July 18, 2019

9.5 Theses about Evangelical Christianity 1. Evangelical Christianity is not a movement. There have been evangelical movements; there are movements composed mostly of evangelicals. “Evangelical Christianity” is a spiritual-theological ethos found somewhere in almost every orthodox Christian denomination. 2. Evangelical Christianity at its best is orthodox Christianity with special emphasis on the Bible as the inspired and authoritative Word of God written and on the importance of individual decision decision to repent and trust in Jesus Christ and his cross… Read more

July 17, 2019

What This Blog Is For: From Roger Olson Some people who comment here seem not to understand the purpose of this blog. So this is for you—if you are at all ignorant of or confused about the purpose of this blog and why I do not approve all comments. I started this blog off the Patheos platform and was then invited to join the Patheos family of bloggers. I did. So, first of all, Patheos’s rules govern what can and… Read more

July 12, 2019

The New American Evangelical Liturgy Over the years I have had the blessing and curse of visiting numerous (very broadly defined) evangelical Christian churches in the United States. I have spoken in many and simply visited many unnoticed. They were of many different denominations spanning the entire spectrum of historic, classical evangelicalism: Pentecostal, fundamentalist, “Third Wave,” conservative Presbyterian, Reformed, Adventist, Lutheran, Wesleyan, independent, etc. One thing I have noticed especially in recent years is a convergence of worship styles. No… Read more

July 9, 2019

Where Is America Going? Why Is There Not More Outrage? Today (when I write this) is July 4, otherwise known as “Independence Day” in the United States. People are celebrating the country’s open rebellion against its monarch—something most conservative Christians in the U.S. think would be wrong based on Romans 13—except for us. We are exceptional. Numerous churches throughout the U.S. celebrated America with “patriotric hymns” and readings and even sermons, some even with flag-waving bands and marchers in the… Read more

July 6, 2019

The Humpty Dumpty Syndrome In recent discussion here—going back to my post about the problems I see in unlimited pluralism—some people have disagreed with my opinion, expressed in my previous post “On Taking Satanists Seriously,” that I/we should not take their speech acts, performative utterances, self-chosen labels, seriously insofar as they claim that we should not take them seriously. Here I want to give some examples from my own life experiences of the dilemma and conundrum I have faced with… Read more

July 3, 2019

On Taking Satanists Seriously Before reading this you must look back at the immediately preceding blog post where I talked about problems with unlimited pluralism. There I gave the example of a U.S. court ordering an Alaska government entity to allow a self-identified Satanist, member of a Temple of Satan, to take her turn giving the traditional “invocation” at the opening of the entity’s public meeting. According to news reports she ended her “talk” with “Hail Satan!” Some people walked… Read more

July 1, 2019

Is Unlimited Pluralism Really a Good Idea? Two things came to my attention via the print media at the same time. One was an opinion essay published in my local newspaper. It was syndicated. In other words, my local newspaper picked it up from some other news source and re-published it. The author was a scholar of constitutional law. In it he strongly criticized the U.S. Supreme Court for allowing a huge cross to stand on public land in memory… Read more

June 27, 2019

My Response to John Piper Regarding “The Heart of the Calvinist-Arminian Divide” Before reading this you should read and/or watch/listen to John Piper’s June 24, 2019 explanation of his perspective on the “heart of the Calvinist-Arminian Divide.” (You can locate it by using a search engine to find “John Piper” and “The Heart of the Calvinist-Arminian Divide Desiring God” (key words). First let me say that I am flattered that Dr. Piper considers me a worthy proponent of classical Arminianism… Read more

June 24, 2019

Is Paradox Something Good in Christian Doctrine? A friend recently forwarded to me a sermon series announcement. It is about a planned series of sermons by his pastor. The church is a mainline Protestant congregation, the largest congregation in the state, and is quite evangelical and even quasi-charismatic (in style of worship). The “paradoxes” the pastor plans to preach about—as paradoxes—are, among others, the Trinity and the Person of Jesus Christ (his humanity and divinity) and “predestination and free will.”… Read more

June 19, 2019

Why Compatibilism is Unbiblical and an Example of Philosophy Undermining Scripture First, what is “compatibilism?” Put most simply it is the view of free will that says it is compatible with determinism. In other words, with compatibilism one can believe in both free will and determinism (the belief that everything that happens including human decisions and actions) are determined. The alternative is “non-compatibilism” or “libertarian free will” which means that free will is “power of contrary choice.” It is the… Read more

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