Another evangelical hero passes to glory

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 Am … [Read more...]

When did "social justice" become a bad word?

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 some are trying to cast this positive and powerful concept in … [Read more...]

A new church just for academics?

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 (the usual time le … [Read more...]

Protestant purgatory?

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 (admittedly small) headline in some state B … [Read more...]

Arminian teaching regarding original sin

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 … [Read more...]

Stephen Hawking on the world without God

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 evi … [Read more...]

Quick response re: Arminian doctrine of total depravity

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 corruption of nature such t … [Read more...]