Archives for September 2012

Announcements of two upcoming events: non-fundamentalist evangelical Christians are getting organized

Austin, Texas, October 5-6: The Midsouth Regional gathering of the Ecclesia Project: Topic: "Everyday Theology." I will be giving a keynote address on that subject on Friday evening (October 5).Alexandria, Virginia, April 11-13, 2013 inaugural national gathering of the new Missio Alliance: Topic: "The Future of the Gospel." Many speakers including yours truly.I hope many of you will attend one or both of these as … [Read more...]

Who is a “real Christian?”

Who Is a “Real Christian?”Several times recently I’ve mentioned “real Christians” here. A few visitors and commenters have objected to the concept. How is it possible to discriminate between “real Christians” and, well, false Christians?If we start at the other end, so to speak, and talk about “false Christians,” it’s easier to understand why it’s necessary to speak about real Christians. Who can doubt there have been and are false Christians?I confess that this habit of distinguishin … [Read more...]

Thoughts about persecution and martyrdom

Toward the end of Between Babel and the Beast, Leithart decries the lack of Christian martyrs, especially in the West. I believe his statement is (I loaned the book to someone so I don't have it ready to hand) "We have not been very good at producing martyrs." The context makes clear he is talking about Christians in the West, if not America specifically. It is not always easy to interpret Leithart's statements, but I take it he is saying that American Christians have so accommodated to … [Read more...]

Leithart the Prophet to America?

Recently I reviewed Peter Leithart's book Between Babel and Beast (Cascade, 2012). Well, only Part II: Americanism. Now I have finished the book. Part III is the title of the book. There Leithart indicts America for its foreign policy and behavior toward other nations and peoples. He says "For much of the last century, the United States has forged alliances with repressive despots. (150) " He concludes that "Churches should...encourage Christians to discover ways to turn American power toward … [Read more...]

Mostly for Baptists (Others Welcome to Listen In): Priesthood of Believers

What Does (and Doesn't) the Priesthood of Believers Mean? The priesthood of the believer, of every believer equally, is one of the cornerstones of Baptist doctrine and practice.  As we can see from 1 Peter 2:9 it is also a biblical doctrine.  The New Testament calls Christians “a royal priesthood” without exceptions.But today there is a great deal of confusion about this bedrock Baptist belief.  What does it mean?  How does it work out in practice?  Unfortunately, there is little consensus a … [Read more...]

If only I had a blog back then… Some thoughts about academic nonsense and integration of faith and learning

So, as anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I've been teaching in Christian higher education (three Christian universities) for going on 31 years now. Many times in the past, both when I was a student and when I was teaching, I wished for a way to express my opinions of what was happening around me publicly--especially the nonsense I occasionally experienced. That's right, even Christian academics can engage in nonsense now and then.First, let me preface this by saying how much I … [Read more...]

Who Is An “Evangelical Theologian?”

I'm currently working on a rather lengthy chapter on evangelical theology for an edited book to be published by a major university press. Because the book is aimed at a general audience, not a specifically evangelical one, I feel a burden to explain who counts as an "evangelical theologian." Who does "evangelical theology?"The problem, of course, is that "evangelical" has so many meanings. I have identified (in The Westminster Handbook to Evangelical Theology and The Pocket Guide to … [Read more...]