The Misunderstood Plato and the Disembodied Soul

Plato gets a bad rap in much of Christian theology these days for his supposed contribution to anthropological dualism, the view that te human person is composed of two distinct substances (soul–or  spirit–and body).  This dualism is the cause, then, of the gnostic devaluation of the body in favor of the spiritual. I have been [Read More...]

Someone Else will Dress You: A Pilgrimage Through Alzheimer’s

The “geography of memory.”  That’s the intriguing metaphor driving Jeanne Murray Walker’s fascinating memoir. It’s odd to think of memory as having geography, but Walker’s tale is a vivid but mystical landscape of the depth and breadth, cracks and fissures, ebbs and flows of the impact of memory–and the loss of it–on our sense of [Read More...]

The Gospel Coalition and the Persistent Problem of Theological Colonialism

Vinoth Ramachandra draws our attention to a striking example of the persistent problem of theological colonialism. The Gospel Coalition’s International Outreach has announced astrategic effort to export their theological perspective globally, so that pastors in theologically famished (yes, that’s the term they use) areas of the globe can utilize the resources of the educated West, Reformed theological [Read More...]

Politics and Evangelical Theology

The discussion on the “Future of Evangelicalism” continues over at respectfulconversation.net . This might be one of the best-kept secrets in online theological discussion these days. And I think this month’s set of contributions, on “evangelicals and politics,” with contributions from Amos Yong, Randall Balmer, Amy Black, Jeannine Brown, and others, is one of the best [Read More...]

What’s Your “Madonna Moment?”

Paul Tillich, one of the most significant theologians of culture, tells of a moment in which he profoundly experienced the divine through gazing at a painting. Tillich had been a Lutheran pastor and served as a German Army chaplain in WWI. During his service in the war, he discovered that looking at books of art [Read More...]

Cognitive Psychology, Evangelicals, and Biblical Morality

The “respectful conversations” (a project hosted by Harold Heie) continue. This month the topic is “evangelicals and morality.” I’ve just posted my contribution: a discussion of the relation between cognitive psychology, biblical morality, and narrative ethics (drawing from the fantastic work of James McClendon). Other posts are up by Wyndy Corbin Reuschling (evangelical ethicist par excellence), [Read More...]

Relax: Neuroscience is not Going to Destroy Your Faith

I’ve been doing some reading on cognitive psychology of religion (in part because I’m involved in a Biologos grant project with some colleagues here at Bethel University on the intersection of psychology and theology regarding human origins beliefs). I came across an essay by Justin Barrett in which he interacts with a prevalent assumption that [Read More...]

Reza Aslan, Jesus, and the (False) Presumption of Objectivity

When I watched the clip of Fox News anchor Lauren Green interviewing professor Reza Aslan about his recent book, Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, my initial reactions were nearly as confused as the interview was chaotic. The interview illustrates the state of contemporary religious lack of discourse: everybody is scrambling to find a place [Read More...]

Redeeming Doubt (The Other Side of Faith)

Thanks to Tony Jones for posting an excerpt from Emerging Prophet on his blog today (and tomorrow). The post today is from my reflections on epistemology, Against Certainty, in which I argue that doubt is not an enemy of real, authentic faith; rather, it represents the “other side” of faith. Both Kierkegaard and the emergent church (in particular, [Read More...]

“Mind Your Own Business!” (Some Advice from St. Paul)

I recently came across some surprising advice to Christians from Paul. “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life; you should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.  (1 Thessalonians 4:11). A quiet life? Mind your own business? Is this the same Paul speaking? The Paul whose [Read More...]


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