How an Old Religious Idea “Trickles Down” into Contemporary American Politics One of my observant and astute blog visitors pointed me to the current issue of The Atlantic—an influential American magazine filled with in depth cultural and political analysis and commentary. The following article in the December 5, 2017 issue (on line) caught his attention and mine: “God’s Plan for Mike Pence” by McKay Coppins. For those of you who are not Americans, Mike Pence is the current Vice President… Read more

During the last few years I have noticed this happening: An easy tendency to capitulate to “secular Christmas” within the churches and institutions. Read more

I don’t know any evangelical Christians who would admit that they are “reinventing” Christianity, but I do wonder just how flexible true Christianity is. Read more

A Memorable Day: November 22, 1963 Today is November 22, 2017. Do you remember where you were when….? This is a question that used to be asked commonly—especially in the U.S. The rest of the question was “John F. Kennedy was assassinated?” “Do you remember where you were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated?” I do. But Kennedy wasn’t the only important person to die that awful day in 1963. On that fateful day C. S. Lewis died as did… Read more

A Personal Perspective on Black and White Evangelicalism These are merely thoughts based on my own, personal history, my historical researches, and my inner anguish—over the state of American evangelicalism. I apologize for any concern, consternation or other harm my thoughts may cause anyone. I welcome thoughtful, civil responses. My own spiritual-theological identity has always, for sixty-five years, been “evangelical.” I won’t go into all the reasons for that, but only say that I grew up and remain evangelical in… Read more

Can There Be Ambiguity without Ambivalence in Christian Existence? This is a question I’ve been wrestling with for many years without quite being able to express it in this way (see the title above). Put another way, is it possible, as an authentic Christian, to place a question mark over all formal, doctrinal beliefs while at the same time experiencing no ambivalence about the reality behind the doctrines? By “putting a question mark over” I don’t mean denying them; I… Read more

Is there any way in which God can change? Read more

American Lutheran Theologians I Have Known *Note: If you wish to skip over all the autobiographical reports and reflections and go directly to my thoughts about Robert Jenson, perhaps America’s most creative and influential Lutheran theologian of the past few decades, go directly (way down) to the paragraph that begins with “My agreement with Jenson….” This past week (October 31, 2017) some Protestants were celebrating and others “commemorating” the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century which, allegedly, began on October… Read more

A Neglected Theory of the Atonement? (The “Governmental Theory”) *Preface: This is an old blog post that I have edited and amended. When I first wrote and posted it here some years ago I intentionally did not mention the atonement theory’s name. Because of some discussion here lately, however, I am naming it “up front.” You will notice some differences in writing and editing between the original essay and the materials I have added (e.g., capitalization of atonement theories, etc.)…. Read more

 Words and Imagery of Isaiah’s “Suffering Servant” in the New Testament Attributed to Jesus (By “attributed to Jesus” I only mean the imagery is attached to Jesus by the NT authors, clearly indicating that they thought of Jesus as the final fulfillment of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah.) *Sidebar: The opinions expressed here are my own (or those of the guest writer); I do not speak for any other person, group or organization; nor do I imply that the opinions… Read more

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