdog’s Clothing? A review of American Sniper
American Sniper tells the story of Chris Kyle (played by a substantially beefed-up Bradley Cooper), at 160 recorded kills, the deadliest sniper in the long military history of the United States. I’m not up on sniper score cards, but that certainly sounds like a lot of blood and brains. Through four tours of duty in […]
The Hope of Holy War? A Review of The Skeletons in God’s Closet (Part 3)
Joshua Ryan Butler. The Skeletons in God’s Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War. Thomas Nelson, 2014. This is part 3 of my review of The Skeletons in God’s Closet. For part 2 click here. Part 3 begins with the story of Rachel, a congregant at Butler’s church who […]
To bomb or not to bomb. Is this really a question?
Over the last few days I was taken aback by the defenses of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the discussion thread to my article “How to destroy your enemies.” In a sense, the irony couldn’t have been greater, for the article was concerned to show that the best way to destroy one’s enemies […]
The Canaanite genocide as cruel and unusual punishment in extremis
We’ve now arrived at the ninth installment of my ongoing critique of William Lane Craig’s podcast “Richard Dawkins and Driving out the Canaanites.” And you’re thinking to yourself: “Geez, isn’t this overkill? Move on Rauser.” And I’m thinking: “That pun was in poor taste. And I’m not moving on, because there is just so much […]
William Lane Craig thinks the Canaanites should’ve run! (And too bad if they didn’t.)
This is the eight installment of my ongoing critique of William Lane Craig’s podcast “Richard Dawkins and Driving out the Canaanites.” In this installment we’re going to return to an excerpt from the podcast which I transcribed originally in part 5. In this section Craig argues that the Canaanites had time to “get out of […]
On William Lane Craig’s defense of the Canaanite genocide (Part 5)
In the fourth installment of my critique of William Lane Craig’s podcast defending the Canaanite genocide, Matthew Flannagan reiterated an objection he had posted in response to an earlier installment of the series, namely that Craig does not understand himself to be defending genocide. Matt writes: “Craig has repeatedly explicitly denied that the command was to […]
Does Jesus go with soldiers into battle?
Let’s set aside the kitschy nature of this image and ask a very important question. What does it mean for Jesus to be placing a hand on the shoulder of a praying soldier and declaring that he is with the soldier always? The allusion is presumably to Matthew 28:20, a passage which caps off the Great […]
Can you ever have too many war documentaries?
The other day I watched the Academy Award nominated 2011 documentary “Hell and Back Again”. The film was directed by Danfung Dennis and follows a soldier in Afghanistan who is severely wounded in battle and then has to reintegrate to civilian life. Dennis does an amazing job of capturing incredible and shocking footage from his […]
Urinating on corpses and other costs of war
A couple days ago a forty second video went viral depicting US soldiers urinating on the corpses of dead Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan. President Karzai has just condemned the video. Since then at least two of the soldiers have been identified by the Pentagon. I take the event of urinating on dead soldiers to be an example of an […]
If “The Bible is not a children’s book” then why do we have children’s Bibles?
Steve Hays of Triablogue wrote a response to my discussion of teaching biblical genocide to children called “Scout’s Honor!” It includes all the hallmarks of Hays’s critical analysis (or lack thereof) including the claim that I accept the UN as my “moral authority”. (How’s that supposed to work exactly?! “Hmm, has the UN addressed whether […]
From the caves to the capitals: who are the terrorists?
My brain is, as they say, fried. And I am only one day into a five day stint of 36 hours of lecturing. The first casualty is sleep. The second is my voice. Alas, the third is the snappy and penetrating blogging which more than a dozen people spanning the globe have taken to reading. […]
The Beatitudes and Banksy on Remembrance / Veterans Day
Matthew 5:3-10 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed […]