Archives for June 2011

A good book by the Archbishop of Canterbury

During these weeks of summer doldrums, some students and I are reading and discussing Christ on Trial: How the Gospel Unsettles our Judgement (sic) by Rowan Williams.  I had a little trouble getting into it, but now, in the middle of the book, I'm very impressed and hope many people will read it.The bulk of the book is a commentary on the gospels and especially the passion narratives and especially the various accounts of Jesus' trials.  Williams sees in Jesus' demeanor at his trials (plural … [Read more...]

Arminians and others who misrepresent Calvinism should also be ashamed of themselves

Ken Stewart supplied me with some examples of non-Calvinists misrepresenting Calvinism.  I have run across other examples over the years.So, in fairness, let me shame non-Calvinists who misrepresent Calvinism.  (Ken has himself corrected Calvinists who misunderstand and misrepresent it in his book Ten Myths about Calvinism which I reviewed in Christianity Today.)Contrary to what many non-Calvinists think and say:1) Calvinism is not fatalism.  Fatalism is belief in an impersonal de … [Read more...]

Biblical injunctions regarding aliens in our midst

Thanks to my colleague and dean David Garland for compiling the following list of biblical injunctions regarding how God's people are to treat aliens and strangers among them:Exodus 22:21 (NRSV)21 You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.Exodus 23:9 (NRSV)9 You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.Leviticus 19:33 (NRSV)33 When an alien resides with you … [Read more...]

Why I do not care to engage neo-fundamentalists in dialogue

Occasionally here I have mentioned that one thing that really gets my ire up is when some neo-fundamentalists stoop to unethical means to undermine their theological opponents.  I alluded to the fact it has happened to me--especially with regard to open theism.As everyone knows, I'm not an open theist but I have defended open theism as a legitimate evangelical option.  I personally knew Clark Pinnock and know Greg Boyd, John Sanders and William Hasker.  These were/are godly men who base th … [Read more...]

Fair and unfair criticisms of Calvinism and Arminianism

Actually, what I have to say here applies to ANY criticism of ANY theology.  We need to distinguish carefully between criticism and misrepresentation.  Fair criticism is valid; misrepresentation in order to criticize (straw man treatment) is invalid and should itself be criticized by everyone.Reformed theologians especially have long pointed out what they believe to be the "good and necessary consequences" of certain Arminian beliefs.  That's fine, so long as the critics point out that Ar … [Read more...]

Some thoughts about fathers on Fathers Day

Another Fathers Day comes around.  Thank God for good fathers and there are so many of them.  Unfortunately, I was not so blessed, but I have had wonderful father surrogates such as my doctoral advisor Niels Nielsen, my main seminary mentor Ralph Powell and my dear friend Roger Fredrikson (all now in their 90s and going strong!).  These men leaned into my life in ways beyond the call of duty and much of any good I have achieved is due to them (and they deserve none of the blame for anything bad I … [Read more...]

My response to defenders of anti-illegal immigrant laws

Several commenters here have argued (some of them being lawyers) that the bills I have complained about would never be used to prosecute humanitarians acting on behalf of needy illegal immigrants.  I think that is naive.However, one attorney in particular (from California) posted a comment here claiming that IF a humanitarian were ever arrested on the basis of the Oklahoma, Alabama or Texas laws he would have no trouble getting the person acquitted based on case law.I'm not a lawyer or … [Read more...]