If you could be God, what kind of God would you be? A God of power like Zeus, or of heathen revelry like Dionysus? Would you ever consider becoming the God who becomes a lowly neighbor who is pushed off history’s stage with all who are marginalized? While Nietzsche’s version of Dionysus is not given to debauchery, but tragic heroism, nonetheless, the will to power doctrine entails that his Dionysus contends against Jesus, the crucified Messiah, who is the lowly… Read more

In his Vietnam War sermon titled “Beyond Vietnam” delivered on April 4, 1967—one year to the day of his assassination (April 4, 1968), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of the need to move from a culture of things to a culture of persons. King was a personalist by upbringing and by formal education. In the definitive work on King’s personalist orientation, God and Human Dignity: The Personalism, Theology, and Ethics of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rufus Burrow, Jr. writes… Read more

As radical and as progressive as they were in their historical contexts, Kant, Hegel and Schleiermacher may appear to many today as bourgeois, defenders of the status quo in Germanic philosophy and theology (Refer to these posts on Kant, Hegel, and Schleiermacher). Who might the “many” be, or include? In a footnote to my recent Schleiermacher post, I reference Gary Dorrien’s discussion of Gustavo Gutiérrez’sassessment of progressivist theology. Here is Dorrien: The disjuncture between liberationist and progressivist theologies is revealed,… Read more

Jesus’ victory doesn’t end on Easter. It lasts forever. Just ask the author of Hebrews who encouraged his congregation enduring suffering not to give up but persevere. Their reward awaits them and will last forever in view of Jesus’ lasting work on their behalf. Hebrews 7-10 get at various aspects of how resilient and everlasting God’s saving work on their behalf really is. First, Jesus’ priesthood is eternal. It does not belong to the Aaronic order, but to the order… Read more

In “Evangelical Theology in the 19th Century,” Karl Barth writes, “There is hardly any doubt that the distinctive beginnings of 19th-century theology coincide with the publication of Schleiermacher’s book, On Religion, Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers in 1799.”[1] T. F. Torrance claims that perhaps the principal characteristic trait of this movement was the conviction “that theology and even biblical exegesis could only be pursued within the framework of the accepted or prevailing Weltanschauung or a generally intelligible view of the… Read more

I appreciate Hegel’s effort to unite the disparate domains in Kant’s philosophy. To repeat a quotation I used last week, Kant’s system leaves human beings in a precarious situation: How is freedom to be instantiated or to take effect in the world of nature, if the latter is governed by causality and mechanistically determined by the laws of nature? How is the causality of the natural world reconcilable with what Kant calls ‘the causality of freedom’? How, to allude to… Read more

The Book of Hebrews presents Jesus as a faithful high priest who offered himself up as a spotless lamb of sacrifice whose blood was shed to atone for us and cleanse us of our sins. In response to this claim, some readers of this post may be asking, “OK, so what?” High priests. Lambs of sacrifice. Blood. It may prove difficult for many people today to see the need for Jesus as a faithful high priest who offers himself up… Read more

Tom Krattenmaker is an award-winning author and journalist. His most recent volume is titled Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower: Finding Answers in Jesus for Those Who Don’t Believe. Tom is a good friend with whom I enjoy robust conversations on spirituality and contemporary culture. The following interview is part of a series with Tom about the subject matter of his book. Paul Louis Metzger (PLM): Tom, your chapter “Sexploitation” is a prophetic challenge to people of all walks of life in… Read more

The history of faith and science is a tumultuous struggle on most accounts. Immanuel Kant’s philosophy reflects key elements of the struggle. In his Critique of Pure Reason, he writes of having limited or denied knowledge to make room for faith. For those who follow Kant’s lead, one could no longer make claims of factual knowledge of God. Knowledge of the factual kind was limited to the realm of physics. Kant thereby filled the metaphysical gap reserved for deity in… Read more

The news outlets over the past several months and recent days have highlighted sexual exploitation and abuse in politics, entertainment, business, and elsewhere. While not all of the headlines have been about the exploitation of women and girls, most of them have been. On International Women’s Day, we are reminded of how often women are exploited, endangered, and minimized, and of the need to highlight their infinite value as humans. Not just today, but every day, we need to elevate… Read more

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