June 11, 2021

Were “Christianity’s” Evil “Bullies” True Christians? I recently received in the mail, unexpected, a complimentary copy of a new book published by Zondervan, one of my publishers: Bullies and Saints: An Honest Look at the Good and Evil of Christian History by John Dickson (Visiting Academic in the Faculty of Classics at Oxford University and Distinguished Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Public Christianity at Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia). First, let me say “thank you” to Zondervan for sending this beautiful,… Read more

June 8, 2021

Can God Change the Past? Believe it or not, this is the kind of question that I enjoy thinking and talking about—even though it is ultimately, for now, before the eschaton, unanswerable in any absolute way. Yet, I do happen to think “no” is a better answer than “yes.” If, in the eschaton, I find out I was wrong, I will not be dismayed. I will only be very surprised. We often hear Christians and others say “God can do… Read more

June 5, 2021

Must a Christian Forgive Unconditionally? This is a question many Christians (setting aside others in order to focus on people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ) forgive others unconditionally? This is a question that has haunted Christian ethics for ages and different Christian ethicists have offered opposite answers. To make the question “come alive,” here is a (possibly) hypothetical scenario (but one that many Christians have faced in specific ways): One Christian leader, highly regarded as having integrity,… Read more

May 29, 2021

Christian Denominations and Gay Marriage A few years ago I had the privilege of re-writing (editing and authoring) the 14th edition of the venerable reference book The Handbook of Denominations in the United States published by Abingdon Press. One of the changes I made was to mention each denomination’s stated policy with regard to gay marriage and homosexual sexual relations. In some cases I could not find a stated, official policy, so I contacted the headquarters and spoke or corresponded… Read more

May 26, 2021

A Guest Post Are UFOs secret technology or God’s chariots? By Ted Peters Author: Ted Peters is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and author of, UFOs: God’s Chariots? Spirituality, Ancient Aliens, and Religious Yearnings in the Age of Extraterrestrials, Career Press New Page Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1-60163-318-7. Visit his website: tedstimelytake.com. The worldwide UFO community has been waiting on tip toes for the Pentagon report to the U.S. Congress on UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena). We want… Read more

May 22, 2021

Is There Such a Thing as “Public Theology?” Recently, a major evangelical magazine hired a well-known Southern Baptist ethicist to lead their “public theology” division. This provoked a question in my mind. Is there really such a thing as “public theology?” Two words require definitions: “public” and “theology.” First, “theology.” Because the magazine in question is evangelical Christian, I assume that in this case “theology” means specifically Christian theology but not any certain denominational theological tradition. Also, I assume that… Read more

May 19, 2021

Dear Blog Friends and Followers, Please stay tuned; don’t go away! Occasionally (as now) I have to take a brief hiatus from posting anything. But I will keep moderating my blog as possible, so keep posting comments and questions. Thanks for your understanding. Roger Olson Read more

May 12, 2021

Kenotic Christology Explained and Defended Throughout my career as student and professor of theology I have often talked and written about “kenotic Christology.” I have read many books about the subject, had conversations with theological proponents and opponents of it, and sought to explain it to students—both in academic and ecclesiastical settings. In brief, kenotic Christology is the idea that the Son of God, God the Son, the Word/Logos, voluntarily decided to “set aside” (or retract) his attributes of glory… Read more

May 7, 2021

What Is the Purpose of a Christian College or University? I have been a faculty member of three Christian universities (one was called a “college” when I taught there) in succession over the past almost forty years. I have held tenured positions at two of them and now have held a named chair at one for several years. I have spoken at numerous American Christian colleges and universities and have a wide circles of acquaintances who taught or teach at… Read more

May 3, 2021

A Model for Church Discipline Recently, here, I have been advocating a return by Christians to standards of holiness that many, if not most, evangelicals have forgotten. In my experience, very few evangelical churches (and I include in that category a wide range of denominations and specific “types” of relatively conservative Protestant churches) uphold or promote any specific expectations with regard to personal conduct. In general, with many exceptions, of course (and I am not including here real fundamentalist churches),… Read more

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