An Update on the Book Deal for ‘A Godless Fundamentalist’

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by John Ellis

Most actors hate auditions. All actors hate the interim time period between the audition and finding out the result of the audition. I was no different.

During the days after an audition, working as an actor before the prevalence of emails, I was always worried that I wouldn’t hear the phone ring and, so, I would compulsively make sure that nothing was too loud in my apartment. Never mind that nothing in my history with phones presented any evidence that there was even the slightest danger that I wouldn’t hear the phone ring.

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Conservative Evangelicals and Fundamentalists Should Embrace Our Unity in Christ

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by John Ellis

The senior pastor at the church I serve at likes to good-naturedly tease me that I’m the resident fundamentalist at our conservative evangelical church. While joking, he is not incorrect. However, I would add that he, too, is a fundamentalist. In fact, I would count the majority of my brothers and sisters in Christ at our church as fundamentalists. Many of them may not like the term, but it’s true nonetheless[1]. Our reformed, Southern Baptist, IX Marks affiliated, conservative evangelical church is filled with fundamentalists for the glory of God. We may not believe that going to the movie theatre is sinful, nor do we believe that rock music is necessarily out of bounds for Christians, but that doesn’t make the label of fundamentalists less valid for us. And our church may have a pastor with long hair (me, if that’s not clear), but, make no mistake, we are fundamentalists.

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Bob Jones University, Abercrombie & Fitch, and PJ Media

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by John Ellis

This month marks a year since I was hired as a staff writer for PJ Media. For those who are unfamiliar with PJ Media, the website is a medium sized political news and opinion site – from a deeply conservative perspective, to be clear. Over the last couple of years, the site has expanded to include Faith, Lifestyle, and Parenting sections. I was initially hired to write for the Faith and Lifestyle sections, but over the last year, I have been given the opportunity to branch out and write about politics and parenting, too.

But what does my time with PJ Media have to do with Bob Jones University and Abercrombie & Fitch (which is probably the reason the majority of the readers clicked on this article to begin with)? Well, change. Specifically, change in me.

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Tonio K: Not Your Daddy’s CCM

Tonio-K-Romeo-Unchainedby John Ellis

In 1986, as an eleven year old boy reading the books describing the evils of rock and roll that lined my fundamentalist preacher father’s bookshelf[1], I was also, and secretly, listening to Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love,” among other mid-80’s “soft-rock” staples. Those books served as my pre-internet Google – introducing me to contraband music that I may not have heard about otherwise; that’s how I discovered Black Sabbath, the band with the frontman that best exemplified, according to my dad’s books, the evils of rock and roll.

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The Clash of the Straw Men: An Unorthodox Review of Rachel Held Evans’ Searching for Sunday

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by John Ellis

“But if the world is watching, we might as well tell the truth. And the truth is, the church doesn’t offer a cure. It doesn’t offer a quick fix. The church offers death and resurrection. The church offers the messy, inconvenient, gut-wrenching, never-ending work of healing and reconciliation. The church offers grace” – Rachel Held Evans[1].

Whoa. For those of us who grew up in the stifling cage of American Evangelicalism, and especially fundamentalism, that statement from Rachel Held Evans has the bracing freshness of the waters cascading over Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite. Washing away our shame and guilt, our disgust at ourselves and, hence, others, and the need we confused evangelicals feel to conform to what our parents, our pastors, and our Third Day loving friends expect, Evans holds out the refreshing cup of communion and says, speaking for God, “I’m throwing a banquet, and all these mismatched, messed-up people are invited. Here, have some wine”[2]. I do love wine.

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