Archives for February 2014

Is Arminianism “Reformed?”

Is Arminianism "Reformed?"A minor controversy exists among Arminian scholars (and some non-Arminian Reformed scholars have chimed in) about whether classical Arminianism can legitimately lay claim to being part of the Reformed theological tradition. The question is this: Was and is Arminianism such a deviation from classical Reformed theology that it ought to be considered something entirely other than Reformed (historically-theologically) or was and is it simply one branch of the larger … [Read more...]

A Good New Book: A Missional Orthodoxy: Theology and Ministry in a Post-Christian Context by Gary Tyra

A Good New Book: A Missional Orthodoxy: Theology And Ministry in a Post-Christian Context by Gary Tyra (InterVarsity Press, 2013).This book is hefty but it packs a good and needed "punch." For evangelicals interested in being both missional and orthodox at the same time, it's a breath of fresh air. One of the book's central theses, maybe its main thesis, is that too many especially younger evangelicals think they have to choose between being either missional or orthodox.Tyra is associate … [Read more...]

The “God of the Gaps”: Right Use, Wrong Use

The "God of the Gaps": Right Use, Wrong UseOne recurring theme here and in other evangelical engagements with science is the idea of the "God of the gaps." I'm not sure who coined the phrase; I've heard it attributed to Bonhoeffer (from Letters and Papers from Prison), but I don't remember him specifically using that phrase. He certainly criticized the idea of a "deus ex machine" brought in to fill the gaps—holes in the natural order science cannot (so far) explain.Generally speaking, " … [Read more...]

A Problem in Evangelicalism: Narcissistic Leaders

A Problem in Evangelicalism: Narcissistic LeadersGuest post by electrical engineer Stephen BergerI want to thank Dr. Olson for this opportunity to provide a guest blog.  It is an honor given in grace and kindness.During the time I was drafting this blog, my wife and I visited some long time friends. I received an unintended rebuke from their daughter-in-law as she answered my question about their future plans.  She and her husband, a law school student, are equipping themselves to r … [Read more...]

Embracing Creation–A Question of Faith (Guest Post by Bev Mitchell)

Embracing Creation - A Question of Faith (Guest Post by Bev Mitchell, NB, Canada and Oaxaca, Mx)There are many kinds of faith: faith in human ability; faith in our beliefs; faith in our faith (fideism); faith in our interpretation of Scripture; faith that our faith and reason combined will uncover purely human reasons to believe - and this by no means exhausts the possibilities.Christianity has a different take on faith. It sees faith as a dynamic gift from God that comes through the … [Read more...]

On Telling Inconvenient and Uncomfortable Truths

On Telling Inconvenient and Uncomfortable Truths: When, How, WhyMost people take for granted that truth-telling is a good thing…unless the truths being told are inconvenient, uncomfortable or otherwise disturbing. About a year ago (I don't recall precisely) Christianity Today published an article by a man who grew up "on the mission field." His parents were evangelical missionaries in New Guinea. He is now an established and respected pastor. The man told in sometimes shocking (but not v … [Read more...]

Church Shopping: Some Guidelines

Shopping for a ChurchOne question I've been asked several times here (and elsewhere) is how to find a good church. Whenever someone asks me that I know one of two things are not the case. The person asking is not absolutely loyal to any denomination or there are too many or too few churches of his or her denomination in the locale.I once moved to a large city that had only one church of my denomination and, at that time, I was absolutely loyal to it (held ministerial credentials with it, … [Read more...]