Gospel of Health and Wealth: A Heresy

In my own theological and spiritual journey I have not been involved in those who embrace the gospel of health and wealth, but I have read some of them, I have watched them on TV more, and now have seen an exceptional, no holds barred critical evaluation in Roger Olson, Counterfeit Christianity: The Persistence of Errors [Read More…]

America’s Deepest Heresy

Studying heresies is a way of studying how orthodoxy came into full expression. As I said in recent post, heresy is the mother of orthodoxy. It is problems that give rise to solutions or resolutions or articulations. In that context Roger Olson, in his fine new book Counterfeit Christianity: The Persistence of Errors in the Church, [Read More…]

Heresy: The Mother of Orthodoxy (and what about Calvinism?)

The mother of orthodoxy, says Roger Olson in his book Counterfeit Christianity: The Persistence of Errors in the Church, is heresy in that it was often a heresy (or a suspicious idea at the time) that provoked Christian theologians to explain what was truly orthodox. Let us then say that it worked like this, which [Read More…]

A Counterfeit Christian, or Heretic: Yes or No

There are many today who think the terms “heretic” or “heresy” or the concept of “counterfeit Christianity” are out of place. Many think such terms are not part of our tolerant Western world and therefore, the assumption is, not part of our Western churches and beliefs. Others compound this problem by pointing out the diversity of [Read More…]

Who is a Heretic?

From time to time I read a blog or hear someone call another person a “heretic.” Recently a blogfriend asked me how I would define “heretic” or “heresy.” I’ve been asked this about two people, and I won’t use names but it wouldn’t be hard to figure out about whom it was asked. Yes, the [Read More…]

Where Does Mary Fit in Orthodoxy?

You have, or perhaps “They had,” three options: Mary gave birth to the human Jesus (but not to the eternal, divine Logos), or Mary gave birth to the Christ (not to God, but to Christ, who was both human and divine), or Mary gave birth to God (Jesus was divine). The first view is called [Read More…]

The Orthodox Heretic

The unusual pairing of these two terms – orthodox and heretic – is not meant to be provocative but a genuine description of an early theologian who shaped what Christians still confess and yet he was also someone who got himself into trouble with the heresiarchs [over universalism and his anthropology]. I am referring to [Read More…]

What’s the Least? 3

Martin Thielen’s new well-written and pastorally-sensitive book, What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?: A Guide to What Matters Most., discusses what is most central — and necessary — for being a Christian. (For how to use this book in the church, see this site.) Last week we finished up the [Read More…]

What’s the Least? 2

Martin Thielen’s new book has a provocative title, but the title only gets us to open the book to a very serious topic that is handled responsibly and pastorally. The title: What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?: A Guide to What Matters Most. (For how to use this book in [Read More…]

The Creed

Occasionally students or others will say “I don’t believe in the Creed.” My response, usually accompanied by a startle, is this: “Which line or lines in the Creed don’t you believe.” I’ve not yet had but one or two students say they actually disagreed with any lines in the Creed, and it is a simple [Read More…]