Who Is the Most Influential American Theologian? I apologize for the picture; I cannot find a pic of him that is in public domain. If you don’t know what he looks like, go to “Google Images” or his web site or Youtube. Drum roll…..The most influential American theologian is…John Piper. And he is extremely influential in Brazil and other countries outside the U.S. Never heard of him? Well, that probably means you’re not a hip Christian. Piper is often overlooked… Read more

What Is “Identity Politics” and Why Does It Matter? American academia (post-secondary education organizations and institutions and especially scholars/professors) is allegedly rife with something called “identity politics.” It’s a buzzword (or phrase). What does it mean and why does it matter? One claim being made by many American (and I’m sure other) academics is that higher education and society in general is “stacked in favor of” the dominant group—namely, white males. All (fill in the blank with the name of… Read more

My Most Important Book Over the forty years of my career as a Christian theologian I have written twenty books; all have been published by major publishers in the U.S. and then around the world (including the University of Beijing Press, China). One of my books sold 90K copies in one South American country. Sometimes people ask me which book I am proudest of and which I think is my best book. These are difficult questions; the answers shift from… Read more

Should Abused Women (or Men) Stay with Their Spouses? According to news reports a Southern Baptist seminary president, famous for leading the conservative resurgence (sometimes called the “fundamentalist takeover”) of the Southern Baptist Convention, reiterated publicly his long-held belief that wives should not divorce their husbands even if their husbands are abusing them. According to news reports this has led to a rebellion by hundreds if not thousands of Southern Baptist women and men. Many are demanding the seminary president’s… Read more

Are You Being Manipulated without Knowing It? Thoughts about “Public Relations” Recently I enjoyed a conversation with a friend who is well-read, knowledgeable, and reflective about “modernity” especially as it manifests in American culture. I entered the conversation thinking of “modernity” philosophically and in terms of science and technology. My concern has long been about how modernity, as a cultural ethos, has invaded Christian churches and how it has affected especially Christian theology—both academic and popular. My friend, who is… Read more

An Extremely Sensitive Subject Explored: Sexual Abuse of Males So why would I be interested in such an “icky” subject as sexual abuse of boys and men? Simply this: Over my many years of teaching post-secondary students (mostly eighteen to thirty year olds) and over my many years of friendships with men and over my many years of watching television and reading newspapers (mostly in the United States) I have come to be aware of this problem as much more… Read more

Was James Cone a Prophet? Some Thoughts about “Black Theology” A few years ago I had the privilege of meeting James Cone, arguably the most influential modern black theologian. It was a brief meeting and I expressed to him my appreciation for his courage as shown in his rather radical expressions of what has come to be called “Black Theology.” (Some prefer the term “African-American Theology,” but “Black Theology” has stuck and Cone himself did not abandon it.) Cone died… Read more

Thoughts about Universalism On the heels of my recent review of the movie “Come Sunday” (about Pentecostal evangelist Carlton Pearson’s theological journey to universalism) several people have asked me to write something about universalism here. I have done that before, but I will offer some musings that may be more up to date. First of all, definition is required. “Universalism” is any view, and there are several varieties, that affirms the eventual salvation of all people. I say “several varieties”… Read more

Review of Movie “Come Sunday” (A Personal Perspective) What I mean by “a personal perspective” is that I am not a movie critic; I have nothing worthwhile to say about production values, acting, etc. This is a personal perspective insofar as I was “there” when and where some of the events portrayed in the movie happened. “Come Sunday” is a Netflix original movie about the life and ministry of African-American Pentecostal evangelist Carlton Pearson. I have been urged by several… Read more

  The following guest blog post is by Tyler Phillips and is used here with his specific granted permission. I will not expect him to respond to comments and questions. (Do not address questions to him.) The purpose of posting his essay here is to provoke thought and dialogue. In my (Roger Olson’s) opinion, Mr. Phillips’s views and recommendations are much needed—to be heard and heeded by Americans and especially by American Christians (because it is based on Christian principles)…. Read more

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