Archives for January 2013

Could Anything Imaginable Cause a Calvinist to Cease in Love and Worship of God?

Yesterday (January 30) one of my favorite Calvinist interlocutors posted this comment here:"The real difficulty that I have with the Arminian doctrinal position on the question of the origin of evil, as expressed here by Dr. Olson and in his book “Against Calvinism”, is best illustrated by the story Dr. Olson relates in the book of a question posed by one of Dr. Olson’s students at the end of a class Dr. Olson was teaching on Calvinism’s doctrine of God’s sovereignty. The question posed by th … [Read more...]

Review of “An Evangelical Manifesto” Part 2

Review of “An Evangelical Manifesto” Part 2Although I find myself generally favorable to the Manifesto, I have qualms about the way in which it identifies “evangelical.” According to its authors and signers “We Evangelicals are defined theologically, and not politically, socially, or culturally.” I agree that we are not defined “politically, socially, or culturally.” It’s the emphasis on “defined theologically” that troubles me.According to the Manifesto, “a particular set of beliefs…make … [Read more...]

Review of “An Evangelical Manifesto” Part 1

Review of “An Evangelical Manifesto” Part 1As I mentioned in the previous post, I am finally getting around to commenting publicly on “A Declaration of Evangelical Identity and Public Commitment,” otherwise known as “An Evangelical Manifesto,” published by a group of leading evangelical thinkers in 2008.If you have not yet read any of it, please go to There you will find “An Introduction,” “An Executive Summary,” and the Manifesto itself.This is not, of … [Read more...]

“An Evangelical Manifesto” (2008) and My Response to It

Someone has asked for my response to "An Evangelical Manifesto" which you can read at This statement of evangelical identity and public commitment was published before my blog began, so I have never publicly commented on it (that I recall).If you decide to read it, I recommend you begin with "An Introduction" and then read "An Executive Summary." The manifesto itself is quite long. But I think the summary will draw you (assuming you're interested in … [Read more...]

Quick Follow Up to the Karl Barth “Jesus Loves Me….” Series

Just this morning I received an e-mail from a woman who confirms that she heard Karl Barth respond to a student's question with "Jesus loves me, this I know..." at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, in 1962. Her name is LeTourneau and her e-mail is convincing. Of course, as we have already discovered, Barth scholar Martin Rumscheidt says it happened there also.So now we have two reliable witnesses (three counting Rumscheidt) confirming that the event happened in two places … [Read more...]

Did Karl Barth Really Say “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know….?”

A  while back I asked a question mainly out of curiosity. Did Karl Barth really answer a student's question (during his 1962 trip to the U.S.) with "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so?"What sparked my curiosity are two things. First, I've heard the story numerous times in sermons and read it numerous times in books. Second, I wrote a book in which I told the story (in a chapter about Barth) and an anonymous reviewer of the pre-publication manuscript (ostensibly a scholar … [Read more...]

What Counts as “Religion” and Why Does It Matter?

What Counts as “Religion” and Why Does It Matter?We all think we know what “religion” is, but every now and then a situation occurs that demonstrates the concept is not as clear and distinct as we think and that attempting to make it more clear and distinct is important. Let me share the most recent example.According to Associated Press reports, the U.S. Marine Corps is now experimenting with something called “Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training” to help fighting men and women handle … [Read more...]