Call me strange (I know some will!), but for years I’ve had an obsession with trying to figure out why equally God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving evangelical Christians think so differently and seem so easily to become hostile to one another.  Often, it seems to come down to differing views of the Bible.  These people agree with each other about fundamental Christian orthodoxy (Christology, the Trinity, resurrection, etc.) but seem to have different attitudes toward the Bible that drive them apart. On… Read more

Okay, I admit it.  The “you should be, too” part was just to get you to read this.  I don’t have any axe to grind about this and I’m not on a crusade to convert amils or postmils (are there any?) to historic premillennialism.  I admit that I would like to persuade dispensationalist premils to consider historic premillennialism as an alternative to “Left Behind” eschatology. Recently a book about historic premillennialism was published entitled The Case for Historic Premillennialism: An… Read more

When I was making my youthful transition to the wider evangelical world one of my guides was Vernon Grounds, long-time president of Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary (now Denver Seminary).  Grounds died the other day at age 96.  He was one of the most influential evangelical statesmen in America and, among other things, an expert on Bonhoeffer.  It was via his writings that I first realized that an evangelical could actually appreciate the thoughts of a non-evangelical (in the sense of… Read more

Okay, I know…”social justice” is two words!  My question is the same–when did this phrase become bad?  Do those who reject it want “social injustice?”  I can hardly imagine it (although I might think their vision of society amounts to that).  It is a sad commentary on our times when a phrase associated with compassion and the betterment of society becomes a term of approbrium.  In fact, I would go so far as to say it is a shame how… Read more

Recently I heard about a new church someone is starting on a university campus.  It is St. John Cantius Community Church.  (John Cantius is the patron saint of scholars.)  The services will be held in the library.  The minister must have a Ph.D. and tenure.  Scripture readings will be from the original languages and Latin.  All music will be classical or from the finest contemporary hymn writers (e.g., Brian Wren).  Worship will be on Sunday mornings and last exactly 80 minutes… Read more

For some years now I’ve been wrestling with the concept of purgatory and wondering whether evangelical Christians should adopt some version of it.  C. S. Lewis held to a version of purgatory while rejecting the classical Roman Catholic view. Sidebar: Once again, as I write, I am aware that some critics out there may rip what I say out of context (because they have in the past) and publicly accuse me of adopting a Roman Catholic doctrine.  I can see the… Read more

One of the purposes of this blog is to clarify Arminian theology and distinguish classical Arminianism from the all-too-common misrepresentations of it by some Calvinists, Lutherans and (ironically!) self-styled Arminians.  One point I have been trying to get across to readers (e.g., in Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities as well as in my published dialogues with Reformed theologian Michael Horton) is that much of what gets called “Arminianism” in contemporary American church life is simply semi-Pelagianism.  Through sloppy scholarship and… Read more

According to news reports, noted physicist Stephen Hawking has publicly declared that God did not create the world.  Should this shake up people?  Interestingly, just before reading the article about Hawking on line I was reviewing some excerpts from Kierkegaard’s Concluding Unscientific Postscript.  The Danish philosopher denies that Christian belief in God should depend on objective evidences such as cosmological arguments.  In fact, he argues, making faith in God depend on objective evidences and arguments undermines faith. Personally, I don’t… Read more

Contrary to one post here, “total depravity” does not necessarily include being born guilty of Adam’s sin.  Surely Ulrich Zwingli (the real father of the Reformed tradition) did not deny total depravity, but he did deny that children are born guilty of Adam’s sin.  Most Reformed Baptists deny it as well while still holding to total depravity.  All that is required for belief in total depravity is belief that all persons (except Jesus Christ) since Adam are born with a… Read more

If the header confuses you, the book’s lack of admission that it is promoting Arminianism should confuse you more.  (As it does me.)  So what’s the book?  Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism edited by Southern Baptist scholars David L. Allen and Steve W. Lemke.  It contains 11 mostly excellent chapters by Southern Baptist leaders and scholars absolutely demolishing key Calvinist doctrines.  These chapters are versions of papers presented at the John 3:16 Conference held in Georgia in… Read more




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