January 20, 2021

What Is “The Church?” Of course this question—What Is the Church?—is far too “big” for a blog essay to answer. Here is why I am asking this question now, in this forum, and attempting to answer it—however partially. Over the past few years I have heard and read many people publicly referring to “the American church” or “the Baptist church” or “the evangelical church.” These are misuses of the word “church.” I think journalists are especially guilty of this misuse… Read more

January 16, 2021

Is “Liberal Christianity” Authentic Christianity? A few weeks ago I invited you to join me in reading A Theology for the Twenty-first Century by theologian Douglas Ottati (Eerdmans, 2020). I don’t know how many, if any, took up my invitation, but I plunged on perhaps alone and finished the 749 page volume today. Why? Because it’s there. For me, reading a massive theological tome of this quality and substance is like others climbing Mount Everest. It’s there and calls and… Read more

January 13, 2021

A Church Father Senator Hawley and His Mentors Should Read Recently I commented here about U.S Senator Joshua Hawley’s misuse of fifth century heretic Pelagius. The attempt to draw a line of influence from him to today’s social decadence in America is just wrong. But here is who Hawley and his mentors (I think I know some of them but I will refrain from naming them) ought to read: Saint Augustine’s magnum opus The City of God. Why? Augustine was… Read more

January 11, 2021

False Right-wing Political Appeal to the Ancient Christian Heretic Pelagius All too frequently, conservative Christians attempt to connect dots that cannot fairly be connected. They attempt to draw lines from something awful today back to something awful in the past. Why? Well, in most cases it’s sheer demagoguery and one is tempted to suspect they know better because the dots are so far apart that no line really can connect them. Consider, for example the infamous Youtube video in which… Read more

January 9, 2021

Guest Essay: Is America Suffering from Moral Injury? Ted Peters (American Lutheran Theologian) During the storming of the Capitol on Epiphany, January 6, 2021, one QAnon activist, Ashli Babbitt, was shot to death by police. She had tweeted the day prior to the assault, “It’s all I dream about and pray for! What is dark will come to light!” (QAA Podcast) Ms. Babbit died as a martyr to the light of truth. QAnon’s conspiracy theory regarding an anti-Trump deep state… Read more

January 7, 2021

Social Hysteria: A Suggested Explanation of a Common Phenomenon *Note: I wrote this before the insurrection of January 6, 2021* I am neither a sociologist nor a psychologist, let alone a social psychologist. So, there, that’s out of the way. What I propose here is an amateur explanation of a phenomenon anyone familiar with social history knows about. An otherwise relatively peaceful and functioning society—whether a nation-state, empire, religious organization, or business—suddenly falls into a dysfunctional condition marked by hysterical… Read more

January 4, 2021

Free Will or Not? Another Round in the Debate I promised Arminian theologian Robert E. Picirilli (Free Will Baptist) that I would review his book Free Will Revisited: A Respectful Response to Luther, Calvin, and Edwards (Wipf & Stock, 2017) on my blog. This, however, is more than a review; it is an interaction with some of the main ideas of the book but also my own “musings” about free will. Picirilli’s book is 140 pages long and well worth… Read more

December 30, 2020

The Dark Side of Feminism Don’t get all worked up about the title of this blog post, please! I have here and everywhere fully supported the main goals of the women’s movement/feminism such as total, absolute equality between the sexes. I have long taught against patriarchy in all its forms and lived that commitment in all my relations. One example: I am now a member of a third Baptist church in a row (for me) pastored by a woman. With… Read more

December 26, 2020

About “Socialism” and Christianity The word “socialism” is now being used, as it has been before, to scare people. During the recent U.S. election (November 2020), the Republican Party and its surrogates warned Hispanic Americans that electing Democrats would lead to socialism and a loss of freedom. This scare tactic was strong in Florida because many Floridians of Cuban descent equate socialism with Castro and his communist regime. But I saw the billboards in Spanish also in Texas. But that… Read more

December 21, 2020

Critical Race Theory Examined and Analyzed Several people have asked me to take up the subject of critical race theory here. I’m happy to do it. What is critical race theory? According to Ian Haney López, interviewed by The Center for Public Integrity (September 30, 2020) (“What Is Critical Race Theory?”),  “What critical race theory is saying is we need to take racism seriously. We’re all enmeshed in this system, and all of us have a capacity to change. All… Read more

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