Liberals Arising

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 has been for more than a century been [Read More...]

Correction: An Even More Neglected Element of the Gospel

Not that long ago I wrote a post, based on Mike Bird’s Evangelical Theology, in which he had said the resurrection was neglected and perhaps the most neglected, but that’s not quite right: the most neglected element of the gospel, and in the life of Jesus, is the ascension. He calls it the “poor cousin” (449), [Read More...]

The Greatest Drama Ever Staged (RJS)

On Christmas Eve (day) I posted a reflection from one of Dorothy Sayers’ essays in Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World also available under the title The Whimsical Christian: 18 Essays. This is a volume well worth coming back to – and I will. Sayers deserves a far broader readership than she receives. She was [Read More...]

It All Points to Jesus

In his new book, Evangelical Theology, Mike Bird points to the centrality of Christ with these golden words: God is known to us most profoundly in the mediatorship of Jesus Christ, and it is through the economic relationship of Father-Son and Son-Spirit that we can glimpse into the Trinity. In creation, God makes the universe in, [Read More...]

What We Believe about “Last Things”

Christians have distinct views of the “last things” — in fact, their view of the “last” things (or eschatology) is that the last things have already begun. This is called “inaugurated” eschatology. But there are bundle of topics in what Christians believe about eschatology and evangelicals have (they really do) even more to believe (than [Read More...]

The God of the Gospel

Mike Bird contends, rightly I would say, that the heart of Christian theology is the gospel, which means when we talk about God we need to see God through the lens of the gospel. He attempts this in Evangelical Theology, and he subtitles this section of this textbook-ish book with “The triune God in being and action.” [Read More...]

The Boring Word in Theology

That word is “prolegomena” and it bores readers to begin a book with pages and pages of prolegomena. I know a 3 volume German theology on a topic, and the whole first volume is prolegomena. But everyone writing a theology, including Mike Bird, Evangelical Theology, begins with prolegomena. But let’s give the guy a hearing. What [Read More...]

A Theology: What do we need?

What is needed to write an adequate and responsible and biblical “theology,” a systematics if one wants to use that term? Because so many shifts have occurred in the last 50 years or so many of us are dissatisfied with theologies as they now operate. What do you think we need in a theology? Some [Read More...]

Spirituality: Calvin vs. Wesley

It could be argued that Wesleyan theology, with its emphasis on “free grace” or free will (properly understood), leads the sensitive Christian toward fear of final salvation or toward a lack of assurance, just as one could argue that Calvinism, since it assumes God’s sovereign and preserving grace, can lead to too easy of an [Read More...]

John Piper vs. Don Thorsen

This recent post at John Piper’s site (by Jonathan Parnell, but repeating what I’ve heard from Piper for years) is why we need books like Don Thorsen’s fair-minded and accurate sketch of what both Wesley and Calvin believe (Calvin vs. Wesley).  Those who will but read Roger Olson’s erudite and source-quoting Arminian Theology will be well-informed of what Arminians believe. I [Read More...]