Is there one evangelicalism?

Recently I heard that author Anne Rice is "quitting Christianity."  According to reports I have heard and read, she believes the term "Christian" is too fraught with connotations of extreme right-wing politics.  She prefers simply to be called a "Jesus-follower." I don't have that problem with the label "Christian."  I don't give up on good labels easily; I prefer to try to invest them with positive meaning rather than simply discard them because of misconceptions in the popular mind.Many of … [Read more...]

Diversity of Calvinism/Reformed theology

One person responding to one of my postings said something about the diversity of Arminianism compared to Calvinism.  The thrust of his message, as I recall, was that Arminianism is so much more diverse than Calvinism that it makes it difficult to respond to Arminianism. I argue that Calvinism or Reformed theology today is just as diverse if not more diverse than Arminianism.About Arminian diversity: Yes, among Arminians today one can find disagreement about God's foreknowledge and the u … [Read more...]

Two new books about evangelicalism

Occasionally I will review or just recommend (or not) books here.  Yesterday I received a new book Baker kindly sent me.  It is by two old friends--Steve Wilkens and Don Thorsen.  The title is Everything You Know about Evangelicals Is Wrong (Well, Almost Everything).  The sub-subtitle is An Insider's Look at Myths and Realities. From the table of contents: Evangelicals Are Not All Mean, Stupid, and Dogmatic. Evangelicals Are Not All Waiting for the Rapture, Evangelicals Are Not All Anti-evol … [Read more...]

A word about the parable…

Returning to the parable I posted here Monday: A parable is a story that is intended to make one single point.  In that a parable is different from an allegory.  This parable of mine (viz., the Calvinist professor and the ungrateful student) makes one point and one point only: that a gift freely received is no less a gift.  Many Calvinists are fond of claiming that Arminians diminish the sheer graciousness of salvation by saying the person must freely accept it.  They claim this free acceptance o … [Read more...]

A modest proposal to end the gay marriage debate

Recently a federal court struck down as unconstitutional California's Proposition 8 that made gay marriage illegal in that state.  It seems this debate over marriage is never going to end until everyone is satisfied which isn't likely to happen.  Both gays (and their advocates) and conservatives have dug in their heels and there doesn't seem much room for compromise.I suggest this compromise for consideration although I'm not committed to it.  I would just like to see voices on both sides di … [Read more...]

Grace and free will: a parable

A Calvinist seminary professor lectured on the incompatibility of salvation by grace alone through faith alone and belief that in order to be saved a person must freely accept the grace of God.  "Arminianism makes the individual person's free choice the decisive factor in his salvation.  Therefore, in his theology, salvation cannot be a free gift.  By choosing it freely the person is contributing something to his own salvation.  That's a meritorious work and therefore his salvation would not be a … [Read more...]

Changing the subject: church music

I find the weekend a good opportunity to change subjects (even if only temporarily).  Most of us will be attending worship services this weekend.  What kind of music will we hear and sing?  As a theologian I am dismayed at the turn taken in worship music (especially congregational singing) in the last two to three decades.  As a professor of theology teaching mostly Christian undergraduates and seminary students I've noticed a very definite decline in their understanding of Christian doctrine and … [Read more...]