Kierkegaard: “I Believe that We Will All Be Saved”

Following the death of Denmark's bishop Jacob Mynster, in 1854, Kierkegaard wrote this brief reflection: What the old bishop once said to me is not true--namely, that I spoke as if the others were going to hell. No, if I can be said to speak at all of going to hell then I say something like this: If the others are going to hell, then I am going along with them. But I do not believe that; on the contrary, I believe that we will all be saved and this awakens my deepest wonder. Kierkegaard did … [Read More...]

Isn’t There Such a Thing As “Loving Coercion?” A Question Posed to Tom Oord

Why Can't Love Be Coercive?I wrote a brief reflection recently, on Tom Oord's very interesting book, The Uncontrolling Love of God, which has been posted at of the essays there agree with Oord's theological perspective and are thinking along with Oord, with respect to how his theology of "essential divine kenosis" plays out in life.My essay, though, raises a question about one of the key premises of Oord's theology (and of process theism more … [Read More...]

How is Preaching the “Word of God”? Advice for Preachers, by Sam Chan

The following is an interview with Sam Chan (Ph.D., M.D.), an Aussie theologian, preacher, and medical doctor who writes and gives talks from the Bible about life, faith and work. Sam is a public speaker for City Bible Forum and works as a physician in Sydney. Sam has just published the book, Preaching as the Word of God: Answering an Old Question with Speech-Act Theory. How did you land on the subject of preaching for your main research interest (i.e. dissertation and now this … [Read More...]

Hillary Clinton’s Odds of Losing? Same as NFL Kicker Missing a Field Goal

The NY Times posted an interactive graph recently (updated today) suggesting that the probability of Hillary Clinton winning the election this November is, not surprisingly, quite high.How high? The Upshot’s elections model suggests that Hillary Clinton is favored to win the presidency, based on the latest state and national polls. A victory by Mr. Trump remains quite possible: Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an N.F.L. kicker misses a field goa … [Read More...]

The Mantra “Conservative Theology Grows Churches” Doesn’t Work Anymore

I was raised conservative evangelical (Southern Baptist). I went to a conservative evangelical seminary.If I had to count on my hands how many times I heard the mantra that "conservative, 'orthodox' theology grows churches, while liberal, 'heterodox' theology kills them," I would  quickly run out of fingers.Now there's surely some truth in the notion that conservative churches attract more people, generally speaking, than liberal ones do. There's enough ambiguity and uncertainty in life; … [Read More...]

Gravity CEO Dan Price, Symbolic Immortality, and Death Anxiety

Remember the big story last year about Dan Price, the millennial super-cool CEO of Gravity Payments who raised the minimum wage in his company to $70,000 a year?I remember it because I lauded it back then as a great thing and the kind of move that demonstrated a courageously counter-intuitive kind of leadership, reflective of values that bucked the usual corporate capitalist emphasis on profits, profits, profits.Well a lot has happened since then. An article in Esquire, "The Prophet … [Read More...]

The 10 Most Influential Progressive and Spiritual Leaders in Education (Part 1)

Fall is just around the corner. "Back to school" specials are on the shelves. So what better time for a little reflection on education?Education is something we all do, we've all experienced, and we all value. But we don't take much time to think about education.So I searched far and wide and way back into history to find the ten most influential leaders in education. The thinkers I found turned out also to be progressive (for their contexts) as well as spiritually-minded.This … [Read More...]

On Mixing Religion and Politics: Post-Convention Edition

America is notoriously and incurably religious. And political.Most Americans, it seems, like our politics to go along with a big dose of religion, too. Although, sometimes it's hard to know the difference between the two.In historian Barry Hankins fine (and entertaining) book, Jesus and Gin: Evangelicalism, the Roaring Twenties, and Today's Culture Wars, he closes with a reflection on the role of religion in politics today (published in 2010, mind you): While evangelicals join … [Read More...]

We Are Witnessing the End of Postmodernism and the Beginning of Post-Postmodernism

It's not a sexy title, but these aren't pretty times.For the past four or five decades, we've thought of ourselves as living in "postmodern times," or as under the influences of "postmodernity" or "postmodernism."The postmodern being, of course, either a reaction to modernism or an extension or intensification of it.Modernism, the previous age, involved the quest for universals, for trans-cultural knowledge, for "absolute truth." Often utopian in orientation, it was also often … [Read More...]

Kierkegaard, Unmasking the Illusion of Political Revolution

In contrast to the age of revolution, which took action, the present age is an age of publicity, the age of miscellaneous announcements: nothing happens but still there is instant publicity. An insurrection in this day and age is utterly unimaginable; such a manifestation of power would seem ridiculous to the calculating sensibleness of the age.However, a political virtuoso might be able to perform an amazing tour de force of quite another kind. He would issue invitations to a general … [Read More...]