Archives for September 2010

Theological flaws and fatal flaws

Recently I argued here that every theological system has flaws that should be acknowledged so that the entire system is held somewhat lightly and open to revision.  One problem is when a system, such as Charles Hodge's "stout and persistent theology" (David Wells's description) is treated as if it were simply stating divine revelation in other words and therefore not really (as opposed to theoretically) open to correction and revision.But I see another problem in theological systems.  SOME h … [Read more...]

Why can't we all just admit our theologies are flawed?

I admit it.  I am a fallibilist--with regard to human beings (except when being infallibly inspired by God).  My definition of "theology" is human reflection on God's infallible revelation.  (Or, in the case of philosophical theology--human reflection on God insofar as unaided reason is able to know something about God.)  In other words, I assume that all theologies (outside Scripture itself) are fallible because they are created by finite and fallen human beings.Unless a person is quoting Scr … [Read more...]

What is right and wrong with the emergent/emerging church movement?

I get asked this all the time.  Especially students, but also strangers, ask me "What do you think of emergent churches?"  (Here I will use "emergent" and "emerging" interchangeably even though some are trying to distinguish between them.)I can't claim expertise.  Others have studied the phenomenon much more thoroughly than I have.  But I have attended several well-known emergent churches and I am either acquainted with or count as good friends some of the movement's leading spokesmen.Some ye … [Read more...]

A good new book on Reformed theology

I have to give them credit.  Reformed theologians are prolific when it comes to writing about their own tradition.  I have in my library (and have read) several excellent volumes expounding the Reformed theological tradition.  (E.g., Introducing the Reformed Faith by Donald K. McKim, The Westminster Handbook to Reformed Theology edited by McKim, The Basic Ideas of Calvinism (really a book about Reformed theology in general) by H. Henry Meeter, What Is Reformed Theology? by R. C. Sproul. The new … [Read more...]

Two opposite forces pulling evangelicals (and others) apart

I see two opposite and equally dangerous trends pulling evangelicals apart and thereby weakening our witness to the world.  One is, for lack of better terms, particularistic tribalism and the other is generic, plain label Christianity.  Please allow me to explain.I value Christian particularity.  That is, I want Baptists to be Baptist, Pentecostals to be Pentecostal, Wesleyans to be Wesleyan, Presbyterians to be Presbyterian, etc.  While it would be ideal for us all to get together and have one … [Read more...]

A watershed among evangelicals?

Call me strange (I know some will!), but for years I've had an obsession with trying to figure out why equally God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving evangelical Christians think so differently and seem so easily to become hostile to one another.  Often, it seems to come down to differing views of the Bible.  These people agree with each other about fundamental Christian orthodoxy (Christology, the Trinity, resurrection, etc.) but seem to have different attitudes toward the Bible that drive t … [Read more...]

Why I am a premillennialist (and you should be, too)

Okay, I admit it.  The "you should be, too" part was just to get you to read this.  I don't have any axe to grind about this and I'm not on a crusade to convert amils or postmils (are there any?) to historic premillennialism.  I admit that I would like to persuade dispensationalist premils to consider historic premillennialism as an alternative to "Left Behind" eschatology.Recently a book about historic premillennialism was published entitled The Case for Historic Premillennialism: An Al … [Read more...]