Stretching the Evangelical Tent Right and Not Left

Stretching the Evangelical Tent Right and Not LeftI’ve long advocated a “big tent” view of “evangelical Christianity”—here and in my published writings. My tendency has long been to accept as authentically evangelical any Christian who claims to be evangelical and who fits the basic profile generally accepted by evangelical historians of the movement: George Marsden, Donald W. Dayton, Mark Noll, David Bebbington, Randall Balmer, et al.Some people naturally want to know why it matters. Who … [Read more...]

An Oldie But Goodie: Nationalism Distinguished from Patriotism

I rarely repeat posts here, but I think this old one (2011) is worth posting again.I’ve become increasingly concerned that many American Christians (and perhaps especially evangelicals) confuse patriotism with nationalism to the extent that idolatry lurks close by.Patriotism is love for one’s country without blinders about its flaws and defects.  Patriotism seeks to actualize the highest and best ideals of one’s country which can sometimes look like disloyalty to nationalists.  Nationa … [Read more...]

Must Gays Be Offended?

Must Gays Be Offended?One reader of this blog, whose opinions expressed here I usually find constructive and helpful (even when I don’t agree) suggested in her comment that refusing to refer to civil unions as marriages is offensive to gay persons. I understand this challenge, but, at the same time, think that persons should not be offended if others, driven by conscience and/or religious conviction, call their unions “civil unions” rather than marriages.Gays need to recognize that conse … [Read more...]

Strange Church Names: An Opportunity to Participate

A friend mentioned this church to me because he thought the name was unusual (to say the least): Cheers, the Church. It's a Pentecostal church in British Columbia, Canada.I invite you to suggest church names here for the (mythical) award of "strangest church name." The only restrictions are these: The existence of the church must be verifiable (but don't post hyperlinks!), the church must not exist only on the web, the church must actually meet weekly, the church's name must be "family … [Read more...]

And Now…What Conservative Churches Must Do

Churches that believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman now must decide what to do--in light of the Supreme Court's ruling. Will they simply go along with the government and recognize legislative and judicial rulings as valid for them or will they resist? And what would it say about them if they simply bow to the high court's ruling and begin accepting gay unions as legitimate marriages? If not, will they begin to recognize the inconsistency between resisting in this case and … [Read more...]

Is the “New Apostolic Reformation Movement” a Cult?

Is the “New Apostolic Reformation Movement” a Cult?Over the past several years I have received many e-mails asking for my opinion about something called the “New Apostolic Reformation Movement” (NARM). A few acquaintances have expressed profound concern about it—fearing that it might be an attempt by some conservative Christians to take over America for Christian fundamentalism. I have heard it briefly alluded to in some new broadcasts and commentaries—always as sinister if not downright pern … [Read more...]

“Reformed Arminianism?” Another Book about Arminian Theology

“Reformed Arminianism?” Another Book about Arminian Theology Reviewed: J. Matthew Pinson’s Arminian and Baptist: Explorations in a Theological Tradition (Randall House, 2015)At the very end of his excellent book Arminian and Baptist Free Will Baptist theologian J. Matthew Pinson reviews by book Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities (InterVarsity Press) and, while praising it, criticizes me for glossing over what he considers very real and deep differences among evangelical Arminians. He supp … [Read more...]