March 19, 2011

Over the last 50 years many notable evangelical thinkers have converted to the Roman Catholic Church (or to some independent Catholic church of which there are many; here I’m concerned mainly with those who have converted to the RC Church).  Think of Tom Howard, evangelical professor at Wheaton (and I think Gordon), who converted to RCC and wrote a book about his conversion called Evangelical Is Not Enough (1988).  Think of Peter Kreeft and, most recently, my own colleague Francis… Read more

March 16, 2011

Below you will find an essay entitled “Reclaiming Pietism.”  It is a response to critics of Pietism such as Mark Talbot of Wheaton College (who wrote against Pietism in Modern Reformation). Your responses are welcome. Reclaiming Pietism   Roger E. Olson     To the man or woman on the street the term “Pietism” probably evokes a feeling of disdain if not revulsion; it conjures up images of super-spiritual, holier-than-thou religious folks strictly to be avoided.  To the slightly better… Read more

March 16, 2011

I have been traveling and so have not been able to buy and read Bell’s book Love Wins yet.  As soon as possible I will.  Then we can have an informed discussion about what the book actually says.  In the meantime, don’t bother posting comments about Bell or his book or the controversy because I won’t post them here.  Watch for my on line review of the book, then hold forth…. In the meantime, watch for an essay here entitled… Read more

March 14, 2011

Today’s USA Today (Monday, March 14) contains an article about the Rob Bell book controversy entitled “Pastor/author’s ‘Love Wins’ bedevils traditionalists.” (Some headline writer had a field day with that one!)  The last word is from Fuller Seminary president Richard Mouw who is quoted as saying that the real controversy is between “generous orthodoxy and stingy orthodoxy.  There are stingy people who just want to consign many others to hell and only a few to heaven and take delight in… Read more

March 13, 2011

Several have asked me here why I am defending Rob Bell.  Haven’t they been listening?  I don’t defend Rob Bell; I defend the principle of “Before I say I disagree I should be able to say I understand.”  No one can truly say “I understand” Bell’s book until he or she has read it.  What I have attempted to do here is caution Christians to act like Christians and gentlemen (and gentlewomen) and wait until they read the book to… Read more

March 9, 2011

Yesterday I received in the mail a copy of the cover of a book to be published by Zondervan later this year: Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism edited by Andrew David Naselli and Collin Hansen.  It’s a volume in the Zondervan series Counterpoints whose general editor is Stanley N. Gundry.  The four authors are: Kevin Bauder (Fundamentalism), Al Mohler (Confessional Evangelicalism), John Stackhouse (Generic Evangelicalism) and Roger Olson (Postconservative Evangelicalism).  Each author responds to the other three.  The… Read more

March 5, 2011

I find it so refreshing to talk with British evangelicals such as N. T. Wright and Richard Bauckham and others.  Both of those fine gentlemen have read Reformed and Always Reforming and told me they consider themselves “postconservative evangelicals.”  Both have also said they don’t find themselves embroiled in theological controversy as happens so often among evangelicals in the U.S. Indeed.  We seem to be the only country where evangelicals feel compelled to debate not just with vim and vigor… Read more

March 3, 2011

This October Zondervan will publish two books together: Against Calvinism by yours truly and For Calvinism by Michael Horton.  I have just read Horton’s book and written its foreword.  (He is writing the foreword to mine.) Mike’s book is one of the most lucid, fair, well-research, critical expositions and defenses of Calvinism I have ever read.  Of course, I disagree with the theology it defends, but I respect Mike and his manner of presenting that theology.  It is perhaps the… Read more

March 2, 2011

I think I’ve recommended this book before, but I’m reading it for the third time (because my students are reading it): The Doors of the Sea by David Bentley Hart (Eerdmans, 2005). It’s only 109 small pages in length, but it is one of the best books on God’s sovereignty and the problem of evil I have ever read. Which is not to say I agree with everything he says in it. The subtitle is Where was God in the… Read more

March 2, 2011

My response is: Hold the fire!  What does Bell say in that video that justifies accusations of heresy?  All I hear him doing is raising questions.  He doesn’t make any declarative statement that commits him to universalism or any other heresy. The problem I have been pointing out here is NOT legitimate criticism; it is the tendency to jump the gun and assume what someone else believes or means based on very skimpy or non-existent evidence.  In my opinion, anyone… Read more

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