John Piper and “Christian Hedonism”

How I Became a Christian Hedonist by John Piper

John Piper and “Christian Hedonism” Some here and elsewhere have asked me about John Piper: Do I know him? What do I think of him? That’s because, I suppose, of my open opposition to “high Calvinism” (five point Calvinism) and the Young, Restless, Reformed Movement insofar as it places that theology at its center. John Piper has long been the real “guru” of that movement and he has long been a staunch advocate of high Calvinism including divine determinism.Recently I was rifling … [Read more...]

“Diversity”: A Much Desired but Often Poorly Understood Goal

“Diversity”: A Much Desired but Often Poorly Understood GoalFor most of my almost thirty-five years of full time teaching on the undergraduate and graduate levels (in American Christian higher education) “diversity” has been much discussed, promoted and debated. Everyone seems to want it, but many seem to desire something different. In other words, there is diversity of understanding of the much sought for “diversity.”My impression is this: If you went around and polled the administrat … [Read more...]

Narrative Theology Explained

A couple years ago I posted an earlier version of this here, but this is a somewhat revised and updated version--about "narrative theology," which I think is widely misunderstood (e.g., as treating the Bible as fiction). I am leading a class in reading and discussing theologian Emil Brunner's Dogmatics. For the life of  me I still cannot figure out why Barth is so wildly popular and Brunner so neglected. One thing I have discovered over the years is that Brunner's approach to theology was very … [Read more...]

Critical Thoughts about Belief in God and Modern Science…

Critical Thoughts about Belief in God and Modern Science (Using a Case Study: James Burke’s The Day the Universe Changed: Science Revises the Heavens)James Burke is a British journalist famous for making films and writing books about intellectual history for the masses. He has a unique way of presenting complex subjects about culture—philosophy, the arts, religion, politics, science—in entertaining ways. For years I have used his documentary film series “The Day the Universe Changed” in class … [Read more...]

Reflections on the Bill Gothard Phenomenom and Scandal…

Reflections on the Bill Gothard Phenomenon and Scandal (and Comparison between that Phenomenon and the Young, Restless, Reformed Movement)One of the questions most frequently asked about the “Young, Restless, Reformed Movement” (YRRM) is the reason for its popularity. People often ask me why so many young(ish) Christians are attracted to it. After all, to most observers its rise and spread seems inexplicable. Hard-core Calvinism was supposed to be dead and gone except among a few older Ref … [Read more...]

Denomination of the Week: Beachy Amish

Denomination of the Week: Beachy AmishHollywood and television routinely portray all Amish people as alike. They ride in black horse-drawn buggies and don’t own motor vehicle; the men wear beards and funny hats; the women wear plain dresses down to their ankles and with long sleeves; they all farm or make furniture; they live without electricity. Many people’s images of the Amish come from movies like “Witness” starring Harrison Ford as a big city detective who takes refuge with an Amish fami … [Read more...]

More about the Wheaton College Controversy and Christian Higher Education

According to news reports, Wheaton College (IL) is moving to fire the female political science professor who said publicly that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. I blogged about this earlier; I won't repeat what I said then. The new situation is the announced intention to fire her (previously she was only suspended) in spite of her tenure status and her saying "No one is safe." By that she apparently means that if Wheaton can fire her for what she said, that does not directly … [Read more...]