Archives for September 2012

Whatever Happened to the “Evangelical Left?”

Whatever Happened to the “Evangelical Left?Yesterday I had lunch with a friend who showed me a recently published book I need to read. Rarely do I mention a book here that I have not yet read and this is no review of the book. According to the book’s official release date is tomorrow (October 1, 2012). I’m not sure how my friend got his copy, but sometimes books do appear before their official release date and sometimes publishers will provide advance copies for review.The book … [Read more...]

My Christianity Today article “The Bonds of Freedom”

My article "The Bonds of Freedom" is now published in Christianity Today (October, 2012) and should be available digitally on line--at least for subscribers. Try: will be interested in answers to this question: Does what I say here satisfy (or at least mollify) my Calvinist critics who say Arminians make an idol out of free will (e.g., by elevating it to true freedom)? Of course, any feedback is welcome (that is civil and … [Read more...]

Evangelical Inquisitions

Evangelical InquisitionsI’ve been actively involved in evangelicalism and especially the evangelical academy (scholarly community) for over thirty years now and I’ve noticed a bad habit among conservative evangelical biblical scholars and theologians. They seem addicted to inquisitions.It happened to me again, just today. An e-mail from “friends” (an evangelical organization I allegedly belonged to) informing me that I was under investigation (not their words, but clearly their intent) fo … [Read more...]

A Neglected Theory of the Atonement?

A Neglected Theory of the Atonement?Evangelical theology has fallen into another debate over the atonement. Or perhaps I should say we are in the midst of another phase of that long running debate. One of the central questions is whether the penal substitution theory is central to evangelical belief in the atoning death of Jesus. I’ve discussed the controversy here before, so I won’t go over it again. Let me just say that, as I read the literature of the debate, there seems to be a missing vi … [Read more...]

New Orleans, Bourbon Street and Street Preaching: A Case of Religious Persecution?

According to several news reports I have read, the City of New Orleans and its police department are attempting to stop street preaching on Bourbon Street after dark. Some preachers have been arrested, but a judge has slapped an injunction on the city to stop it from enforcing the ordinance until a hearing can be held on the preachers' claim that their freedom of speech is being abridged.Here is what one GLBT community leader said about preaching on Bourbon Street: "I certainly have issues … [Read more...]

Was Schleiermacher a liberal theologian? (If not, who would be?)

I recently attended a lecture by a leading British theologian who is NOT generally considered "liberal." The subject of the lecture was the urban roots of modern theology and the focus was on Schleiermacher and Berlin. It was very informative about how the Berlin of that time shaped Schleiermacher's theology. The speaker admitted that Schleiermacher was the father of modern theology and that he did not believe in the resurrection, but he claimed that (I quote) "Schleiermacher was not a liberal … [Read more...]

Confessions of an Ecumenical, Evangelical, Baptist Christian

Confessions of an Ecumenical, Evangelical, Baptist ChristianThe only problematic adjective in that string of labels, at least to most people, is “ecumenical.” How can a person be all four of those at once? Well, some might question whether one can be evangelical and Baptist or Baptist and Christian, but I’ll set those aside for now. I’ll take for granted that in the U.S., anyway, the problematic element in the list is ecumenical. Many evangelicals and Baptists question whether it is possible … [Read more...]