How Important Is the Doctrine of the Trinity?

  How Important Is the Doctrine of the Trinity?             Here is a quote from Rowan Williams: “Trinitarian theology, in so far as it is concerned with what ‘kind’ of God Christians worship, is far from being a luxury indulged in solely by remote and ineffectual dons; it is of cardinal importance for spirituality and liturgy, for ethics, for the whole of Christian self-understanding.” (Wrestling with Angels: Conversations in Modern Theology, p. 142) This statement … [Read more...]

What Is “God’s Will” and How Can One Find It?

This is a talk I gave recently to a Christian youth group. What Is “God’s Will” and How Can One Find It? Roger E. Olson             There is probably no more important and confusing issue for Christian young people than “finding God’s will for life.” Many have heard that “God has a wonderful plan for your life” and been urged to seek God for his will. Whether told to or not, many have concluded that they should wait until God revealed his will or pray fervently for … [Read more...]

Why I Despise the Mainstream (American) News Media

TV news reporter sticking a microphone into the bloody face of a first responder at a horrible tragedy in which many people died and were severely injured: "Sir! How did you FEEL when you realized you SON might be missing?" Not the exception but the rule. Much of a 20 minute (after commercials) national network prime time news cast devoted to a study about "How women really feel about themselves"--at a time when North Korea is saber rattling with threats of nuclear war (among other world … [Read more...]

Apology to R. C. Sproul (and Call for Irenic Evangelical Dialogue and Debate)

Apology to R. C. Sproul (and Call for Irenic Evangelical Dialogue and Debate)             Yesterday (April 23) I mistakenly posted a comment to this blog I shouldn’t have. It was from someone calling himself “Paul” and asked me about Arminius and belief in God as “first cause” of everything. The comment ended by accusing evangelical theologian and apologist R. C. Sproul of “theological chicanery.”             “Chicanery” is not a word one hears or uses … [Read more...]

Is the “Prosperity Gospel” Real Liberation (for Oppressed Minorities)?

Is the “Prosperity Gospel” Real Liberation (for Oppressed Minorities)?             This week I visited a mainline Protestant seminary and sat in on several classes. Teachers should do that from time to time. Being an observer of one’s own profession can be very eye opening. I learned some things to do and not to do. I learned that eighty minutes is a long time when you’re just sitting and listening! I learned that it’s helpful when professors ask if students have questions … [Read more...]

Where Was God when the Fertilizer Plant Exploded?

If what many Christians believe about God is true, then the West, Texas disaster (like every disaster) was actually good--"designed, ordained and governed by God" necessarily means "good" in a Christian worldview. Something God designs, ordains and governs (the key is "designs") has to be good in the larger scheme of things. I say "in a Christian worldview" because I take it for granted that every true Christian believes that God is absolutely, unequivocally good. I have only heard of one … [Read more...]

Is Religion Really Declining in America?

Is Religion Really Declining in America?             Everyone’s talking about a recent Pew survey allegedly showing that nineteen percent of Americans say “none” when asked about their religious affiliation.  As a result, one news outlet declared that “religion is declining” in America. Another (headline) stated that the survey shows “unbelief” is growing. I question the interpretations of the survey (as I question those of most surveys—especially about … [Read more...]

Changes Coming to Patheos Blogs….

Patheos is going to switching to a different blog format, so if you attempt to post a comment and it doesn't show up, chances are it got lost in the switch. (I've been warned this may be possible in the coming few days.) Hopefully the transition will go smoothly. If not, it's probably my fault as I'm not very adept at the technical aspects of blogging. So please be patient. Thank you. … [Read more...]

Missio Alliance Book Sale (Really Good Deals!)

I recently attended and spoke at the inaugural gathering of a new group called Missio Alliance. About 700 people attended. Among the speakers were friends Amos Yong, Scot McKnight, David Fitch, Gary Black and many more I had not previously met. It was an invigorating meeting of what I would call postconservative evangelicals. I'm sure many who attended and spoke would prefer some other label but I'm not sure what it would be (perhaps "post-evangelical" or "progressive evangelical" or "missional … [Read more...]

A Non-Calvinist, Relational View of God’s Sovereignty

I gave this talk at this week's Missio Alliance gathering in Alexandria, Virginia. For those who are watching me carefully (from the Arminian camp) I must say I make no claim for this being "the" Arminian view. It is simply my view and I'm an Arminian.     A Relational View of God’s Sovereignty   Roger E. Olson                           My office phone rang and I answered it. A stern voice said “Is this Roger Olson?” who which I … [Read more...]