Archives for September 2013

Would McDermott Call Donald Bloesch a “Meliorist?” (And Some Comments about Evangelical Heresy-Hunting)

Donald Bloesch was one of the most highly respected evangelical theologians for forty years. He was born in 1928 and died in 2010. He wrote numerous books--all considered within the mainstream of American evangelical thought (except perhaps by fundamentalists). True, he studied with Karl Barth and was influenced by him, but he was always irenically critical of Barth--especially his "objectivism" of salvation (that left personal decision out of the equation) and his tendency to divide the Word of … [Read more...]

What Should a Pastor Say to a Group of Boys?

What Should a Pastor Say to a Group of Boys?A friend who is youth pastor at a “mainline” Protestant church has invited me to speak with the boys of his youth group. Fortunately, the youth pastor sees the precarious situation of boys in our contemporary American society as it really is—precarious and pernicious. He wants me, as an academic theologian with strong interest in helping boys in our society gain a sure footing, to, what I would call, “conscienticize” and encourage them.I read a … [Read more...]

Another Round in the Old “Evolution vs. Creation” Debate

Another Round in the Old "Evolution vs. Creation" DebateI live in the great state of Texas. Every year, and sometimes throughout a year, controversy erupts over public school textbooks. Here's the back story.Texas is so large and its public schools are so populated that textbook publishers do not want to alienate the Texas state agency that approves textbooks. So, indirectly, anyway, Texas has the ability to sway national textbooks' contents.For several years the board that examines … [Read more...]

(Fireworks Alert!) My Response to “The Emerging Divide in Evangelical Theology” by Gerald McDermott (JETS 56:2 [June, 2013])

My Response to “The Emerging Divide in Evangelical Theology” by Gerald McDermott (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 56:2 [June, 2013])This is the second time Professor McDermott has criticized me and other (what I call) postconservative evangelical theologians in print (that I know of). The first time was about a year ago in (I think) First Things. The substance of this article is the same as that one.McDermott is Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion at Roanoke College in Sal … [Read more...]

Calvinism Appearing in Unexpected (and Innapropriate) Places

Due to the rise of what my friend Scot McKnight calls "neo-Puritanism" (what others have labeled "the new Calvinism" or just "resurgent Calvinism") TULIP Calvinism is popping up in places it does not belong. Especially young men are reading John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, even Michael Horton, and taking this new found theology "home" with them into the denominations they grew up in or have joined. Often those denominations are historically averse to Calvinism--such as … [Read more...]

Must a Christian Believe in God? (“Godless Christianity?”)

Must a Christian Believe in God? Is there a "Godless Christianity?"Over the years I've had many encounters with people claiming to be Christians who also say they either do not believe in God or are not sure whether they believe in God. And I've read several theologians who claim to be Christian who deny the existence/reality of God (that is, they deny "theistic realism").Must a person believe in God to be Christian?Well, first, we have to parse the question and terms carefully. What … [Read more...]

Excellent New Book about Calvin and Wesley

A few months ago Abingdon Press (the United Methodist publisher) sent me the manuscript of a forthcoming (now published) book by my friend Don Thorsen who teaches theology at Azusa Pacific University. (Actually, he's also the Chair of the Department of Theology and Ethics at APU's Haggard Graduate School of Theology.) Don and I have been friends ever since we worked together on the editorial board of the Christian Scholar's Review in the 1990s. Don is a good Wesleyan theologian.The book, … [Read more...]