Archives for March 2013

“Christ is risen! … He sure is!” (Easter memories and thoughts)

Years ago I took a theology class to an Eastern Orthodox Easter divine liturgy. The cathedral was packed, but I had called ahead and my friend, the dean of the cathedral, had reserved seats for us in the back (as requested). I had told my undergraduate theology students not to go forward for the eucharist but to wait and go forward for the bread of fellowship after the service or at the end of it. A kind usher came to us and instructed us to stand and join the whole congregation in moving … [Read more...]

Why Do We Call It “Good Friday” When….?

Why Do We Call It “Good Friday” When….?Today is “Good Friday.” To many students whose schools are on holiday and to many workers whose companies close for a long Easter weekend, it’s “good” because they can sleep in, go shopping, take a trip or whatever. But my question today is why Christians call it “good.”Here’s an irony that causes me some cognitive dissonance whenever I attend a “Good Friday” service (which I usually do): We call it “Good Friday” but worship on it as if something ter … [Read more...]

Where Have All the Theological “Public Intellectuals” Gone? (An Invitation to Participate)

Where Have All the Theological “Public Intellectuals” Gone? (An Invitation to Participate)Recently I have been lecturing and writing (again) about some of the “giants” of modern theology: Schleiermacher, Bushnell, Hodge, Ritschl, Rauschenbusch, Machen, Troeltsch, Fosdick, Barth, Brunner, Niebuhr, Tillich, Bonhoeffer, John Courtney Murray, Carl Henry, Hartshorne, et al. Some of them, perhaps all of them, spoke not only to the churches but also to society at large. Several of them graced covers … [Read more...]

Links to my “Forum” appearance at Seattle’s City on a Hill Church (March 17)

The subject was Calvinism and Arminianism. The setting was City on a Hill Church in suburban Seattle (Federal Way). The reason was to explain Calvinism and Arminianism and answer questions about both. The audience was mostly young people from many churches--some as far away as Sacramento (CA). Part One: Two: … [Read more...]

Do “Religionists” and “Secularists” Share the Same Goal?

Do “Religionists” and “Secularists” Share the Same Goal?Tom Krattenmaker is a Portland-based writer specializing in religion in public life and a member of USA TODAY’s board of contributors. His column “Secularists, Meet the Religionists” appeared in USA TODAY March 22. A large, bold print side bar appears to be the article’s subtitle: “You may have different beliefs, but you do share the same goal.” Really?Much of the article is based on a book entitled How to Be Secular by Jacques Berli … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong with Calvinism?

This is a talk I gave recently at City on a Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. (City on a Hill is a mostly Russian evangelical church. It's leaders are concerned about infiltration of aggressive Calvinism into their and other Russian evangelical churches whose tradition is Arminianism. I want to thank Russell Korets and the other leaders of the church for inviting me to speak and I want to thank the many leaders of other Russian evangelical churches who came to the events.)What's Wrong with … [Read more...]

Our God Is An…Ethical (!) God

I was recently graciously granted on of the highest honors a university can bestow on a professor--an endowed, named "chair" (professorship). In my case it is the Foy Valentine Chair of Christian Ethics--named after a champion of equality and crusader for civil rights. I'm honored by this, and thankful to my dean and provost for their trust and esteem.So, as a newly minted "official" Christian ethicist (although I've taught Christian ethics for many years), where should I begin?Where but … [Read more...]