March 23, 2023

Whatever Happened to Common Sense? Recently I was asked to help the manager of an apartment complex to revise and update the Rules and Regulations by which both owners and renters must abide. As I was talking with the complex manager about the details, he suggested some additions to which I responded “But aren’t those common sense?” He rightly responded “There no such thing as common sense anymore.” I couldn’t argue with that. Was there ever such a thing as... Read more

March 17, 2023

A Call for Universal Communion (among Orthodox Christians) The divisions among Christians is a tragedy and not pleasing to God. Jesus prayed to the Father than his disciples would be one, even as he and the father were one. Surely neither Jesus nor the apostles envisioned a future in which Christians would be so divided. However, I’m a realist (maybe a pessimist) and don’t see any hope for one world Christian church. Denominations (whatever people call them) are here to... Read more

March 14, 2023

Is America Now “Decadent” (as Khrushchev Predicted)? Can anyone who has lived long enough (60 plus years) doubt that American culture has changed dramatically in the past half century? Can anyone who has watched television for a half century or more doubt it? I well remember when Soviet Union premier Khrushchev pounded his fist (some say his shoe!) on the podium at the United Nations and declared “We will bury you!”—speaking to and about “the West,” especially the USA. He... Read more

March 11, 2023

A non-fundamentalist, evangelical narrative of the divide Thanks to Don Johnson for his personal, fundamentalist account of the divide between fundamentalists and (neo)evangelicals. Here, below, is mine; it was taught to me in seminary (North American Baptist Seminary) and by people like George Marsden and Joel Carpenter, historians of modern evangelicalism. And, of course, I went on after seminary to become a leading historian and theologian of the American evangelical movement. First, I insist on making a distinction between the... Read more

March 8, 2023

Evangelicalism, Fundamentalism, and New Evangelicalism – what’s the difference? (Guest Post by self-identified fundamentalist Rev. Don Johnson) “We suggest that those who still cling to the great fundamentals and who mean to do battle royal for the fundamentals shall be called ‘Fundamentalists.’” This sentence appeared in The Watchman-Examiner, a Christian paper edited by Curtis Lee Laws. Laws published this on July 1, 1920, eight days after the 1920 Pre-Convention Conference, held just prior to the annual meeting of the Northern... Read more

March 3, 2023

Ask Professor Olson about Theology One of my favorite channels on Youtube is one where people write in questions for “Pastor John [Piper]” I decided to invite you, anyone, to ask me a question about Christian theology. Please keep it brief and specific and know that I may or may not be able to answer. I’m sure “Pastor Piper” doesn’t answer every questions submitted. I’ll select ones that I am especially interested in answering. As always, I will not post... Read more

February 26, 2023

Is the Mind More than the Brain (Again): NDEs and Scientists I wonder how many people know about the University of Virginia’s Division for Perceptual Studies? Watch this video on Youtube for scientists discussing research they believe strongly indicates that the mind is more than the brain and that there is some kind of conscious life after physical death: “Is There Life after Death? Fifty Years of Research at UVA.” A panel of four highly credentialed scientists who work in... Read more

February 23, 2023

Did God Command Israel to “Show Them No Mercy?” I have visited this issue before, but it still intrigues me. I’m a strong believer in the inspiration of the Bible even if not in its absolute, technical inerrancy (mainly due to all the qualifications one has to make). I prefer “infallibility” to describe my view of the Bible’s accuracy and authority: “Perfection with respect to purpose.” Every once in a while I come across another book about the “texts of... Read more

February 21, 2023

Facts vs. Faith? Last evening I watched a few episodes of the TV series “Young Sheldon.” I have always guiltily enjoyed “The Big Bang Theory” in spite of the hedonism of some of its characters. I was talked into watching “Young Sheldon” because I had shied away from it, suspecting the writers would, as they indeed did, pit religion against science. In one scene, in a church, probably Southern Baptist (because of where Sheldon and his TV family lived then),... Read more

February 18, 2023

The Most Basic Problem in America Today What an audacious thing to dare to say! What is the most basic problem in America today? I’ve lived in America my whole live, with the exception of one year in Germany, and I have seen it change so dramatically that it is almost unrecognizable. When I sit back and wonder what is the most basic problem facing America today and causing so much chaos and confusion in America today, I cannot help... Read more

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