My Response to John Piper’s Comments about Arminians

My Response to John Piper’s Comments about Arminians Recently one of my faithful readers who also often comments here posted a link to a recent episode of “Ask Pastor John”—John Piper’s podcast series in which he answers questions. (All you have to do to find this series is “google” the title “Ask Pastor John” or go directly to Piper’s Desiring God Ministries.) In this episode of the series someone asked Piper which Arminians have influenced him the most. Here I wish to respond to a … [Read more...]

Whetting Appetites: A Preview of “Deviant Calvinism” by Oliver Crisp

Whetting Appetites: A Preview of Deviant Calvinism by Oliver CrispAbout a week ago (late November, 2014) I announced a coming series of interactions with Fuller Seminary theologian Oliver Crisp’s new book Deviant Calvinism: Broadening Reformed Theology (Fortress, 2014). I encouraged those who wanted to participate in the discussion to buy it and gave everyone two weeks before the start of the series. However, the book has been lying on my desk, looking up at me, and crying “Read me!” for two … [Read more...]

What “American Exceptionalism” Means to Me

All my life I've been an American patriot; I do celebrate my country as truly exceptional. I love America and get choked up every time I hear the national anthem or salute the flag. However, unlike some of my fellow Americans, I am not a nationalist. There is a difference between loving one's country and believing it is superior to all others in every way and avoiding all criticism of its government. I am grieved by those Americans who think that any and all criticism of America's government's … [Read more...]

Can a Single Act Be Both Determined and Free?

Some Calvinists (and perhaps others) argue that, in a world ruled by God, the God of the Bible, a single creaturely act can be both determined (pre-programmed by God) and free. And they claim that there are examples of this in Scripture (e.g., Joseph's brothers selling him into slavery). Here I will point out several problems with this claim.First, no where does Scripture explicitly say that a single creaturely act was both "pre-programmed" or "determined" and "free." Admittedly, there are … [Read more...]

Memories of Stanley J. Grenz with Special Attention to Criticisms of His Theology (and Some Hitherto Unrevealed Facts)

Some Memories of Stanley J. Grenz and His Theological Journey My friend and co-author Stan Grenz died almost ten years ago. He was only fifty-five years old and in the prime of his career as a teacher and profession as a Christian theologian. He had published over twenty-five books and scores of articles. He was working on a multi-volume theology with the overarching title of The Matrix of Christian Theology.During the last decade of his life Stan had become the focus of much … [Read more...]

Two Forthcoming Books about Pietism


Two Forthcoming Books about Pietism  Reclaiming Pietism: Retrieving an Evangelical Tradition by Roger E. Olson and Christian T. Collins Winn will be published in January by Eerdmans. The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education: Forming Whole and Holy Persons edited by Christopher Gehrz will be published in January by InterVarsity Press. See for details. These two books emerge out of a decades-long project at Bethel University in Minnesota … [Read more...]

Two Books: A Recommendation and an Invitation to Read and Dialogue

Some time ago here I mentioned my favorite Christian philosopher: Keith Ward. It isn't that I agree with everything he says. He's my favorite because he is basically orthodox and writes so clearly--for those of us not trained in (for example) modal logic. (I'm not suggesting he doesn't know or use modal logic; I only mean many of his books are free of technical apparatus and yet profoundly insightful and challenging.) Lately I've been reading his book God: A Guide for the Perplexed (Oneworld, … [Read more...]