Archives for February 2012

Confession Time: My Guilty Pleasures and Secret Heresy Revealed!

Confession Time: My Guilty Pleasure and Secret Heresy Revealed!Wednesday evening is my “television night.” It’s time to put aside all the books and writing and laugh. They say that laughter is the best medicine. Well, I should be very healthy at about 8:30 CST every Wednesday night. I don’t laugh out loud very often (I’m Scandinavian), but from 7:00 to 8:30 you could probably hear me a block away.It beings with the television show “The Middle” which is both hilarious and bittersweet. (And … [Read more...]

A report on some recent conversations about Calvinism

Someone recently asked me here how many times a day I think about Calvinism. Well, lots. But that's largely because people contact me by phone, letter, e-mail and in person many times every week, pretty much daily, to ask me questions about Calvinism and Arminianism because of my books, articles, radio interviews, this blog, etc. I guess I have to accept my fate as what Collin Hansen said about me in Young, Restless, Reformed--that I am the (paraphrasing) "go to guy" when it comes to … [Read more...]

Stanley Hauerwas, America and war (and a question about flags in churches)

Two nights ago I stayed up late composing a post for this blog about Stanley Hauerwas' most recent book War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity (Baker Academic, 2011). I ended with some questions about American flags in Christian sanctuaries of worship. Before I was able to post it to this blog, my computer crashed. I lost it completely. Fortunately, I didn't lost much else that wasn't already backed up on some other medium. Now I have a new PC … [Read more...]

Is the “Prosperity Gospel” heresy?

Recently I talked with a reporter for a major metropolitan daily newspaper about Pentecostalism. He called me after interviewing (he said) many scholars about Pentecostalism. He said that the people most enamored with Pentecostalism were non-Pentecostal religious scholars; none of them would say a bad word about Pentecostalism. He had read my article on the dark side of Pentecostalism in Christian Century and knew I could say some negative things about the movement. (Most of the negative things … [Read more...]

Some thoughts about my conversation with Michael Horton

Some Thoughts about My Conversation with Michael Horton            I spoke about why I am "Against Calvinism" for about 15 minutes focusing on the goodness of God and how classical, "high Calvinism" is inconsistent with any meaning of "good" and "love" known to us. Then Mike spoke for about 15 minutes focusing on humanity's depravity and God's mercy in electing some to salvation. In other words, he also said that God is good even if not in terms of our "fairness" (because he doesn't save ever … [Read more...]

Finding roots and gems in old theologies

For the past month I've been immersed in nineteenth century theology: Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, Ritschl, Hodge, Catholic Modernism (Blondel, Loisy, Tyrrell), Troeltsch, Dorner, Bushnell. It isn't the first time, but this time I'm reading more primary texts and writing about these almost forgotten theologians.One thing I'm finding confirmed is my long-standing opinion that there's really nothing new in "contemporary theology." That's one reason I chose historical theology as my primary … [Read more...]

Where I have a problem with Calvinism

One commenter has raised a question about my statement that I have no problem with Calvinism in confessionally Reformed circles (churches, denominations, etc.). I made that statement in my previous post about my public conversation with Mike Horton.So, let me clarify that.First, by "no problem with" I don't mean "agree with!" What I mean is, I don't object to Reformed folks holding to their Calvinism within their own ecclesiastical settings that are confessionally bound. The same is true … [Read more...]