January 16, 2020

Pentecostal Theology: A Brief Description Roger E. Olson The modern Pentecostal Movement began during the first decade of the 20th century. Some who need a date for its birth choose 1906—the year of the “Azusa Street Revival” in Los Angeles. However, the movement has older roots and really became organized later as denominations and institutions were formed. Most of the first modern Pentecostals were members of so-called “Holiness” churches such as the Church of the Nazarene and other Wesley-inspired revivalist… Read more

January 15, 2020

Has Science Buried God? John Lennox Says No Recently I found and viewed an interview on Youtube that constitutes one of the best examples of Christian apologetics I have ever heard or read. Please view and listen to it. It is part of a series called “Socrates in the City.” The title is “Has Science Buried God?” The interviewer is conservative Christian writer Eric Metaxas and the interviewee is retired Oxford professor of mathematics and philosophy of science John Lennox…. Read more

January 11, 2020

A More Critical Look at Greg Boyd’s “Inspired Imperfection” In my previous post I generally agreed with Greg’s account of the Bible as inspired in the whole (plenary inspiration) but not inerrant. I think that case can be made and Greg has at least pointed in one direction for doing that (viz., God’s condescension and accommodation with regard to the human authors’ depictions of him in the OT). However, now I want to express one point of disagreement with Greg’s… Read more

January 7, 2020

Greg Boyd’s New Book about the Bible First, this is not a traditional book review; it is simply my musings about Inspired Imperfection: How the Bible’s Problems Enhance Its Divine Authority (Fortress Press, 2020). Second, Greg is my friend, so I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt in all things. However, I am not averse to raising critical questions. When we were colleagues we had wonderful arguments. We both love to argue—with the goal of “iron sharpening… Read more

January 3, 2020

Religious and Theological Categories… Recently here I argued that in the U.S. (possibly also elsewhere) many people are misusing terms, labels, and categories. The example I discussed then was “Reformed” and “Calvinist.” I have noticed that, during the past few decades, many Americans use those labels interchangeably. That is, for them, “Reformed” means “Calvinist” and vice versa. This is unhinged from historical theology. This is the problem with contemporary popular uses of terms and categories; they are becoming meaningless or… Read more

December 29, 2019

The Devolution of Christian Congregational Song Over the years of this blog (about ten) I have often broached the subject of contemporary Christian worship and especially congregational singing in contemporary worship. I have visited numerous American evangelical churches in many locales across the U.S. and heard from many people who are dismayed about what I am here calling the devolution or degradation of congregational singing in contemporary evangelical worship. I grew up in American evangelical Christianity and have taught thousands… Read more

December 27, 2019

What Church Was Like (When I Was a Child) Of course I realize that the churches I grew up in were not typical of anything—except of many like them. I would dare to say that many conservative evangelical churches in America were, in many ways, like the churches I grew up in. I use the plural “churches” because I’m remembering back to two churches—one into which I was born and in which I was spiritually nurtured during the first eleven… Read more

December 24, 2019

The Two Popes: A Great Movie… I am no movie critic, so I cannot competently comment on the production values of the Netflix movie The Two Popes. I began watching it with some fear and trepidation because my exprience has been that, with a few exceptions (e.g., The Apostle) secular movie makers almost always get religion wrong. Also, I was afraid of having to admit that I was wrong. When Francis became pope I stated here that I was not… Read more

December 20, 2019

We Interrupt This Program for an Important News Bulletin: Christianity Today and Trump In an editorial written by Christianity Today’s chief editor Mark Galli and dated December 19 (2019) the magazine calls for President Trump’s removal from office. It’s a powerful editorial that every person convinced that all evangelicals support Trump must read or else shut up. CNN, MSNBC, FOX, PBS News, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, are you all listening? Will you be fair and… Read more

December 18, 2019

Reformed or Calvinist? Or Both? An Important Distinction Recently I decided to use as my main textbook for a course in systematic theology a relatively new volume of “dogmatics” by two Dutch theologians. Like most Dutch Protestants they are Reformed. But are they Calvinists? Not necessarily. This takes some explaining, especially for American evangelicals. Here in America, for some decades now, the labels “Reformed” and “Calvinist” have been used interchangeably, as synonyms. If someone is Reformed it is assumed they… Read more

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