Archives for August 2011

Was Kierkegaard an evangelical–Part 2

In Part 1 I raised the question whether Soren Kierkegaard should be regarded as a forerunner and ally of modern/contemporary evangelicalism.This isn't a new discussion, but I haven't heard it lately among evangelicals.  With exceptions, of course, it seems like conservative evangelicals have developed a consensus that K. was not an evangelical or an ally of evangelicals but, as Francis Schaeffer claimed, a pernicious influence on modern/contemporary theology.  For Schaeffer and his crew, K … [Read more...]

Was Kierkegaard an evangelical? Part 1

Perhaps a better way of asking the question is--should contemporary evangelicals regard Kierkegaard (henceforth "K") as a forerunner and historical ally?  Of course, I'm addressing this question not to the average evangelical in the pews (or in front of their television sets, reading the latest popular "Christian fiction" from the Christian bookstore) but to educated pastors, lay people and scholars.  In my experience, most books about evangelicalism neglect or ignore K.  Those that trace ev … [Read more...]

Quick RIP for another hero: Mark Hatfield

I just discovered that one of my heroes, former Oregon senator Mark Hatfield, an evangelical politician and liberal Republican died August 7 at the age of 89.Hatfield was a formative influence on my emergence from knee jerk conservatism and fundamentalism.  He was a devout evangelical Christian who spoke and wrote publicly about his faith and how he integrated it with his political life (and about the tensions that created).He was a man of compassion for the poor who hated war without … [Read more...]

Why “compassionate conservatism” isn’t

Some years ago the phrase "compassionate conservatism" became popular.  I believe candidate George Bush used it to describe his program for helping the poor.  I got to know one of its main exponents and defenders--Marvin Olasky.  He was for a while a professor at the University of Texas and I used to take classes there to meet with him after they read one of his books.  (I had them read either Renewing American Compassion or Compassionate Conservatism.  Olasky disavowed any claim to having coin … [Read more...]

Do we need an Arminian Defense League?

Okay, so I used that title to get your attention.  No, I don't really think we need an Arminian Defense League (although sometimes I feel like the only person doing anything to defend Arminianism from its enemies and could use some help!).Earlier, here, I talked about a video on (it might also exist on DVD or something, but I've only seen it on that viciously attacks Arminianism.  It's a slick video--well produced (not a home-made talking head video like so many).  I … [Read more...]

Did I kill Jesus? Part 4 of series on atonement theology

To here I have discussed folk religious expressions of atonement that are not completely wrong but incomplete or at least prone to distorted understanding and two recent books that I find helpful in developing an understanding of atonement that keeps in touch with evangelical tradition (which has without doubt emphasized penal substitution) while seeking to correct its mistakes.  Those books are Hans Boersma, Violence, Hospitality and the Cross and Scot McKnight, A Community Called … [Read more...]

Did I kill Jesus? Part three of a series on atonement

Returning to my discussion of good books about atonement.Now I turn to what I consider one of the best recent books on atonement: Scot McKnight's A Community Called Atonement.I suggest to anyone reading this book that they turn first to Chapter Eighteen: Atonement as Missional Praxis: Living the Story of the Word.  It might have been good for Scot to put some of this chapter's material first because it lays his cards on the table with regard to theological methodology and especially the … [Read more...]