What Does It Mean to Be “Catholic?”

What Does It Mean to be “Catholic” If Not Belonging to the Church of Rome?Over the past many years of my career as a Protestant Christian theologian I have had many encounters with fellow Protestant Christians—including Baptists and others in the Free Church tradition—who would like Protestants to be “catholic” (with a small “c”). Most of them do not mean that Protestants should join the Catholic Church whose headquarters on earth is the Vatican; most of them do mean something else by “ca … [Read more...]

Does God Exist? and Is Jesus God? Two Answers for Today

 Preface: These two essays are my admittedly feeble contribution, for now, to people who ask whether belief in God and belief in Jesus Christ as God are reasonable (justified) beliefs. No attempt is made here to prove either God or Jesus (as God) directly; my only interest is in demonstrating, in a simply language as possible and as briefly as possible, why Christians believe their beliefs are reasonable and not irrational "leaps of faith" that require sacrifice of the … [Read more...]

Is “Social Innovation” Sufficient? A Call for More Radical Social Action

Is “Social Innovation” Sufficient? A Call for More Radical Social ActionRecently I have attended talks by several very bright, creative, socially concerned Christians. All that they said can be described under the umbrella concept of “imaginative social innovation for solving wicked social problems.” The speakers were Christians deeply involved in research into and creative thinking about especially urban problems in contemporary America: intergenerational poverty, racism, school droppin … [Read more...]

Crossing a Threshold: Affirming Choice in Public Education

Crossing a Threshold: Affirming Choice in Public EducationAfter many years of increasingly uncomfortable affirmation of public schools as parents’ only option—without paying tuition in addition to taxes—I have arrived at a different position. I now believe governments should provide parents with “vouchers” (a metaphor) for payment of accredited private school education for their children. In other words, I believe parents should not have to pay both public school taxes and private school … [Read more...]

Should America Have Attacked Syria? A Christian Response

Should America Have Attacked Syria? A Christian ResponseAccording to news reports, U.S. President Donald Trump virtually unilaterally (i.e., without Congressional approval) ordered the U.S. military to attack and destroy a Syrian air base that was allegedly used by Syria to kill its own people with deadly chemical (gas) weapons banned by international agreements. The news is trickling out—in print and by broadcasts—and more information is needed. So, here I will only respond based on the … [Read more...]

The Problem of “Echo Chambers”

The Problem of “Echo Chambers”A problem with contemporary American society is that most people tend only to listen to people with whom they already agree. The result is almost complete ignorance of the perspectives of others. The result is a society that is no longer a community; we have no shared values.An example is the abortion debate. The tendency is for pro-choice people to listen only to their own spokespersons, leaders, for example, of Planned Parenthood. The tendency is for an … [Read more...]

Would Someone Please Rein in Some of the “Young Calvinists?”

Would Someone Please Rein in Some of the “Young Calvinists?”For those of you who do not know, I have been involved in a controversy with the American neo-Calvinists (“Young, Restless, Reformed”)—especially their leaders—for many years. While I respect their passion for the glory of God, I have criticized them on for two errors: 1) A rampant, almost endemic (to the movement) arrogance about Calvinism, and 2) A frequent tendency to misrepresent alternative views. Even some Reformed theologi … [Read more...]