By Casey Cep Honk once for “Amen,” twice for “Glory hallelujah”: those are the newest liturgical instructions for the Rock Church, an evangelical congregation in Virginia Beach. The megachurch normally gathers in an enormous auditorium that seats more than five thousand, but, as the coronavirus has limited the ability of congregations to come together physically, members began meeting instead in the parking lot, where drive-in services are taking the place of regular worship. The praise band and the pastor took to a temporary stage erected outside the building, while a local FM station offered the church airtime, so that congregants could tune in to the … Continue reading Honk Twice for Hallelujah: What Church Looks Like in the Parking Lot
By Larry Getlen In 1997, when a young, slim peasant man was escorted into the small room where Father Gabriele Amorth conducted his exorcisms in Rome, the priest felt immediately confronted by evil. Amorth said he asked for the help of Jesus, and the young man began to curse and spit, using English instead of his native Italian. “His curses and threats were aimed solely at the exorcist; then he began spitting at him and preparing to attack him physically,” writes Marcello Stanzione in “The Devil is Afraid Of Me: The Life and Work of the World’s Most Famous Exorcist” (Sophia … Continue reading How an exorcist priest came face-to-face with the devil himself
By Matthew Warren When you picture God, who do you see: a young black woman, or an old white man? Chances are it’s the latter — and a new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that that image has its consequences. Across a series of seven studies, at team led by Steven O Roberts at Stanford University found that the way that we perceive God — and in particular our beliefs about God’s race — may influence our decisions about who should be in positions of leadership more generally. First, the team examined how 444 American Christians — a mixture of … Continue reading People Who See God As A White Man Tend To Prefer White Men For Leadership Positions
Who is this creature reading to kids at the public library story hour? What does it represent? By Fay Voshell, Voices Contributor It’s apparent this horned monster is not the goofy clown parents hire to make balloon animals for their kid’s birthday party. It’s not a circus clown like Emmett Kelly, famous for his “Weary Willie” sad sack persona derived from the hobos of the Great Depression; or Glen Little, whose perennial smile graced the Ringling Brothers circus for twenty years;” and it’s not Oleg Popov, whose clown car and pratfalls made audiences laugh. No, there is no innocent clowning around by this … Continue reading Send in the drag queens: The triumph of politicized occultism
Philosophy professor James Sterba revives a very old argument. by Derek Beres In his book, Is a Good God Logically Possible?, James Sterba investigates the role of evil. Sterba contends that if God is all-powerful then he’d be able to stop evil from occurring in the world. God’s inability (or unwillingness) to stop evil should make us question his role, or even his existence. Why does God allow evil to happen? This question has been at the heart of Western religious philosophy since the dawn of monotheism. The very term and concept of God has long divided humans. Is he the … Continue reading What are the chances that God is actually good?
The science-versus-religion opposition is a barrier to thought. Each one is a gift, rather than a threat, to the other Tom McLeish is a professor of natural philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York in the UK. He is the author of Faith and Wisdom in Science (2014), Let There Be Science (2016) and The Poetry and Music of Science (2019). Edited by Nigel Warburton To riff on the opening lines of Steven Shapin’s book The Scientific Revolution (1996), there is no such thing as a science-religion conflict, and this is an essay about it. It is not, however, another rebuttal of the ‘conflict narrative’ – … Continue reading Science + religion
A growing number of Jews are using psychedelics to reach spiritual highs, and you might be surprised to learn some Orthodox don’t frown upon the practice By MADISON MARGOLIN NEW YORK — Spiritual leader Ram Dass was born Richard Alpert, a nice Jewish boy from Boston. But in 1963, the former psychology professor was expelled from Harvard, along with his colleague Timothy Leary, for experimenting too liberally with psychedelics. He says, however, that through psychedelics, he has found God. Dass recounts to The Times of Israel a particular acid trip he took exploring his Jewish roots: “I remember taking LSD with … Continue reading Was Moses tripping when he saw the burning bush? Should you try?