Endorsements of “A Complicated Pregnancy: Whether Mary Was a Virgin and Why It Matters””

With the release of my forthcoming book, A Complicated Pregnancy: Whether Mary Was a Virgin and Why It Matters,  closer on the horizon, I thought I’d share the endorsements it’s received–as a bit of a preview. I think very highly of each of these scholars and I’m honored by their confidence in the book. Incidentally, I’m also completing a study guide to accompany the book. If you’re interested in using the book for a group study, complimentary copies of that… Read more

10 Very Good Books on the Reformation and Martin Luther

As we anticipate the celebration of the 500th year anniversary of the Reformation, I put together a “top ten list” of some of the best (and mostly recent) books on the history, theology, and legacy of the Reformation. This list is, perhaps predictably, tilted a bit heavily to Luther and the Reformation in Germany. A different or supplementary list could be provided that gives the best books on Calvin, Zwingli, the Radical Reformers, etc. This list includes some books that… Read more

The Political Power of Bible Translation (Tyndale’s New Testament)

One of the first things you learn in seminary–assuming you pay attention–is that all translations are interpretations. There’s no better illustration of that than what we find in Peter Marshall’s impressive tome, Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation. As the 500 year anniversary of the Reformation approaches, we here all sorts of things about Luther and the 95 theses. But what sometimes gets overlooked is the role that Bible translations–both pre-Luther (Wyclife) and during Luther’s time (Tyndale)–played in setting… Read more

Would You Use the Flag as a Strainer? (What the Anthem Conflict is Really About)

Let’s talk about the flag and the anthem. But let’s try to get closer to the bottom of all the brouhaha–the indignation directed toward the simple action of taking a knee during the national anthem. American football is supposed to be, you know, American–like apple pie. But these players who are choosing to protest racial injustices are disturbing our (existential) peace. It’s un-American (they say)! It’s un-patriotic (they say)! Why does a seemingly innocuous and certainly harmless peaceful protest elicit… Read more

7 Reasons Why I Won’t Sign the New Protestant Confession of Faith

There’s a new Protestant confession in town. It’s called–perhaps surprisingly– “A Reforming Catholic Confession.” The adjective “Catholic” intends the original meaning of the word,”universal.” Public Domain (CC0) via Publicdomainpictures.net But this confession isn’t really that universal, because it’s a distinctly and intentionally Protestant confession. Confused? The occasion for the drafting of this new doctrinal affirmation (“confession,” perhaps because many Protestants don’t like “creeds”) is the upcoming celebration of the 500th year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Legend has it that… Read more

The Problem With Liberal Christianity (From the Perspective of a Radical Christian)

Dorothy Sölle, a radical Christian theologian (her memoir is sub-titled Memoir of a Radical Christian), begins her book, Thinking About God, with an incisive critique of modern liberal Christianity. She was no fan of fundamentalist evangelical theology, but she provides an interesting and perhaps still timely two-pronged critique of the liberal end of Euro-American Christianity. In the first part, she claims that liberal Christianity’s insistence upon the separation of church and state is naive and self-defeating. The attempt to keep… Read more

Should We Pray For God’s Protection From Hurricanes?

I’m going to shift gears for a while with my blogging. Instead of trying to come up with my definitive response to various cultural happenings, I’m going to ask more questions. Or, I’ll questions that other people are asking me. And I may venture an answer to the question. Or I may not. Like this one, which someone asked me the other day–someone who had Hurricane Irma in mind: “Is it legitimate to pray for God to spare people from… Read more

The Inconsistent Docetism of Evangelical Theology

OK, here’s another thought I had about the so-called “Nashville Statement” that’s been buzzing around social media.   Conservative evangelicals are some of the most docetic Christians around, in my experience. By docetic, I mean they tend to differentiate between spiritual and material, and elevate the spiritual over the material. Docetism was an early Christian heresy, a belief about Jesus Christ which was condemned as inadequate at the Council of Nicaea (325). It held that Jesus only appeared to be… Read more

On the Nashville Statement, Paradigm Shifts, and the Kingdom of God

Jonathan Merritt has an interesting take on the “Nashville Statement,” a conservative Christian “manifesto” (that’s the word John Piper used) that, among many other things, declares that: *There are “divinely ordained differences between male and female,” *There is a “God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female” *Denies that “adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.” And yes, according to these evangelical signatories, one can simply “adopt” a… Read more

A Scholar on Why Evangelicals Love Trump: Not Abortion, but Racism

While many of Trump’s advisory board members (business, arts) jumped ship following his (widely perceived to be) inadequate response to Charlottesville, his white evangelical advisors have remained steadfastly by his side–with only one exception. The unflinching support of Trump by the likes of Robert Jeffress, Paula White, Jerry Falwell, Jr., have raised an identity crisis for many in the evangelical movement–not to mention a massive PR problem. Some apologists point to Trump’s (however evolved and recent) “pro-life” position and his… Read more

Follow Us!