August 2, 2020

Second (or Third) Thoughts about Situation Ethics (Part One) I recently completed a second or third reading of the famous or infamous 1960s book Situation Ethics: The New Morality by American Protestant theologian and ethicist Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991). It was first published in 1966 and was widely lumped together with other radical theological proposals published around the same time such as Honest to God by John A. T. Robinson, The Gospel of Christian Atheism by Thomas Altizer, and The Secular… Read more

July 30, 2020

Why an Income Tax Is the Only Fair Tax *I write here as a Christian ethicist, but I think what I argue does not depend on Christianity* When I was a kid growing up in the capital city of a state in the Upper Midwest of the U.S. my parents had to pay a “personal property tax” every year. I don’t recall whether it was imposed by the city, the county or the state or some combination (as with most… Read more

July 25, 2020

A Really Good Reformed Systematic Theology I’m sure many people will think it ironic that I, Roger Olson, an outspoken Arminian, recommend the same systematic theology/dogmatics as does Michael Horton! The relatively new, one volume systematic theology/dogmatics is Christian Dogmatics: An Introduction by two Dutch theologians: Cornelis van der Kooi and Gijsbert van den Brink (Eerdmans, 2017). Thanks to the publisher who sent me the 806 page (including bibliographies) volume free! At first I set it aside thinking: How can… Read more

July 22, 2020

Something Interesting…about Many Comments Here…and a Question… Some of my recent blog essays (“musings”) here have been about history. For example, I wrote about how Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and what role Christians played in that. I also wrote about the beginning obvious signs of totalitarianism in certain South American countries. These are events everyone should know about. Many do not know about them. My point was simply that those who fail to learn history are doomed… Read more

July 19, 2020

How Would It Begin? The Early Signs of Totalitarianism One day some nonviolent protesters against police brutality are walking together down a city center street near their encampment. They have not broken any federal laws but are suspected of being anarchists. The state, county and local police have not issued warrants for their arrest or for the arrest of their comrades. They authorities have chosen to let them camp out downtown and exercise their right to free speech. A few… Read more

July 16, 2020

A Little Known Footnote to Evangelical History: Love of Jews Wikimedia Commons Anti-Semitism is the word used for hatred of Jews, whether explicit or implicit, even unconscious. I once knew a man, a Presbyterian elder, who vehemently denied that he was anti-Semitic but expressed the opinion that the Jews of Europe “brought it on themselves”—referring to the Holocaust. That’s by any definition anti-Semitism (and I told him so). Many people wrongly think that evangelical Christians are anti-Semitic. I have been… Read more

July 12, 2020

The Untold Story of How Hitler Came to Power in Germany (Wikimedia Commons) “Untold story” doesn’t mean what it sounds like. Of course the stories have been told. What “untold story” usually indicates is that the story is not widely known—and should be. Personally, I don’t know of any one “place” (book, film) where this particular story has been fully told, but it probably exists. I have pieced the story together from various sources—including living in Germany where it all… Read more

July 9, 2020

Jesus versus Paul: A Sign of Liberal Theology? Let me just say right off the bat that, as a scholar of modern theology, pitting Jesus against Paul and Paul against Jesus has been a hallmark of liberal Protestant theology since the Enlightenment. But even Thomas Jefferson couldn’t accept everything Jesus said so he created what has come to be known as “The Jefferson Bible” which is really titled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. Every Christian I have… Read more

July 6, 2020

Evangelicals and Trump According to a recent news report, Pew Research says that approximately 75% (give or take some) of white evangelicals think Trump is currently doing a good job as president—indicating they will vote for him again this year. (The new report said “about seventy percent but the web site said about eighty percent so I’m going with seventy-five percent.) Here are my thoughts about this… *Sidebar: The opinions expressed here are my own (or those of the guest… Read more

July 2, 2020

Now I Support Government Funding of Religious Schools (Not) *Satire Warning* *Note: I had to put “satire warning” after the title above just because hard experience has taught me that many people are satire-challenged. Even with the strongest hints they don’t get that something is satirical. Also: IF you choose to comment on this blog post, remember that this is not a discussion board; it is a moderated blog and I will not approve and post here comments that are… Read more

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