Clearing Up Some Christian Confusions about “Doubt”

Clearing Up Some Christian Confusions about “Doubt”Frederick Buechner famously wrote that “Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.” Several Christian writers have extolled the virtues of doubt—even for Christian living. Two of them are the great English Methodist pastor and theologian Leslie Weatherhead in The Christian Agnostic (1965) and Gregory Boyd in The Benefit of the Doubt (2013). (I have reviewed Boyd’s book here earlier.) Paul Tillich, of course, fam … [Read more...]

“Progressive Evangelicals”: Where Are They Now?

“Progressive Evangelicals”: Where Are They Now?Recently I received two relatively new, very similar books (complimentary copies provided by publishers). Their similarity lies in the subject they both cover: “progressive evangelicals.” They focus on progressive (some would say “liberal”) evangelical social and political beliefs especially among younger evangelicals in the 1960s and 1970s (some before, some after).The two books are: The Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Cons … [Read more...]

Recent Podcasts

Two or three podcast interviews with me have "gone up" on the internet recently. On is an interview that happened at FaithLife/MobileEd (formerly Logos Software) in Bellingham, Washington when I was there in March. I've been notified that it is going up on iTunes and Sound Cl0ud. Here is the link: https://m.soundcloud.com/logos-bible-software/dr-roger-olsonhistory-of-theology-and-the-rise-of-christian-celebrities-within-the-church .However, I just discovered another interview podcast that I … [Read more...]

Why Hyper-Calvinism Is Consistent Calvinism

Why Hyper-Calvinism Is Consistent CalvinismI know, I know. I will be accused of being “uncharitable” simply for deconstructing Calvinism. Apparently what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander. I have at least twenty-five volumes about Calvinism by leading Calvinist theologians on my bookshelf (and these are only examples of contemporary Calvinism!). All contain attempted deconstructions of Arminianism—attempts to demonstrate its inner contradictions and its ultimate illegitimacy as … [Read more...]

The Dialectic of “Nature and Grace” in Christian Theology

The Dialectic of “Nature and Grace” in Christian TheologyI recently had opportunity to lead a group of post-seminary ministry residents (in residence at a large, urban church) in a day-long study and discussion of the relationship between “nature” and “grace” in the theologies of Athanasius, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas. My assignment (and theirs) was to rediscover these three great teachers of the church and ponder their significance for us, twenty-first century Protestant Christians. In pr … [Read more...]

Thoughts about Detente with Cuba

I rarely comment here on world events, but this one has me excited and hopeful. The presidents of the United States and Cuba have met in Panama and pretty much sealed the deal (pending congressional approval) for a renewal of diplomatic relations between their two countries. Hopefully this will open the door to greater freedom of travel and trade between the countries. But most importantly, I believe it will pave the way toward greater freedom in Cuba--especially freedoms of religion and … [Read more...]

Only God Is an “End in Itself” (But That’s Not the Whole Story)

Only God Is an “End in Itself” (But That’s Not the Whole Story)I put “end in itself” in quotation marks to indicate a technical phrase; I am not implying that God is impersonal. “End in himself” would be more correct. But people often talk about something as an “end in itself” meaning “for its own sake.” “Art for art’s sake” is a motto of the National Endowment for the Arts. However, many people regard certain activities, products, persons, organizations, etc., as existing “in and for themsel … [Read more...]


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