Is the Bible Unclear? A Guide for the Perplexed

I received this question by e-mail:"I’ve been wrestling lately with this question:  I’m wondering why the bible is so unclear on topics that are supposed to be so important (ie Divorce – I know the exception clause, but OK to remarry? Have a church position post-divorce;  Duration of Hell – is punishment eternal leading to annihilation or is it eternal punishment?; Baptism – essential to salvation? Pick a topic – the list goes on).  More broadly, if faith is the way and not the law, why was t … [Read more...]

Philosophers “doing” theology: pros and cons

I apologize that I have been unable to use my blog as usual. I've been traveling and had limited internet access. And I am still having difficult signing into and using Disqus. But I will persevere and I think you all for your patience.I recently learned of a new scholarly journal dedicated to Christian philosophers "doing" theology. I welcome that except...it also makes me nervous.Right now I'm reading Justice: Rights and Wrongs by Christian philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff. I've … [Read more...]

A Concentration Camp by Any Other Name…

A Concentration Camp by Any Other Name…. For several years the United States has operated a “detention center” (or “detention camp”) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It still holds fifty-some “detainees” captured during the U.S.’s invasion of Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.in 2001. They are not technically “Prisoners of War” because the center is not operated under the rules of war (Geneva Convention). It is called a detention center or camp and the men being hel … [Read more...]

Please Don’t Go Away! And Please Keep Posting Comments. (And a Recommendation of a Good Faith-Based Novel)

Dear Blog Friends,The transition to Disqus continues. It was not my choice and I would have preferred the status quo. I have asked Patheos to make it possible for you to comment without having to create a Disqus account or sign in. I hope that is the case. It seems to me that probably several (man?) comments have gotten lost in the transition. Hopefully that will not be the case from now on. So please comment and I will do my best to figure out how to use Disqus (the Patheos people are being … [Read more...]

A New Liberation Theology?

A New Liberation Theology?             Coming out of Brazil is a new liberation theology that is not revolutionary, utopian or even socialistic in the older senses. Its new prophet is Korean-Brazilian theologian Jung Mo Sung. He teaches at both a Methodist and a Catholic university in Sao Paulo. Although he writes in Portugese, some of his books are now being translated into English. One I am reading is Desire, Market and Religion in the Reclaiming Liberation Theology series published by SCM Pre … [Read more...]

Review of The Evangelicals You Don’t Know: Introducing the Next Generation of Christians by Tom Krattenmaker

Review of The Evangelicals You Don’t Know: Introducing the Next Generation of Christians by Tom Krattenmaker (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013)             Thanks to the author and publisher for sending me a complementary/review copy of this book. Tom Krattenmaker is a Portland, Oregon based writer whose columns have appeared in USAToday and other periodicals. By his own confession he is not an evangelical and is “progressive” in his political and religious views. However, he is fascinated by Amer … [Read more...]

Important Modern (English Language) Books about the Trinity

Important Modern (English Language) Books about the Trinity             Here I’m following up on my recent post about the doctrine of the Trinity. I’m often asked to recommend books about Christian doctrinal themes, so here is my list of “favorite books” about the Trinity.  I’m limiting the list to English language (some are translations) and published within the last century. The focus of the list is on even more recent publications. I am dividing the list into two categories: primary works and … [Read more...]


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