Why open theism doesn't even matter (very much)

A couple days ago I wrote here about the controversy over open theism among evangelicals.  I regard it as a sad episode riddled with misinformation, misrepresentation and even, too often, outright demagoguery. The tenor of the controversy is one thing; the truth status of open theism is another thing.  I was writing then primarily about the controversy.  I believe that, for the most part, it was left unfinished.  The anti-open theists, mostly Calvinists, won the day insofar as they persuaded (o … [Read more...]

A brief respite from writing…

Dear readers, Don't despair!  (As if you would!)  I will be back.  (Some of you may wish not!)  Today is the first full day of classes and I have much last minute preparing to do.  And my mind is distracted by the thought of getting to know so many students and introducing my subjects to them.  Occasionally I will skip a day (maybe even two once in a while), but let the discussions continue.  I will do my best to keep up with posting appropriate comments to the blog. … [Read more...]

Open theism: a test case for evangelicals

In the January 9, 1995 issue of Christianity Today I reviewed the then new book The Openness of God and ended by raising a question about the maturity of evangelicalism: "How do American evangelical Christians handle theological diversity? Have we come of age enough to avoid heresy charges and breast-beating jeremiads in response to a new doctrinal proposal that is so conscientiously based on biblical reflection rather than on rebellious accommodation to modern thought? This may be the test."  … [Read more...]

One more quick sidebar about clarifying Arminianism

I have forwarded posts with which I strongly disagree, but I don't have time to correct every misconception or misrepresentation of Arminianism or other theological systems.  However, I would like to clarify a couple points about classical Arminianism. Classical Arminianism does NOT say God never interferes with free will.  It says God NEVER foreordains or renders certain evil.  This relates to the issue of Arminianism and inerrancy.  An Arminian COULD believe in divine dictation of Scripture a … [Read more...]

coming up next: open theism

On Monday (the Lord willing) I will post something here about open theism and the evangelical debate about it.  For now, let me just say that I am very glad to see some of my former colleagues from that Christian liberal arts college (where I taught for 15 years) joining the discussion here.  I want to say for their benefit that during that most agonizing debate over open theism they, my colleagues, were always supportive.  Even those who did not agree with open theism were supportive of those wh … [Read more...]

How do I know the Bible is God's Word?

A common response to my rejection of the term "inerrancy" is "If the Bible contains a single error, how can we know it is God's Word?" First, let me say again: It is the TERM "inerrancy" that I reject, not the authority or trustworthiness of Scripture.  AND every inerrantist I know or have read admits there are errors in Scripture as we have it today.  Only the original autographs were inerrant in the strictest sense.  What I want is an authoritative Bible that actually exists and not one that … [Read more...]

Why inerrancy doesn't matter

I know I promised more about postconservative evangelicalism today.  Even though it may not seem directly related to a delineation of that, this post does help explicate how most postconservatives think about the inspiration and authority of the Bible. First, a strong affirmation.  As evangelicals, we postconservatives DO believe the Bible is our (and should be every Christian's) norming norm for life and belief.  Tradition is our normed norm--a secondary guide or compass that is not inf … [Read more...]