Can a Single Act Be Both Determined and Free?

Some Calvinists (and perhaps others) argue that, in a world ruled by God, the God of the Bible, a single creaturely act can be both determined (pre-programmed by God) and free. And they claim that there are examples of this in Scripture (e.g., Joseph's brothers selling him into slavery). Here I will point out several problems with this claim.First, no where does Scripture explicitly say that a single creaturely act was both "pre-programmed" or "determined" and "free." Admittedly, there are … [Read more...]

Memories of Stanley J. Grenz with Special Attention to Criticisms of His Theology (and Some Hitherto Unrevealed Facts)

Some Memories of Stanley J. Grenz and His Theological Journey My friend and co-author Stan Grenz died almost ten years ago. He was only fifty-five years old and in the prime of his career as a teacher and profession as a Christian theologian. He had published over twenty-five books and scores of articles. He was working on a multi-volume theology with the overarching title of The Matrix of Christian Theology.During the last decade of his life Stan had become the focus of much … [Read more...]

Two Forthcoming Books about Pietism

ReclaimingPietismCover

Two Forthcoming Books about Pietism  Reclaiming Pietism: Retrieving an Evangelical Tradition by Roger E. Olson and Christian T. Collins Winn will be published in January by Eerdmans. The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education: Forming Whole and Holy Persons edited by Christopher Gehrz will be published in January by InterVarsity Press. See Amazon.com for details. These two books emerge out of a decades-long project at Bethel University in Minnesota … [Read more...]

Two Books: A Recommendation and an Invitation to Read and Dialogue

Some time ago here I mentioned my favorite Christian philosopher: Keith Ward. It isn't that I agree with everything he says. He's my favorite because he is basically orthodox and writes so clearly--for those of us not trained in (for example) modal logic. (I'm not suggesting he doesn't know or use modal logic; I only mean many of his books are free of technical apparatus and yet profoundly insightful and challenging.) Lately I've been reading his book God: A Guide for the Perplexed (Oneworld, … [Read more...]

Thoughts about the Role of Experience in Theology: Part Two (With Special Reference to Friedrich Schleiermacher and Stanley J. Grenz)

Thoughts about the Role of Experience in Theology: Part Two (With Special Reference to Friedrich Schleiermacher and Stanley J. Grenz) Paraphrasing Kant, theology without experience is empty; experience without theology is blind. Empty of what? What would theology without experience (if that were even possible) be empty of? Transforming power and relevance. That spiritual experience without theology is blind is less controversial—especially among conservative theologians. I have d … [Read more...]

Thoughts about the Role of Experience in Theology: Part One

Thoughts about the Role of Experience in Theology: Part One I have long thought that experience does and should play a role in Christian theology, but I have also long known that’s controversial, especially among conservative Christian theologians, and that it’s difficult to define. That is, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what role experience plays and how much of a role it should play in theological reflection and especially doctrinal formulation.I think pure objectivity is … [Read more...]

Remembering and Honoring Evangelical Theologian Stanley J. Grenz (and Responding to Conservative Evangelical Criticisms of His Theology)

Remembering and Honoring Evangelical Theologian Stanley J. Grenz (and Responding to Conservative Evangelical Criticisms of His Theology) I have returned from the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature where about ten thousand religion scholars convened in sunny San Diego, California. I was invited to read a paper in one session of the Evangelical Theology Group, a program unit of the AAR, about the theology of Stanley Grenz. Stan was my … [Read more...]


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