October 20, 2019

Review of Lovin’ On Jesus: A Concise History of Contemporary Worship Plus Thoughts about “Contemporary Christian Music” Background: Recently here I argued that real Christian worship cannot happen with a “concert atmosphere.” I examined a church’s web site because someone asked me to. There I saw a comment, under “About Us,” that said the church worships with a “concert atmosphere.” I was pleased that at least the church admits it and dismayed that any church would do that. To me,… Read more

October 17, 2019

Surprises in the History of Christian Ethics Lately I have been reading a great deal of primary and secondary literature about Christian ethics—beginning with the ancient church fathers. (In my opinion, Richard Hayes’s The Moral Vision of the New Testament more than adequately covers New Testament ethics, so my book will begin with the second century church fathers.) I have run into some very startling ideas about the right way to live the Christian life—in the church fathers and in… Read more

October 12, 2019

Should Christian Worship Happen with a “Concert Atmosphere?” Recently someone seeking a church to attend asked me to examine a church’s web site and give them advice about the church, from its web site, before they visit it. I have examined numerous church web sites in that city and visited many churches there. So, that church’s web site revealed the following. And I must say, after examining numerous churches’ web sites and visiting many of the churches in that metropolitan… Read more

October 9, 2019

Our God Reigns (But How?) *This is a sermon I preached recently. I think I posted it here once before, so if it sounds familiar, that’s why. However I have a good reason to post it here again.* One of our favorite truths is that “our God reigns.” The Bible clearly tells us and our experience confirms—that God is the ruler over all. I whole heartedly affirm that great truth—but with one reservation, qualification. It has to do with another… Read more

October 5, 2019

A Scholar Who Denied Sex/Gender Difference Recants How well I remember first being told that there is no difference between males and females, men and women, boys and girls—except anatomy and socially assigned roles. That was sometime in the 1980s. Over the years since then, I have witnessed how popular this denial has become especially in academic circles. To make a very complicated “story” simple, I will boil this denial down to its bare elements. According to this narrative about… Read more

October 2, 2019

Trump and the Rhetoric of Tyranny I used to see a bumper sticker on cars that said “If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention.” That is my message to all of my fellow Americans today. In recent days America’s head of state and head of government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces has been more than implying that he believes critics and whistle-blowers undermining his presidency are traitors. According to one recording (according to news reports) he said of… Read more

September 29, 2019

An Ethical Dilemma Posed in a Stephen King Novel What if…the world, humanity, could only be saved from total obliteration by torturing children to death? Spoiler alert! If you intend to read King’s latest novel The Institute you may not want to read this as it contains some details about the plot. I will not, however, give away the ending. The Institute is not your typical King novel if there is such a thing. It’s not exactly a horror story… Read more

September 24, 2019

Is Christianity Culturally Relative? A Question for Christians to Consider Many Christian academics, especially in the social sciences and religious studies (including theology and missiology) claim that every culture in the world has the right to develop its own form of Christianity without any interference from other cultures—especially European and American cultures. I have had this conversation with numerous Christian anthropologists, missiologists, and theologians. Many of them are former missionaries and Bible translators. I well remember two or three former… Read more

September 20, 2019

What If Universalism Were True? A Question for Evangelical Christians Especially Throughout Christian history some Christian theologians have believed that eventually everyone will be saved. That’s putting it simply, perhaps simplistically. There are many types of “universalism” among Christians throughout history. Let’s look at two main types. First, there are those Christian theologians (and Christian non-theologians) who have believed and still believe today that there is no hell. By this I mean “hell” in any sense other than some kind… Read more

September 17, 2019

What Would Be the Alternatives (To Theology Explaining Things)? My immediately preceding blog post was about theology’s explanatory power. It was a response to a snarky comment posted here that I, as owner and moderator, deleted. The writer simply said that theology doesn’t explain anything because there is no evidence backing it up. I have said here numerous times and I expect intelligent people to know that what counts as evidence depends on one’s worldview. But I assume by “no… Read more

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