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...]

The NSA and the End of Privacy (Or, Why We Don’t Care)

Upon hearing the news of the NSA phone records-breach-of-privacy-scandal, I was a bit surprised at my own reaction–or rather, lack of reaction. It seemed like just another step in the direction of the new normal, brought on technology and the ubiquity of social networks. Every day, it seems, we surrender more and more of our [Read More...]

Evangelicalism, Salvation, and other Religions: The Conversation Continues

Over at respectfulconversation.net, the second round of dialogue is now beginning. This month the topic is on evangelicalism and salvation (we theologians like to call it “soteriology”). These are some of the questions we are addressing: 1. Is Christianity “exclusive”? What does that mean? Is Christianity the one true faith? 2. Is there anything for [Read More...]

The Future of “Evangelical”? Don’t Miss This Conversation

Over at Respectful Conversation, hosted by Harold Heie, an interesting conversation is underway regarding the place of evangelicalism within larger Christian traditions. What does it mean to be “evangelical” today? Does evangelicalism and evangelicals have a distinct, usable entity? What will be the future of the loose coalition (if it is that) or the “family [Read More...]


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