Back by Popular Demand (But Changed)

A week ago I announced my retirement from blogging. Since then I have been inundated with messages (here but also by e-mail and telephone) of regret, appreciation, consolation and pleas to change my mind. The outpouring of such messages has been, of course, flattering and encouraging. Yet, I still wrestle with "Should I stay or should I go?" (To borrow a phrase from a contemporary television commercial.) The decision to quit blogging, once made, was a relief; I felt a huge burden lifted off my … [Read more...]

Thanks to Everyone for Your Kind Words of Appreciation!

I am sorry I am not able to respond to every appreciative comment; there have been many since I announced the end (for now) of this blog. I will miss all of you who have interacted with me even in critical ways that were civil and helpful. I feel uplifted and encouraged by the many expressions of appreciation and even regret about my decision. I hope Patheos will keep my blog alive for those who want to search for and read my past blogs.Roger Olson … [Read more...]

Some Things I Have Learned from Blogging (And a Goodbye for Now)

It's been an interesting experience. I mean blogging. I have published here somewhere around 1,200 essays--including those I posted to my blog at before joining Patheos. Recently I have begun to feel that I have said all I have to say and am simply repeating myself or saying things that do not need to be said.From this experience, writing this blog and moderating the comments (and reading and hearing private feedback), I have learned how difficult, in some cases … [Read more...]

What Is an “Evangelical?”

What Is an “Evangelical?”To learn quickly and simply what an “evangelical Christian” is you can do no better than peruse the web site of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) at There, on the web site’s “front page” you will find links to such defining tools as the NAE Statement of Faith and answer to “What Is an Evangelical?”The NAE does not claim to speak for all evangelical Christians, but it is far and away the most important and historically influential organiza … [Read more...]

Am I “Neo-Orthodox?”

Recently a student with whom I am very friendly (i.e., no adversarial relationship) informed me that he was warned--by someone not entirely supportive of his studying with me--that I am "neo-orthodox."The context of his well-intentioned comment was our class discussion of the theologies of Barth and Brunner. I was explaining what I regard as strengths and weaknesses of their theologies and together we, the class, were talking about how social context inevitaby shapes (not determines) … [Read more...]

Is American Society Descending into “Anomie?”

Is American Society Descending into “Anomie?”I learned a new term while studying theology in Germany years ago: “anomie.” Wolfhart Pannenberg liked to use it to describe a social and cultural condition of loss of meaning. Technically it means “no law,” but Pannenberg and others used it for a broader social condition.According to Pannenberg, and I agree with him, transcendence is necessary for healthy community; a society that loses its sense of transcendence eventually descends into eithe … [Read more...]

Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?

Is Donald Trump the Antichrist?Okay, I got your attention. That was almost my only intention with the question that forms the title of this essay. My main intention was to raise the question of the biblical figure of the “Antichrist” and its relevance for today’s Christianity.As with my previous blog post (about demon possession and exorcism) the concern underlying my question about the relevance of the biblical figure of the “Antichrist” for today’s Christianity is my concern about how f … [Read more...]