Archives for June 2012

A good new book on the Bible reviewed (continuing the discussion on the word “inerrancy”)

Review of Sacred Word, Broken Word: Biblical Authority and the Dark Side of Scripture by Kenton L. Sparks (Eerdmans, 2012)I’m sure this book will stir up a hornets’ nest among the neo-fundamentalist evangelicals. No doubt others will also criticize it as it breaks some new ground, at least among evangelicals. I find it refreshingly clear and honest; the author pulls few punches in explicating the “dark side” of Scripture.Kenton (“Kent”) Sparks is professor of biblical studies at Eastern U … [Read more...]

More about prayer for unsaved loved ones and friends

Communication is such a problem. No single set of words seem capable of clearly expressing what one means to a large and diverse group of people (such as readers of this blog). So I often find comments reflect misunderstanding of what I said even though I can't really think of a better way of putting the thought.In a recent post I said Arminians should not pray for God to save their friends and loved ones. The reaction has been interesting (I'm trying to keep calm and objective). I think … [Read more...]

What I admire about Calvinists

Obviously, I do not agree with the distinctive doctrines of Calvinism--especially divine determinism and monergism. However, I admire how MOST evangelical Calvinist churches teach theology/doctrine and how to integrate that into everyday spirituality and ordinary life. That kind of integration of theology/doctrine with practice is too rare in non-Calvinist churches. I do not say it is absent; I only say it is too rare.I have never been a member of or regularly attended a Calvinist church. … [Read more...]

Review of Carson’s The Intolerance of Tolerance

Review of The Intolerance of Tolerance by D. A. Carson (Eerdmans, 2012)The Intolerance of Tolerance is Carson’s latest jeremiad about postmodernism. His earlier one was The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Zondervan, 2002). The basic thesis of The Intolerance of Tolerance (henceforth simply Intolerance) is that our culture is in the process of adopting an intolerant attitude toward real moral and intellectual pluralism in the name of tolerance. Carson’s thesis is expressed in … [Read more...]

My (Roger Olson’s) follow up to Austin Fischer’s guest post

I do agree with much of what Austin wrote. In fact, I agree with the substance of it. I think a lot of critics of his post entirely missed his concluding remarks (criticisms) about "moderate" preaching--that it is sometimes too weak and lacking confidence in its own gospel message.I have a one frame cartoon from (I think) Leadership magazine (years ago) showing a bespectacled minister sitting at his church office desk. Behind him is an attendance chart showing Sunday attendance at his church … [Read more...]

Guest post by Austin Fischer re: the new Calvinism and preaching

Austin Fischer is teaching pastor at Vista Community Church in the Temple, Texas area.#Neo-Calvinism PreachingMy Conversion…to CalvinismI was converted to Calvinism because of the preaching of John Piper. I was in high school and somebody gave me a book he had written. I read it, understood some of it, and then began listening to his sermons and through the process of listening to sermon after sermon, eventually discovered I was a Calvinist.My story isn’t unique. Indeed, I think m … [Read more...]

The Way We Were

The Way We WereI realize nostalgia is not for everyone; I’ve always been a nostalgic person. I’m one of those people who walks up to your front door and says “I grew up in this house. Would you mind if I came in and looked around? I want to refresh my memory because I think about it a lot and some of the rooms are getting quite fuzzy in my memory.” You feel like slamming the door in my face, right? So I don’t do that. But I am tempted to it when I’m in a town where we lived when I was a child … [Read more...]