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...]

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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...]

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Getting ready for the 64th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society: three papers and a lecture

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Tomorrow I am flying to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to attend and participate in the 64th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). Held at what was once called the Frontier Airlines Center (now the Delta Center) , it will last from Wednesday, November 14 until Friday, November 16. I will be delivering three papers at the meeting, all of which were invited: (1) In the Bioethics Section I will be delivering a paper that critiques the argument for “After Birth Abortion” recently defen … [Read more...]

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Reformation Day Essays

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Tomorrow, October 31, is Reformation Day, the 495th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to that door in Wittenberg. Over the years, since returning to the Catholic Church, I have authored a few essays to commemorate Reformation Day.  Here are links to them:“Reformation Day - and What Led Me Back to Catholicism.” The Catholic Thing (28 October 2011) “Reformation Day and Schism.” The Catholic Thing (29 October 2010)  … [Read more...]

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Reconsidering the First Freedom: Second Thoughts

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That's the title of an essay I published in the latest issue of The City, a publication of Houston Baptist University. It is a review of  Religious Liberty, Why Now?: Defending an Embattled Human Right, by The Task Force on International  Religious Freedom of the Witherspoon Institute (Princeton, NJ: The Witherspoon Institute 2012). Here's how my essay begins: In a class I teach at Baylor University, “Law and Religion in the United States,” I begin the semester by asking my students this questio … [Read more...]

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President Obama’s Clinton Problem: Why you can’t make your Secretary of State’s husband, who happens to be an ex-President, a leading figure in your re-election campaign

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Steve Hayward reports at Powerline: I spoke with a well-placed journalist last night whose sources describe the situation at the State Department in one word: “Chaos.”  The working assumption is that several American embassies may have been penetrated, or are vulnerable to attack, because so many of them rely on local residents for staff needs at the embassy, and as such may be in a position to breach security if they have been recruited by Al Qaida.  Moreover, the full story of the attack on th … [Read more...]

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If Not “Under God,” then What?

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That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: The recent scuffle over God’s temporary absence from the Democrat Party’s 2012 platform is a reminder of how the understanding of “God” in certain enclaves of American life has become diminished. His critics have ceased to comprehend the meaning of His absence – or even to understand the role His presence has played in our understanding of our natural rights.It was in 1954 that the U. S. Congress inserted “ … [Read more...]

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A Fireside Chat with Alvin Plantinga at Baylor

This took place last April when Alvin Plantinga was visiting Baylor as part of our department's philosophy of religion lecture series. In the video, along with Plantinga, are my colleagues Michael Beaty (department char), C. Stephen Evans, and Trent Dougherty … [Read more...]

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That Good Old Baylor Line That Led Me Back to Catholicism

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That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. Here's how it begins: "That good old Baylor line! That good old Baylor line! We'll march forever down the years, As long as stars shall shine. We'll fling our green and gold afar To light the ways of time, And guide us as we onward go; That good old Baylor line!" (Eaid Eastland Markham ,“That Good Old Baylor Line,” 1931)Next week I begin my tenth year as a faculty member at Baylor University. When I arrived in July 200 … [Read more...]

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Vice President Biden and Mr. Magoo

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Eerie parallels: … [Read more...]

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David Crowder and Cornel West: Separated at Second Birth?

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Christian music artist, David Crowder (Baylor alum, by the way) and philosopher Cornel West bear a striking resemblance to each other. … [Read more...]

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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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The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken: An Analogy for Chick-Fil-A Skeptics

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I came cross this blog post last night via the Facebook wall of Hunter Baker. On that blog, called "The American Jesus," a young Christian man named Zack Hunt explains why he did not participate in "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day." (For some reason, "The American Jesus"  cannot be accessed right now. Hopefully, it is only a temporary glitch).Although I very much appreciate the thought that went into Zack's post, I want to focus on one claim he makes: "Regardless, for me, dedicating a day to s … [Read more...]

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My three presentations at the upcoming Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Milwaukee, November 14-16, 2012

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The Evangelical Theological Society will be holding its 64th annual meeting in Milwaukee on November 14-16, 2012. A draft of the program is now accessible online here.  I am happy to report that I will be giving three presentations at the meeting: (1) In the Bioethics Section I will be delivering a paper that critiques the argument for "After Birth Abortion" recently defended by two philosophers in the Journal of Medical Ethics; (2) In a special session on the book, Journeys of Faith: … [Read more...]

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