The Smartest Woman You Never Knew: Gretchen Passantino Coburn

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Gretchen Passantino Coburn died last week at the age of 62. Although virtually all of my Catholic readers, and most of my Protestant ones, have likely never heard of her, she was, along with her late husband, Bob Passantino, an important influence on many of us who considered ourselves to be intellectually serious Evangelicals.Although I had heard of the legendary Passantinos during my days in college in the early 1980s, I had never actually met them until April 1991, when I was in southern C … [Read more...]

Another Protestant Theologian on Reformation Day: Timothy George

Timothy George and Pope Benedict XVI

Here is my latest entry in my week-long commemoration of Reformation Day (October 31).In an October 30, 2009 piece published in First Things, Timothy George offers a different Protestant perspective on Reformation Day than the one offered by Stanley Hauerwas, about which I blogged yesterday.  A friend with whom I have participated in several public dialogues concerning Evangelicals and Catholics, George is the Dean of the Beeson Divinity Schoolat Samford University in Birmingham, … [Read more...]

Gerald McDermott: Is Evangelical Liberalism an Oxymoron?

Just saw this essay this morning on First Thing's On the Square. Here is Professor McDermott's conclusion: The lesson Evangelicals should learn from this new dust-up over evangelical theology and modernity is that sola scriptura is necessary but not sufficient for maintaining theological orthodoxy. Only a “single-source” view of scripture and tradition in which hermeneutical authority is given to the mutual interplay of Scripture and orthodox community—the method that the church practiced for mo … [Read more...]

Gerald McDermott on The Emerging Divide in Evangelical Theology

Here's the introduction: Imagine the scene. Ancient Jerusalem is at war. Its army is fighting far away. Behind the city walls, its old men, women and children nervously await word on what happened in battle. Their lives and future are at stake. Suddenly, a cry rings out from the sentries watching from the look-out points on top of the wall. "Your God reigns.." A rider approaching the wall has signaled victory. The whole city explodes in celebration. The word "evangelical" comes from this Hebrew … [Read more...]

“Doting Thomists: Evangelicals, Thomas Aquinas, and Justification”

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That's the title of my most recent article published in the The Evangelical Quarterly 85.3 (July 2013): 211-227.  Here's the abstract: Over the past several decades, some Evangelical philosophers and theologians have embraced the metaphysics, epistemology, and natural law theory of Thomas Aquinas (1225-74), despite that fact that historically some of the leading lights in Evangelicalism have rejected Aquinas's views because they believed these views are inconsistent with classical Reformation t … [Read more...]

Evangelicals and Abortion in the 20th Century: A Hidden History?

I recently came across a post by one of my fellow Patheos bloggers, Fred Clark.  In it, he offers this analysis of American Evangelicals and their changing views on abortion: White American evangelicals are “pro-life.” This is the single most important political aspect of American evangelicalism. It is the single most important theological aspect of American evangelicalism. And it is the paramount factor in evangelical identity for evangelicals themselves.It’s also a very recent developme … [Read more...]

J. R. R. Thomas Chesterton of Hippo?: Moody Publishers and Its Safely Dead Catholic Authors

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That's the title of a piece I just published over at Catholic World Report. Here's how it begins: Several months ago I was invited to contribute to a festschrift in honor of a dear friend of mine, a well-known Christian philosopher who is a professor at a well-known Evangelical university. I was, of course, eager to contribute to this volume, to honor a man who I have known, as both friend and collaborator, for over a quarter of a century. The editors, I am pleased to announce, were able to … [Read more...]

A guide to safe sects?: Roger Olson’s list of “approved denominations.”

My colleague, Roger Olson, has published this post on his blog, "My List of `Approved Denominations.'"   One commentator says: "I’m disappointed that you have nothing to say about the Catholic and Orthodox Churches."  Roger replies: "Would any faithful Catholic or Orthodox theologian put any Protestant denominations on his or her list of approved denominations to recommend to people? Not in my experience."My answer: Roger's correct. We wouldn't, since we don't think it's up to the individual … [Read more...]

Evangelicals, Catholics, and the Ecumenism of Conviction

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That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins:“We are committed to an ecumenism of conviction, not an ecumenism of accommodation.” Those are the words of my friend, Timothy George, a Baptist theologian who serves as Dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University. He was referring to the signatories of “The Gift of Salvation,” one of the many statements issued by Evangelicals and Catholics Together, a group that was formed through the initiati … [Read more...]

Strengthen the Things That Remain (Thoughts on Chick-Fil-A and Religious Liberty)

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"Strengthen the Things That Remain" is the title of my most recent entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: "Counterfeit philosophies have polluted all of your thoughts Karl Marx has got ya by the throat, Henry Kissinger’s got you tied up in knots When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?" -Bob Dylan  (“When You Gonna Wake Up?,” 1979)Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee dubbed Wednesday August 1, “Chick- … [Read more...]


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