Election is for Everyone

The Doctrine of Election/”Election is for Everyone”The Global Gospel Project, Christianity TodayRoger E. Olson(An edited version of this essay was published in Christianity Today in 2013) When I was a kid my brother and I would sometimes spend part of Saturday handing out gospel tracts in our neighborhood. We were pastor’s sons and probably felt some obligation to do it (as it was something promoted in Sunday School and youth group), but I can honestly say we also felt it … [Read more...]

A Crucial but Much Ignored (or Misunderstood) Distinction for Theology: “Mystery” versus “Contradiction”

A Crucial but Much Ignored (or Misunderstood) Distinction for Theology: “Mystery” versus “Contradiction”I have been teaching Christian theology to all kinds of people—mostly students but also church members—for thirty-five years now. One issue I constantly face is well-intentioned but misguided Christians thinking that Christian belief requires embrace of logical contradictions. They almost always call these “mysteries” and think it is spiritual to believe what is illogical. Many Christians, … [Read more...]

The New Theists

The New TheistsWe hear much about “the New Atheists”—Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and others—but, in fact, what they have said and are saying is not really “new.” What’s new is the crop and some of the ways they express their atheism (which is really naturalism).I would like to suggest another category that deserves as much if not more attention: “the New Theists.” Here I’ll describe this category and offer a few names. It’s not a monolithic group, a “bounded set,” any more than … [Read more...]

A Classic Book about “Corporate Election” Revised, Enlarged, and Re-Published

A Classic Book about “Corporate Election” Revised, Enlarged, and Re-PublishedI’m delighted to announce here the new publication of a modern Arminian classic: The New Chosen People: A Corporate View of Election by William Klein, Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary. This “Revised and Expanded Edition” is published by Wipf & Stock (2015).“Wait!” someone will say. Maybe Klein will say it: “This isn’t an ‘Arminian’ book! It’s a proposal for going around both Calvinism and Arminia … [Read more...]

Thoughts about Iowa, American Politics, and the Media

Thoughts about Iowa, American Politics, and the MediaI was born a few years ago in the capital city of Iowa--Des Moines. (The two "s-s" are silent, by the way. It's pronounced "d- moyn.") My mother was born just east of there in Jasper County. My stepmother was born in whatever county Clarion, Iowa is in. both were born at home on farms. So far as I know my maternal grandparents were all also born in Iowa. My maternal grandfather was born on a farm somewhere near Grinnell. I have relatives … [Read more...]

So What, Then, Is “American Evangelicalism?”

So What, Then, Is “American Evangelicalism?”One segment of American society, including both secular and religious people, including some people I consider “evangelicals” in my sense of the term, regard “American evangelicalism” as a far right-wing political movement if not a “hate group.” They base this on a combination of two factors. First, many leading spokespersons for far-right wing American politics call themselves “evangelicals.” This has been going on since fundamentalists Jerry Falwe … [Read more...]

Denomination of the Week: Church of God (Anderson, Indiana)

Denomination of the Week: Church of God (Anderson, Indiana)I realize that I am not keeping up with my intention of commenting here about a different American denomination every week, but I will occasionally post essays here about various denominations. For those of you who were not around when this series began: I have accepted the editorship of the Handbook of Denominations in the United States 14th edition. I tend to post essays here about smaller, lesser-known denominations to make people … [Read more...]