“Evangelical” Is Not a Political Identity

The following essay was written for and distributed by InsideSources.com. It has been published so far by the Detroit News. Other subscribing publications may pick it up from InsideSources. “Evangelical” Is Not a Political IdentityRoger E. OlsonFoy Valentine Professor of Christian Theology and EthicsGeorge W. Truett Theological SeminaryBaylor University Time magazine declared 1976 the “Year of the Evangelical.” Before that most Americans had little idea w … [Read more...]

Stanley Hauerwas and the Church

Time magazine declared Stanley Hauerwas "America's best theologian." That was in 2001. His response to the encomium was " 'best' is not a theologial category."Hauerwas has long been a controversial theologian and ethicist--especially since his book (published Gifford Lectures) With the Grain of the Universe in which he blasted Reinhold Niebuhr as not Christian. Of course, he was referring to Niebuhr's theology and ethics, not his personal salvation.One Hauerwas critic I read rightly (I … [Read more...]

Keeping Good Company

A week ago I was in very good company at a university Ph.D. dissertation defense. David Cramer passed with flying colors and is now an editor at Baker Publishing Co. His dissertation was a (I would say) successful attempt to show that Christian social ethicists Rauschenbusch, Niebuhr and Yoder belong to one tradition. In other words, they had much more in common than usually thought. I look forward to the book (if not the movie!). Thanks to the university Religion Department for allowing me to … [Read more...]

Democracy Is Fragile: “It” Can Happen Here: A Lesson from History

Democracy Is Fragile; “It” Can Happen Here: A Lesson from HistoryAnyone who has studied the political situation in Germany between the two World Wars (1920s through 1930s) knows several things. The so-called “Weimar Republic” was an attempt by Germany at something relatively new there—representative democracy. Before World War 1 Germany had been a constitutional monarchy that functioned as a plutocracy. A relatively small cabal of wealthy and powerful people ran the country giving limited pow … [Read more...]

Make a Difference–for Boys

Long time readers will already know that I have a concern about boys being left behind by American society. I am not alone, but too few influencers speak up on behalf of boys and young men who struggle to find their place in this rapidly changing economy and social climate that prefers females. There must be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of non-profit organizations devoted to girls and women. How many are devoted to boys and young men? Very few, apparently.Witness... Whenever I go to America … [Read more...]

About Commenting Here….

This morning, after posting my essay about the Bible and genocide yesterday, I found almost sixty comments waiting for my moderation. (Some came in while I was reading ones already here when I opened my blog messages!) Given my limited time (and patience), please follow these guidelines when commenting:Keep your comments relatively brief (no more than 250 words). Do not expect your comment to appear here if you misrepresent what I wrote or engage in ad hominem argumentation or wander off … [Read more...]

If God Once (upon a Time) Commanded Genocide…

If God Once (upon a Time) Commanded Genocide…Earlier here (e.g., in my review of Kenton Sparks’ book Sacred Word, Broken Word) I questioned whether the biblical “texts of terror” should be interpreted literally. I pointed out that the church fathers, almost without exception, interpreted them allegorically. Just the other day I was talking with a conservative evangelical layman who is a self-taught theologian and member of an Evangelical Free congregation in the Upper Midwest. Somehow our con … [Read more...]