Calling out “Calling out ‘American Evangelicalism’”

Calling out “Calling out ‘American Evangelicalism’”On January 19 (2016) moderate Baptist writer and editor John Pierce published a column entitled “Calling out ‘American Evangelicalism’” at . Pierce is editor of Nurturing Faith Journal—“the signature publication of Baptists Today, Inc.” I know and respect him as a leading spokesman for moderate Baptists—a category in which I place myself.In my opinion, as a scholar of American … [Read more...]

Is Modern Unbelief Rooted in Christianity?

Is Modern Unbelief Rooted in Christianity?I receive many books from authors and publishers wanting me to review them on my blog. I try to do justice to as many of the “freebies” as possible, but some just don’t deserve my attention here. One that does surprises me. I strongly recommend it to you not because I agree with everything the author says in it but because it is surprising and challenging to the traditional “orthodox” interpretation of modern doubt and unbelief, secularism and even at … [Read more...]

John Piper and “Christian Hedonism”

How I Became a Christian Hedonist by John Piper

John Piper and “Christian Hedonism” Some here and elsewhere have asked me about John Piper: Do I know him? What do I think of him? That’s because, I suppose, of my open opposition to “high Calvinism” (five point Calvinism) and the Young, Restless, Reformed Movement insofar as it places that theology at its center. John Piper has long been the real “guru” of that movement and he has long been a staunch advocate of high Calvinism including divine determinism.Recently I was rifling … [Read more...]

“Diversity”: A Much Desired but Often Poorly Understood Goal

“Diversity”: A Much Desired but Often Poorly Understood GoalFor most of my almost thirty-five years of full time teaching on the undergraduate and graduate levels (in American Christian higher education) “diversity” has been much discussed, promoted and debated. Everyone seems to want it, but many seem to desire something different. In other words, there is diversity of understanding of the much sought for “diversity.”My impression is this: If you went around and polled the administrat … [Read more...]

Narrative Theology Explained

A couple years ago I posted an earlier version of this here, but this is a somewhat revised and updated version--about "narrative theology," which I think is widely misunderstood (e.g., as treating the Bible as fiction). I am leading a class in reading and discussing theologian Emil Brunner's Dogmatics. For the life of  me I still cannot figure out why Barth is so wildly popular and Brunner so neglected. One thing I have discovered over the years is that Brunner's approach to theology was very … [Read more...]

Critical Thoughts about Belief in God and Modern Science…

Critical Thoughts about Belief in God and Modern Science (Using a Case Study: James Burke’s The Day the Universe Changed: Science Revises the Heavens)James Burke is a British journalist famous for making films and writing books about intellectual history for the masses. He has a unique way of presenting complex subjects about culture—philosophy, the arts, religion, politics, science—in entertaining ways. For years I have used his documentary film series “The Day the Universe Changed” in class … [Read more...]

Reflections on the Bill Gothard Phenomenom and Scandal…

Reflections on the Bill Gothard Phenomenon and Scandal (and Comparison between that Phenomenon and the Young, Restless, Reformed Movement)One of the questions most frequently asked about the “Young, Restless, Reformed Movement” (YRRM) is the reason for its popularity. People often ask me why so many young(ish) Christians are attracted to it. After all, to most observers its rise and spread seems inexplicable. Hard-core Calvinism was supposed to be dead and gone except among a few older Ref … [Read more...]