Archives for March 2017

What Should Contemporary Evangelical Christians Think about the Reformation?

What Should Contemporary Evangelical Christians Think about the Reformation?*Preamble: My April 2017 copy of Christianity Today just arrived. In it you will find (as I do) a two part article (or series of two articles) about Catholic and Protestant theologies. The article(s) is on pp. 42-46 (print copy) and is entitled “Grace First or Grace Alone: What Catholics and Protestants Now Agree On—and What Still Divides Us.” The Catholic article is by Bishop Robert Barron and the Protestant resp … [Read more...]

Whatever Happened to “Friendship with Jesus?”

Whatever Happened to “Friendship with Jesus” in American Evangelical Piety and Worship?You know you’re getting old when the old songs start popping into your mind—songs that made a major impression on you as a child and young person and that you don’t hear anymore. Now, at my age, a radio “oldies station” plays 1980s music. 1980s music “oldies?” C’mon. Well, okay, I just have to get used to the idea of being “old school.” Bear with me. I have a point to make here.First, I know I’m gen … [Read more...]

A Statement of Confession and Commitment

Statement of Confession and Commitment  The following "Statement of Confession and Commitment" is going around via various blogs. Faculty members at Christian colleges, universities and seminaries are being invited to sign it. I have signed it. If you want to sign it (and are such a faculty member) or if you just want to see the list of signers, "Google" it. I am not providing a link here because I assume the authors and those circulating it wish to restrict it to faculty members. Before I … [Read more...]

Thoughts about Church and Holy Spirit (by a Self-Identified “Bapticostal”)

Thoughts about Church and Holy Spirit (by a Self-Identified “Bapticostal”)My class has been reading Swiss theologian Emil Brunner’s chapters about the Holy Spirit and the church; here are some thoughts I sent my students after a rather vigorous and free-wheeling discussion of Brunner’s ideas:Apparently, for Brunner, what he calls the "Ekklesia"--the primitive Christian church of the New Testament--no longer exists as it was then and cannot exist as it was then because of historical an … [Read more...]

My Review of the Television Drama Series “Madam Secretary”

My Review of the Television Drama Series “Madam Secretary”I watch only a few television series regularly. Most are, in my opinion, a total waste of time. Television is, in my opinion, by-and-large, what one television critic called “a vast wasteland” (Newton Minow, 1961) With more viewing options has come very little real improvement. I have a very low opinion of television programming in general and yet I feel the need to watch select shows to keep up with popular culture. Occasionally I … [Read more...]

My Review of the Movie “The Shack”

 Dear blog friends: Below you will find my review of the movie "The Shack" preceded by a "viewer guide" to the movie. I wrote these for InterVarsity Press which published my book "Finding God in 'The Shack'" in 2009. This viewer guide and review was first posted on their web site together with the information about my book.May I just say that I am very disappointed in some evangelical Christians' responses to both the book and the movie; in my opinion some of them are extremely … [Read more...]

Follow Up to My Blog Post about the Transgender Controversy

Follow Up to My Blog Post about the Transgender ControversyMy most recent blog post here was about the contemporary controversy over the use of locker rooms and restrooms by people transitioning from one gender or sex to another. Please do NOT read this follow up post without first reading the immediately preceding one; especially do not comment on this one without first reading that one.Normally I include in my blog posts some caveats, some disclaimers, some warnings—to avoid confusion a … [Read more...]