July 31, 2021

Experiences of an Evangelical Theologian 6 *If you have not been following this series, this installment may not make very much sense* My two years on the faculty of Oral Roberts University—my first fulltime teaching position—was a surreal time. Every day that I went to campus to teach, I had to steel myself for what unexpected thing might happen—not to me but to everyone. One day came the announcement that Oral (and sometimes his wife Evelyn or a surrogate) would… Read more

July 23, 2021

Experiences of an Evangelical Theologian 5 *If you have not been reading this series, you may not understand much of what I tell here* In my previous installment of this series, I talked about my journey from seminary to Rice University, where I earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies (which a “major” in Christian theology) and on to the University of Munich where I studied with theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg. All of that was unexpected, surprising, almost (perhaps) miraculous. Looking back… Read more

July 20, 2021

Experiences of an Evangelical Theologian 4 *If you have not read the first three parts of this series, you may not understand some of what I write here.* One of the common experiences I have not had is doubt about God. I can honestly say that I have never doubted God’s existence or God’s goodness. As far back as I can remember, and my family and friends say I have an amazing memory of my childhood and youth, I always… Read more

July 16, 2021

Experiences of an Evangelical Theologian 3 *If you have not read the first two parts of this semi-autobiography, this one may not make very much sense. It is a continuation of the first two parts. I was relatively contented with my Christian form of life, intensely evangelical, Pentecostal, until about midway of my first year of college. High school graduates who were members of my church were expected to attend that particular college. As the pastor’s kid, I felt obligated… Read more

July 13, 2021

Experiences of an Evangelical Theologian 2   Note: If you have not read the first installment of this series (Experiences of an Evangelical Theologian 1) you may have trouble understanding this and later installments. I have often been asked how and why I became a theologian. It’s not exactly an “expected” profession. That is, hardly anyone says “Don’t you want to be a theologian when you grow up?” I know I was never asked that! Still, and nevertheless, somehow or… Read more

July 9, 2021

Experiences of an Evangelical Theologian 1 This blog essay is Part 1 of a projected series about my experiences as an American evangelical theologian. Some of you will already know much about me from reading my blog. Others may know nothing about me. Some may only know of me from my Wikipedia article which says that I am an ordained Southern Baptist minister which is false. (Perhaps it has been changed by now as I have told many of my… Read more

July 5, 2021

There Is No Such Thing as “The Church” Here I set aside for purposes of this essay the concept of “invisible, universal Body of Christ”—the ideal collective of all true Christians (and any other saved persons) throughout time. Here I write only about churches visible (and usually institutional) on earth in particular times and places. Over the years I have heard many people, including people who should know better (e.g., Christian theologians and religion scholars) talking about “the church” –… Read more

July 1, 2021

Evangelicalism as Ethos (versus Evangelicalism as Movement) This is a follow up essay to my most recent one entitled Evangelicalism: A Guide for the Perplexed. One this is obvious to me from many of the comments: Many people do not understand the difference between a spiritual-theological ethos and the spiritual-theological movement centered around that ethos, sharing it. Today, as of at least 2021, there is no even relatively unified evangelical movement. Movements come and go. The evangelical ethos, which I… Read more

June 29, 2021

Evangelical Christianity: A Guide for the Perplexed As a life long evangelical Christianity and alleged scholar-expert on the subject, I am concerned (to put it mildly) about the widespread confusion in culture and society, spread especially by journalists, about the subject. This blog was begun with the intent of, among other things, elucidating the true meaning of “evangelical Christianity.” That after I noticed a definite trend in American culture and society toward serious confusion about it. There is no “THE… Read more

June 24, 2021

Again the Distinction between “Christian” and “Saved” Please let me remind you again that this blog is FOR evangelical Christians—broadly defined. Others are welcome to ask questions and listen in, but know that this blog is FOR evangelical Christians. It is a safe place for us to discuss theological issues. When I say here or anywhere that someone is “not a Christian” I am NOT judging him or her as “unsaved.” Whether a person is “saved” in the sense of… Read more

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