The Bible Reconsidered and a Divided Church

It may not seem controversial today, but I suspect that a single idea,  heilsgeschichte, has led to an important divide in contemporary Christian theology. On one level this German term simply means “salvation history” and can be taken to refer to what is easily noted in reading the Bible. Some biblical authors had a strong [Read More…]

The Bible on Non-Christian Religions

What does the Bible say about non-Christian Religions? The simple answer is nothing, for the same reason the Bible doesn’t say anything about airplanes, 401Ks, nuclear power, and iPhones. The concept of religion as we know it didn’t exist in the time that the Bible was written. It comes about much later in human history. [Read More…]

The Assimilation Debate

Recently Facebook, bringer of many things, brought me two. The first was a quote from Bobby Jindal: “Let’s be really honest about this: Immigration without assimilation is not immigration; it’s an invasion, . . .  we need to tell folks, if you want to come to our country, come here legally, learn English, adopt our values, [Read More…]

The Real Schism, It’s Not What you Think.

The United Methodist church appears to be following other major protestant denominations into the throes of division. The issue is same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQ persons living in same-sex relationships. Of course various accusations are being made with regard to who is more biblical, orthodox, faithful to tradition, etc. I want to suggest that [Read More…]

Depravity and Political Discourse

Among the many things that some Christians believe one is the doctrine of Total depravity. It goes along with Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace and Perseverance of the Saints to form the backbone of American Calvinism, TULIP. I am not going to argue whether these are or are not adequate characterizations of Christian theology. I am [Read More…]

Let’s Talk about Burkhinis!

So I’m trolling through Facebook postings and I find an article on a French ban of a garment called the burkhini on French beaches. Actually it isn’t a ban on the burkhini. It is a ban on “ostentatious religious garments” or “garments that make an ostentatious show of religion” on the beach. It isn’t really [Read More…]

You Can’t Love People and Hate Their Religion

In the Christian polemic against Muslims a common theme emerges. A specific instance comes from pastor Steven Anderson, but it could be Robert Jeffress, Jerry Falwell Jr, Tony Perkins or any of a dozen others. I do not hate Muslims at all. In fact, I love Muslims and want them to be saved. Do I [Read More…]

All Good Belongs to God

Luke 11:14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign [Read More…]

The Re-Paganing of America and God’s Eternal Word

We need a little less extra ecclesiam nulla salus and a little more logospermatikos. (Catholics are welcome to pile on about a distinction without a difference.) Just the other day I had a long and heartening conversation with a group of well educated post-Christians. All educated. All married with children. All intensively involved in political [Read More…]

The Kentucky Ark – Is it Really Christian?

In Northwestern Kentucky a new religion has appeared – with its temple a theme park called the “Ark-Encounter.” It claims to be Christian but is essentially a for-profit sect designed to scam money out of local tax payers and whatever suckers can be drawn into the “life sized” replica of Noah’s ark. (For more on [Read More…]

The Bright Heart of Dallas

In the last 48 hours the city of Dallas has reeled with grief. Grief felt for victims of police violence against African Americans. And grief felt for the 5 police officers assassinated by a gunman, and 7 others wounded while they were protecting the right of the people to peaceable assembly. The sun had barely [Read More…]


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