A Great Irony: Contemporary American “Conservative” Christianity Is Really Liberal!

A Great Irony: Contemporary American “Conservative” Christianity Is Really Liberal!I find one of the greatest ironies of contemporary American Christianity here: What usually is called “conservative Christianity” is really a form of liberal Christianity.So, as usual, it is important to define our terms. Here by “conservative Christianity” I mean that socio-political expression of Christianity sometimes called the “Religious Right” and often given the misnomer “evangelicalism” by the media … [Read more...]

Is There Anything We Can Take for Granted (that All Americans Agree about)? A Challenge

Is There Anything We Can Take for Granted (that All Americans Agree about)? A ChallengeCall it nostalgia if you wish, but I remember a time when there were at least some beliefs one could take for granted—some beliefs that one could express and expect agreement. At least in America. True, some of them were false and badly needed correction. On the other hand, I worry about a cultural condition in which no such consensus exists about anything.One of my favorite cartoons is the always i … [Read more...]

Are There “Wicked Problems” in Theology?

Are There “Wicked Problems” in Theology?I only recently became aware of the social-scientific concept of “wicked problems.” According to a 2012 article in The New Yorker (www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/something-wicked-this-way-comes) the concept was created by two social scientists in 1973. In brief, using my own words, a wicked problem is one that seems intractable because solving it appears to create as many or more problems. Examples often given of wicked problems are: poverty, pris … [Read more...]

Can African-American Christians Be “Evangelicals?”

Can African-Americans Be “Evangelicals?”Recently I discovered that many pollsters taking surveys of adult Americans and who ask questions about people’s religious identities automatically assume, as a matter of governing policy, that African-Americans cannot be “evangelicals.” Furthermore, this trickles down to them from the movers and shakers of American sociology of religion who, generally speaking, categorize American’s religious identities such that “evangelical” cannot include African-Am … [Read more...]

I Do Not Watch “Sister Wives,” but…What’s Wrong with Polygamy

I Do Not Watch “Sister Wives,” but…What’s Wrong with Polygamy?Let me begin with what should be a wholly unnecessary disclaimer: I am opposed to polygamy, “plural marriage,” “open marriage,” bigamy, etc.!Now that that’s out of the way…Today I read that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case against a state law that criminalizes polygamy. The case has to do with the family featured on the television series “Sister Wives” (which I have never watched).According to the ne … [Read more...]

Does the Reformation Still Matter?

Does the Reformation Still Matter?2017 is the commemorated 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. As I noted here earlier, however, that date—1517—is a bit arbitrary. Somehow, I’m not sure when, who or how, Luther’s nailing of his “95 Theses” to the Cathedral Church door in Wittenberg, Saxony, Germany on October 31 became for Protestants around the world “Reformation Day.” Of course, as any church historian knows, there were already Protestants in Europe—in the theological sense—lon … [Read more...]

A Day I Cannot Celebrate: Inauguration Day, 2017

A Day I Cannot Celebrate: Inauguration Day, 2017Today, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States of America. I have revealed here before my feelings about him and his presidency. I will not be watching any of the inauguration or celebrating it. For me it is a truly frightening turning point in American history and possibly world history. I will turn on my television and leave it on all day on channels not showing the inauguration as a protest.In my … [Read more...]