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Posts tagged "Self-righteousness"

Yard Sign Righteousness and the Hope of Ballot-Free Salvation

Take a simple scroll through any social media of choice, and you will see blatant virtue signaling. Or you will see the plea, the call, for users to turn from their sin and to see the light of whichever political candidate or party is being presented. Most of what you’ll see will be mockery of […]

12 Steps for the Recovering “Pharisee”

Quoted from the book, Twelve Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me): We admit that our single most unmitigated pleasure is to judge other people. Have come to believe that our means of obtaining greatness is to make everyone lower than ourselves in our own mind. Realize that we detest mercy being given to those […]

What Separates the Polite from the Frank

An excerpt from The School of Life’s remarkable entry on Politeness, which might explain why the “comedy of manners” remains such an enduring genre, grace-wise: What ultimately separates the Polite from the Frank person isn’t really a knowledge of etiquette. The difference doesn’t hang upon considerations of which knife to use at a formal dinner, […]

Horrifying Piety: The Real Villain of The Witch

The Violence of Self-Justification: A Chilling Warning for Church-Goers


This one comes to us from Nathan Hoff. Why do I keep eating ice cream? Why do I keep looking at porn? Why do I keep drinking booze? Why do I work like there’s no tomorrow? Why do I binge-watch Netflix? Why do I keep on ketoing? Why do I keep looking for news? Why […]

The Evil Person I Become on a Bike

This one was written by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson. Yes, that’s me: mild-mannered theologian by foot, hate-spewing demon by bike. Note that when I say “bike,” I don’t mean a souped-up chopper bearing a Hell’s Angel in well-worn leather and a half-drunk can of Schlitz. I mean a dorky, human-powered eight-speed that I can’t even make […]

Preachers in Sneakers: A Merciful Mirror

When a friend sent me the Instagram account @preachersnsneakers, I was dumbfounded. A guy who goes by the name “Tyler” posts photographs of nondenominational mega-church pastors sporting sneakers alongside a cost analysis. It is funny and staggering. I had no idea that sneakers can cost hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. I mean, I feel […]

Feeding the Beast: Grace for an Outraged World

Here we are again, face to face with the beast; the beast named “Outrage.” The great Harambe is dead, and someone has to answer for his demise. The furious fingers of the incensed mob permeate the web with posts of “crucify her!” The young boy’s mother is clearly negligent and self-absorbed. How could she lose […]

A New Translation of the Parable of the Prodigal Son

As requested, here’s the (ridiculous) opening of the talk on self-righteousness I gave at the Christ Hold Fast conference last weekend, “Amnesty for the Older Brother”, which kicked off with a fresh translation of Luke 15:11-22. Let’s just hope the father’s affections extend to those who’re impressed with their own cleverness:   And Jesus said, […]

The Optimistic Pessimism of Jesus

I wish I could post the entire “Yeshua” chapter in Francis Spufford’s Unapologetic. It has to be the freshest, most vivid, gut-level and just plain exciting writing about Jesus since, well, Robert Capon. Though unlike most of what Capon wrote, Unapologetic is less a work of theology than an extended exercise in “new persuasive words”–something […]

Argumentative Apes and the Wisdom of Foolishness: A Social Science Roundup

Two weeks ago, New Scientist wrote an excellent article alluding to many of the social science themes we cover. We’ll start with two thought-experiments noted in the article that illustrate human selfishness or irrationality: 1. Imagine an outbreak of disease threatening a small town of 600 people.  Given budget constraints, we can develop treatment A, which […]