When I Say “Calvinism”…

Whenever I write about Calvinism, someone who considers himself a Calvinist accuses me of setting up and striking down a "strawman." And others claim what I say about Calvinism does not apply to them. What to do?When I write about Calvinism, unless I say otherwise, I mean consistent, historical, classical Calvinism AS SET FORTH BY Calvin,  Owen, Edwards, Hodge, Boettner, Sproul and Piper and AS EXPRESSED in the Canons of Dort and the Westminster Confession of Faith. What I am talking ab out … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Horror Story: Reflections on Stephen King’s New Novel Revival (Spoiler Alert)

The Ultimate Horror Story: Reflections on Stephen King’s New Novel Revival (Spoiler Alert) I rarely read a Stephen King novel or any similar novel of the “horror” genre. They’re just not my “thing.” I’ve read a few of that genre that I thought were good, such as Ray Bradbury’s classic Something Wicked This Way Comes, but, for the most part, I don’t enjoy them. (The Bradbury novel, by the way, like many of his other books, contains deep philosophical ideas that are worth considering.) … [Read more...]

Juergen Moltmann on Christian Discipleship in Everything One Does

This is a follow-up to my immediately preceding post which contained my response to Peter Berger's argument that Christians (and others) ought to internalize pluralism including secularity--alongside their Christian faith. In other words, Berger argues, Christians (and others) ought to act "as if God does not exist" in certain spheres of life because of modern pluralism. Both in the book (The Many Altars of Modernity) and in his talk Berger illustrated this claim by saying that an airline pilot … [Read more...]

My Response to Peter Berger’s book The Many Altars of Modernity

Below you will find my response to Peter Berger’s recently published book The Many Altars of Modernity: Toward a Paradigm for Religion in a Pluralist Age (DeGruyter, 2014). I read this response at a special event at Baylor University on Tuesday, November 18. Berger was there by Skype. (He was unable to travel to the event as originally planned due to health problems.) He spoke about his book and the research that led to it for about fifty minutes. The other respondent was sociologist James D … [Read more...]

Follow Up to My Immediately Preceding Post (Re: Marriage)

Apparently some people who would never otherwise visit my blog came here only to argue with me, accuse me (without knowing anything about me), and even insult me based on unfounded assumptions. Due to the avalanche of responses I must ask you not to post comments that simply repeat what has already been said. Personally, I agree most with the very well-reasoned, reflective and articulate response of "Otto Telleck."Here are some general responses from me to some of the arguments offered among … [Read more...]

Why Not Polygamy? A Question to Advocates of Gay Marriage

Why Not Polygamy? A Question to Advocates of Gay MarriageTraditional marriage and family arrangements are changing. (I am talking here primarily about Western societies where Christianity and Judaism have been strongly influential—mostly European-based societies and those affected by them via colonialism and/or missionary endeavors.) For centuries monogamous, heterosexual, lifelong marriage has been the norm with other arrangements, including marriage between close relatives, forbidden. D … [Read more...]

How to Use Hymns as “Teachable Moments”–Even When You Disagree with the Lyrics

How to Use Hymns as “Teachable Moments”—Even When You Disagree with the LyricsRecently someone asked me to give some examples of how I would use hymns as teachable moments in a congregational setting. The background to this request (for those of you who didn’t read my earlier blogpost about hymn lyrics) is this. Several times here I have argued that hymn-singing is problematic in contemporary American church life. For one thing, it has largely dropped away in favor of “praise and worship” cho … [Read more...]