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

It’s about Time! Evangelical Leaders Meet to Discuss Evangelical Identity in the Trump Era According to an article published in the The Washington Post (by-line Sara Pulliam Baily) and re-published in my local newspaper this past week (April 9-13) A group of about 50 “top evangelical leaders” will meet at Wheaton College (Illinois) to discuss issues for American evangelicalism raised by the media’s and some evangelical leaders’ seeming identification of evangelicalism with right-wing politics. *Sidebar: The opinions expressed here are… Read more

On the Other Hand: Some “Views from Somewhere” (Metaphysical Views of Reality) Are Destined to Die Out This blog post is, in a sense, “Part 2” of the immediately preceding one (“The Myth of Secular Reasoning,” April 2018). It does not constitute any contradiction of anything I said there; it is simply a correction to anyone who misinterpreted that essay as affirming relativism or that all world perspectives are equally valid. As I see it (my view from somewhere), there… Read more

The Myth of “Secular Reasoning”   I might as well make it clear and let the chips fall where they may; I know some regular visitors to this blog will not appreciate what I am about to say. (I only ask that they observe my governing rules for this blog.) What do I mean by “secular reasoning” and why do I consider it a myth? Although I realize there may be different definitions of “secular reasoning,” here is what I… Read more

Christian Diversity: Is It Good or Bad or Both? In May (2018) Abingdon Press will publish the fourteenth edition of The Handbook of Denominations in the United States edited by yours truly—building on but radically revising previous editions. This reference book has a long and notable history; it has been published in one form or another since the 1930s. It has gone through many changes; this fourteenth edition will signal a return to earlier editions when the volume focused solely… Read more

Is There Really Such a Thing as “Christian Privilege?” Recently, so it is reported, some American academics have discovered a new social injustice: “Christian privilege.” One major American university (secular now but ironically founded by Baptists!) is holding a conference to reveal this newly discovered injustice and expose it as such. Is there really such a thing as “Christian privilege” in the same sense as “male privilege” and “white privilege” and “rich privilege?” That is, does being Christian in America… Read more

Easter Ought to Mean Joy “The Lord is risen!” “He is risen indeed!” This traditional Christian call and response ought to be shouted with great joy! The resurrection of Jesus is good news for all people. It signals the hope (confident expectation) of life conquering death, not by the earthly powers of Spring but by the divine power of God breaking into and overcoming death and decay. According to the gospel Jesus did not merely “come back to life.” His… Read more

Calvinism and Assurance of Salvation (or Not) Here is a very interesting, and I would say “insightful,” message sent to me by a Christian worker with young people (some of who are being drawn into Calvinism by the Young, Restless, Reformed Movement). He gave me permission to post his thoughts here without identifying him. A bit of background for those not already steeped in the Calvinism-Arminianism debate. Calvinists have often claimed that only their theology provides true assurance of salvation—because,… Read more

An Almost Forgotten 20th Century Christian Theologian: Christoph Blumhardt Christoph Blumhardt was born in 1842 and died in 1919. He was a German Lutheran minister raised in a family steeped on “Baden-Württemberg Pietism”—a particular type of German pietism. His father Johann was also a Lutheran minister. Both father and son were famous in Germany, throughout Europe and Christoph in America and throughout the world. Their fame began with a months-long exorcism carried out by Johann. This was unexpected; Johann did… Read more

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