Kierkegaard and Evangelicalism at the American Academy of Religion

Like numerous other religion and theology scholars, I’m preparing for the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature conference, which starts tomorrow. I won’t be there till Saturday (if you care), but am looking forward to a jam-packed couple of days of papers, meetings, and catching up with friends. There are several interesting [Read More...]

Learning in Institutional Wartime

Today my mind is not on Veteran’s Day; rather, my heart is heavy for the many hard-working, team-playing, staff people here at Bethel University (including the Seminary) who will be informed that their jobs are  quickly coming to an end. This day represents yet another round of budget cuts and layoffs here in the land [Read More...]

Adult Bullying, the NFL, and the Kingdom of God

Bullying is in the news again. This time it’s the adult version–and in the NFL, no less, where one would think that a football player would be impervious to bullying. Surely there’s no such thing as bullying a 300+ lb. lineman, right? At that point, isn’t it just pranking, or “boys being boys”? Isn’t it [Read More...]

Jesus, Millstones, and the “Little Ones”

I’ve been spending time in Matthew 18 today. I’ve been deeply impressed with a sense of Jesus’ passionate concern for the marginalized, outcast, and “insignificant.” The chapter begins with the disciples’ question to Jesus, “Who, then, is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” They were positioning themselves, angling for status, and pressing Jesus to make [Read More...]

Did God Create the World Last Tuesday? (the Problem with the “Appearance of Age” Approach)

I’m using the excellent book, Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (by Deborah Haarsma and Loren Haarsma) for my theology class (“God the Creator”) this semester. In their treatment of the “concordist” approaches to Genesis 1-2 (concordist approaches attempt to follow the “chronology” of the biblical creation accounts), they mention the “Appearance of Age” [Read More...]

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...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X