April 17, 2021

Authoritative vs. Nurturant Styles of Religion Occasionally a friend (or even a stranger) sends me a book they have written and want me to read and possibly review here. Recently arrived is Embracing Prodigals: Overcoming Authoritative Religion by Embodying Jesus’ Nurturing Grace by my friend John Sanders (Cascade Books, 2020). It’s an excellent little book for individual enrichment reading or for use in a book group or church group—for discussion. According to John, “authoritative religion” is a style of religion… Read more

April 12, 2021

Who Is A “Progressive Christian” and How Is That Different from “Liberal Christian?” Recently I had a protracted discussion, almost a debate, with a publisher about the label “liberal Christian.” He said almost nobody calls himself or herself a “liberal Christian.” The new term for the same thing is “progressive Christian.” I have been reading a LOT of liberal Christian theology lately—focusing mostly on 20th and 21st century American liberal Christian theologians such as: Washington Gladden, Henry Churchill King, Harry… Read more

April 9, 2021

R.I.P. Hans Küng (1928-2021) On April 6 this year (2021) Catholic theologian Hans Küng of Switzerland died. He was 93. I call him a Catholic theologian even though the Vatican declared him not one in 1979. I have included an entire chapter about him and his theology in my The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction (InterVarsity Press). There I treat him as he was called by Karl Rahner, a liberal theologian. I knew Hans Küng—for three days…. Read more

April 7, 2021

We Are Now Headed into New Territory, But Christians Before Us Have Been There First, whom do I mean by “we?” I mean American Christians, especially American Christians who are determined not to compromise with secular culture that is inimical to true, authentic Christianity. Second, whom do I mean by “Christians before us?” I mean Christians in the Roman Empire before Constantine and later Christians who walked they “narrow way” and suffered for refusing to compromise with the dominant culture… Read more

April 5, 2021

How This Blog Came to Exist and Why I Keep It Going I began this blog about ten years ago after much gentle pressure from friends. Since its inception, I have posted about 1,700 distinct essays here. Whenever I sit down to write a new blog post I think to myself “But I already wrote about that….” Yes, I have written about almost every conceivable topic—related to Christian theology. That is one reason my blog posts have decreased in frequency…. Read more

March 31, 2021

A Proposed Response to the Flood of Immigrants In recent years immigrants to the United States from Central American countries has increased very dramatically. Many of them are unaccompanied minors. A recent news reports stated that there are now over five thousand unaccompanied minors being held in detention centers in the U.S. The impression given was that these are only recent immigrants; many more have gone through the initial stages of processing and are being held in other detention centers… Read more

March 27, 2021

The question on my mind today is this: Can a person be a Christian and vote to criminalize giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty person? *As always, here I speak/write only for myself and not for any other person, organization or institution. Rude, overly lengthy, off-topic comments will not be approved. (This is a moderated blog, not a discussion board.)  Read more

March 24, 2021

Thoughts about Atonement The English word “atonement” was coined by William Tyndale for what Jesus Christ accomplished to reconcile us to God and God to us. It is a combination word out of two words and a syllable: “at,” “one,” and “ment.” “Atonement” simply means “at-one-ment” with God. It is traditionally used in English to refer to Christ’s passion—his suffering and death—insofar as that made reconciliation with God possible. According to the New Testament and Christian tradition, Christ’s “work”—what he… Read more

March 19, 2021

When Is Division among Christians Justified? We, American Christians (and I’m sure others) have become used to divisions among Christians. Rarely do we question it. And yet Christ said that he wished for his followers to be one—even as he and the Father are one. Throughout the ages of Christianity visible and institutional unity among Christians have always been an ideal. Rarely has it been realized. One of the first real schisms among Christians came about in the middle of… Read more

March 16, 2021

Does Underrepresentation Necessarily Mean Exclusion? Here I step gingerly into a minefield. For forty years I have lived and worked in the American academic world. I can say with confidence that in that culture it is simply assumed that if a group other than males (boys and men) is underrepresented in a discipline or profession, they are excluded. That is, there are barriers to their being equally represented in those disciplines. To question that assumption is tantamount to academic heresy…. Read more

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