My letter to UNLV President Neal Smatresk in support of the UNLV philosophy department

As many of you may know, the state of Nevada is feeling the brunt of the current economic downturn. For this reason, the state's institutions of higher education are being forced to make deep budget cuts. Among the cuts proposed by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)  is the elimination of its philosophy department. Below is the letter I sent last night to UNLV President Neal Smatresk. I cc'd it to the chancellor of the university system (Daniel Klatch) as well as each of the members of th … [Read more...]

Chris Castaldo on Purgatory and Rob Bell’s Love Wins

Evangelical Pastor and former Catholic, Chris Castaldo, nicely corrects those who have opined that Rob Bell's recent musings on hell are not unlike the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. You can read Pastor Castaldo's comments here. … [Read more...]

Today would have been my father-in-law’s 91st birthday

Joseph A. Dickerson, Jr. died in May 2006 at the age of 86. Today would have been his 91st birthday. My wife, Frankie, still misses him, as she misses her mother, Peggy, who passed away in January 2010. At 5:30 pm today at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Waco, Mass will be said for the repose of Joe's soul. What follows is the eulogy I delivered at his memorial service: … [Read more...]

I just made Satan’s blog

It's a hell of an entry. … [Read more...]

Roger Olson on “Evangelical AND Catholic”

My esteemed colleague, Professor Roger Olson, has written on his blog some interesting and thoughtful comments about Evangelicals and Catholics. He writes: Over the last 50 years many notable evangelical thinkers have converted to the Roman Catholic Church (or to some independent Catholic church of which there are many; here I’m concerned mainly with those who have converted to the RC Church).  Think of Tom Howard, evangelical professor at Wheaton (and I think Gordon), who converted to RCC and wr … [Read more...]

How Political Correctness Makes Us Dumb

That's the name of my latest essay on The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: The other day I was lecturing in my critical thinking class on the difference between arguments and explanations.  An explanation is an account ofsomething whose truth is not in dispute. So, for example, if you ask me why the Packers won the Super Bowl, I can give you several different answers. But the simplest one is this: they scored more points than the Steelers. We do not disagree as to whether the Packers were … [Read more...]

Sects, Politics, and Religion: A review of Good and Bad Ways to Think About Religion and Politics

That is the title of a review essay I just published in the April 2011 issue of First Things. The book is authored by Robert Benne of Roanoke College. Here's how the essay begins: For some Americans, as for the Founding Fathers, the separation of church and state means that the government and religious bodies ought not to exert power over the other’s areas of legitimate authority. To others it means that religiously informed policy proposals may not become the laws of the secular government. So, … [Read more...]

Powerful words: Romans 12:9-21 and the Christian life

Have you ever had this happen? You read a passage of Scripture that you had read many times before, but this time it hits you like a ton of bricks. This is what happened to me tonight when I read this passage from the Book of Romans (12:9-21): Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in … [Read more...]

Carl Trueman on Rob Bell’s use of Luther

(HT: Justin Taylor)The ever interesting Carl Trueman provides a nice online tutorial on how to read Martin Luther. Trueman, an historical theologian at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, explains how Rob Bell's use of a Luther quote in his recent book does not deliver what Bell thinks it does.  You can read it here. What follows are Trueman's concluding remarks: Popular books written for popular consumption are vital in the church; and Bell is to be commended for seeing that need. Further, … [Read more...]

Rob Bell may be on to something

A couple of days ago I posted a smart-alecky entry about the controversy surrounding Rob Bell and his alleged belief in universalism, suggesting (by means of humor) that perhaps his celebrity is just another passing, naval-gazing, fad on the saw dust trail that is American Evangelicalism. But after I received a stinging rebuke from an Evangelical friend (who would have undoubtedly gotten my humor if I were a middle aged blonde woman with dreadlocks), I took some time to read up on Pastor Bell … [Read more...]


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