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...]

Ideal Types of Christian Responses to Gender Roles

Below is a class handout I have prepared to inform students of the primary Christian options (“ideal types”) for thinking about sex, gender and roles (of men and women) in home, church and society. Obviously a book could be written about each of these. Also obviously many individuals and organizations would prefer to be located between them (hybrids). My own study of this question, however, has led me to believe these are the five main types of thinking about this subject among American Chr … [Read more...]

John Piper Does It Again: My Response to “The Self-centeredness of Arminianism”

John Piper Does It Again: My Response to “The Self-centeredness of Arminianism”For those of you who are new to this blog or have missed reading my earlier messages here about John Piper and his many anti-Arminian messages (both in writing and in talks), let me catch you up briefly. (If you are already aware of this history or have no interest in it, please skip down to paragraph 9 below.)  I have known John Piper “from a distance” for a very long time. I first met him personally in the early … [Read more...]