Archives for March 2014

What Attracts People into the Young, Restless, Reformed Movement?

What Attracts People into the Young, Restless, Reformed Movement?That is probably the question I'm asked most often when I talk about the "new Calvinism" that has swept up thousands of Christian young people in the last twenty to thirty years. There's no doubt this has been and is a religious phenomenon. Most recently even the New York Times has taken notice; a few years ago Time magazine mentioned it as one of ten great ideas changing the world. Everyone seems to be talking about it even … [Read more...]

When Jesus Said “Follow Me” Did He Mean “On Twitter?” Ethics and Social Networking

When Jesus Said “Follow Me” Did He Mean “On Twitter?” Ethics and Social Networking The Knudsen Lecture in Ethics, March 10, 2014, University of Sioux Falls Roger E. Olson Foy Valentine Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics George W. Truett Theological Seminary "Our on line relationships are totally manageable and therefore shallow."  Many years ago, when I was a child, I was fascinated by the cartoon character Dick Tracy—a fictional detective who wore a tiny watch-like, two-wa … [Read more...]

John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, Austin Fischer, and God

So, John Piper has now responded to Austin Fischer's book "Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed" (Wipf & Stock, 2013). (For those of you who don't know, Austin is Teaching Pastor at The Vista Community in Belton/Temple, Texas and his book is a run-away seller about his spiritual and theological journey in and out of Calvinism.)Of course, you should read Austin's book before making up your own mind whose right in the current debate about it--John or Austin. But see their very differing … [Read more...]

A Final Word about the “Gay Wedding Cake” Issue

I simply don't have time to moderate scores of messages every day. Whenever I touch on "gay" issues people who normally never come here flood my comment box with arguments pro and con. It's obviously a very controversial issue. But what bothers me is that even when I BEG people to stick to the issue I raised they don't. The issue was the free exercise of religious conscience based on membership in a church that has a clear doctrinal standard about a certain behavior (not identity).Most … [Read more...]

My Response (Finally!) to John Piper’s “AskPastorJohn” Episode 238 (About Me)

Many people have asked me to listen to and respond to John Piper's comments about me and about Arminianism on his episode 238 (of his podcast "AskPastorJohn") entitled "Where's the Arminian John Piper?" You can find it by Googling it or going to Piper's web site.  Many of you heard it and asked me to respond. That was months ago now. I finally got around to listening to it. Here's my response.John (he calls me Roger so I'll call him John, we know each other personally) was  kind in his c … [Read more...]

Thoughts about the “Gay Marriage” Debate and Christians’ Rights

Thoughts about the "Gay Marriage" Debate and Christians' Rights             I have already stated here and elsewhere how I think the "gay marriage" debate should be settled. Get government out of the business of decided who's "married" and let government decide who may enjoy the privileges of "civil union." My suggestion is that any two people should be permitted to enter into that arrangement which would have only to do with matters such as property sharing, privileges of making decisions for t … [Read more...]

What Is “History of…?”

Lately I've been thinking about the nature of history. Not "history" as in "what happened in the past" but "history" as in the "study of the past. "My thoughts about this were sparked by reading a book that purports to be a "history" of a certain denomination. I opened it with interest as it is about the denomination I grew up in. (It was published some years ago and I read it then but just recently re-read it.)When I closed the book after re-reading it I wondered if this book really … [Read more...]