Three Problems for Politicizing a Local Church

Let’s agree with a general observation: evangelicals churches tend toward Republican politics while the mainline churches tend toward Democrat politics. I see three problems with this widespread reality in the American church, and I’m sure you can add to this brief discussion of other problems: What impacts of politicizing the church do you encounter? First, [Read More…]

The Ultimate Modern Theologian?

According to Roger Olson, in his The Journey of Modern Theology, the “ultimate modern theologian” is Rudolf Bultmann. His words: “No one embraced modern naturalism and rationalism more fully, except that he cordoned off Christian faith from rationalism. Everything in the physical world and in history is subject to reason, and it limits religion severely. Bultmann [Read More…]

Getting Beyond the Liberal Conservative Divide

Modern theology is the attempt to accommodate the great tradition of the church with modernity and so to make Christianity more appealing to modern/postmoderns. A very typical example of modern theology, in a liberal mode, is Schleiermacher who focused the Christian tradition on the experience (of God). Responses to modernity’s theology included robust defenses of [Read More…]

What is “Liberal” Theology?

“The story of modern theology begins with the rise of liberal Protestant theology. And liberal Protestant theology … began with Friedrich Schleiermacher… There were liberalizing Christian thinkers before Schleiermacher, but they were not professional, church-related theologians. Schleiermacher was the first person in history to be both liberal and a professional theologian…. “What is liberal theology?… [Read More…]

A Liberal’s Take on Evangelicalism

Kelvin Holdsworth offers his ideas of what evangelicalism is and at the link you can read his explanations. Do you think this is fair? accurate? adequate? shallow?  I thought I might help Malcolm out with 10 things about Evangelicals that Evangelicals tend not to tell you when you first encounter them and when you first encounter [Read More…]

The Acids of Modernity and Christian Theology

Modern theology is theology done in the context of modernity, which means, in the context of what happened to thinking and culture as a result of the Enlightenment. Modern theology is often a code expression for “liberal” theology, and many ways that might be right. But Roger Olson, in his big book The Journey of Modern [Read More…]

The Problem with Progressive Churches

Robert Rynder: He misses a factual study by Greeley and Hout: babies. Progressive, mainline church members don’t have as many babies as “evangelical” and “Pentecostal” church members. But he’s got some good points. Raise your hand if you’ve heard these before: “Progressive churches will never grow because they’re too liberal.” “Conservative churches grow because they embody [Read More…]

Liberalism Reinvented (by Carl Trueman)

This review is by Carl Trueman, professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, pastor, and one of my favorite church historians. His book, The Creedal Imperative, is a timely reminder that low church doctrinal statements need stronger ties to the great tradition of the church. (Come back at 9:30am today for a summary of that book.) I have [Read More…]

Eleven Elements of Liberal Orthodoxy

As I have said in a previous post, evangelicals have written the story of liberalism and that story, reluctantly but seemingly irresistibly, has been absorbed by liberals themselves. That story is that liberals have surrendered key theological beliefs and their churches are in rapid descent and the former led to the latter. Oddly, though liberalism [Read More…]

Are Liberals “Elites”?

One way of telling the story of American Protestant liberalism to fashion liberals as elites and out of touch with the ordinary person in the pew. I grew up on that story, I have read that story countless times, the news media repeats that story ad nauseam … so there must be some truth to [Read More…]