Follow Up to My Post about Marriage

This is an addendum to my immediately preceding post regarding marriage.Many people apparently did not grasp the whole proposal--especially people who said my proposal is already the case.Every church I know fully recognizes as covenant marriage (marriage of two people in God's sight) what I am calling civil unions performed by government officials (e.g., justices of the peace). Every church I know still requires a civil marriage license to perform covenant marriages. This may not be … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts (and a Proposal) about the Religion and Marriage Issue

Some Thoughts (and a Proposal) about the Religion and Marriage IssueIt seems to me the next step in separation of church and state is one religious organizations should take. They should be proactive. Take the proverbial ball into their own court and decide and announce, very publically, that only they will decide for themselves who is and who is not married. This is the natural parallel with religious organizations alone deciding who is and who is not ordained.In “old Europe” gov … [Read more...]

The Absurdity of “Higher Criticism” of the Gospels…

The Absurdity of “Higher Criticism” of the Gospels as Illustrated in a NovelBefore anything else, let me say that I do not reject all “biblical criticism.” In fact, in one sense, “criticism” simply means “scholarly study” of something. “Literary criticism” is the scholarly study of literature. In other words, the very mention of “critical study of Scripture” is signifies nothing bad. There are various types and approaches to biblical criticism; not all of them are negative or destructive of t … [Read more...]

Arminius’s Reformed Doctrine of Justification

Arminius’s Reformed Doctrine of JustificationThis should be read ONLY in light of my previous post here “Arminian Doctrine of Justification Again Disputed” (May 28, 2015). There I expressed dismay at the continuing Reformed misrepresentation of Arminius’s and classical Arminians’ doctrine of justification—as closer to a Catholic understanding than to a classical Protestant and Reformed doctrine.Some commenters have responded to my blog post by asking whether Arminius himself believed in t … [Read more...]

Arminian Doctrine of Justification Again Disputed

Occasionally I'm asked to look at something on the internet about Arminian theology. It seems that, once again, a conservative Reformed scholar is challenging Arminian theology--as closer to Catholic doctrine than to Reformation doctrine. The issue this time, as often, is "justification." The accusation is that Arminius and the Remonstrants denied the classical Reformed doctrine of justification and that was the main reason they were criticized and excommunicated by the Reformed.The article … [Read more...]

A Grandfather’s Advice to His Black Teen Grandson

Dear Beloved Grandson,Be afraid. Be very afraid. You shouldn't have to be, but in today's America you need to be constantly on your guard.Or maybe "afraid" isn't the right word. Be vigilant and very careful. Especially around police.Wait. Don't hate police; not all of them are your enemies. But given the plethora of police attacks, using deadly force, on black boys and men, be vigilant around them. And that means be vigilant whenever you are out in public.I recently gave you a … [Read more...]

Calling for Total Transparency by Churches

Recently I was chatting with a Christian magazine editor and the subject of the "nones" (about which I recently blogged) came up. The question on everyone's mind is, of course, how to attract "nones" back to church or at least how to keep millennials (many of who are perceived as abandoning church altogether) in the churches. One strategy that's floating around is to hide, or at least not talk about, sin and repentance because supposedly millennials have no particular feelings of guilt. This … [Read more...]