January 28, 2011

One of my pet peeves is how the media take good words and twist them out of all shape so that they are virtually meaningless.  One that comes to mind lately (as I’ll be preaching a seminary chapel sermon on it) is “community.”  We hear it every day.  It seems to be an ubiquitous ideal.  And the problem is, of course, it is a Christian ideal.  My friend and co-author Stan Grenz argued that it is “the” central unifying concept… Read more

January 26, 2011

I want to take a brief hiatus from posting so that everyone can read my essay about Arminianism is evangelical theology (immediately preceding post).  I would very much like to hear from some irenic and open-minded Calvinists (as opposed to ideologues) about it’s content and argument.  Of course, non-Calvinists responses are also welcome. Read more

January 24, 2011

  I apologize that some formatting may have been lost here–especially the blocking and indentation of lengthy quotes. Arminianism is Evangelical Theology Roger E. Olson             One of the most distressing criticisms of Arminian theology is that it is not evangelical.  One does not have to read far into modern Calvinist literature to find this either implied or explicitly stated.  One example is from influential Reformed theologian Michael Horton, editor of Modern Reformation magazine and one-time director of the Alliance… Read more

January 22, 2011

Obviously this debate between Calvinists and Arminians is never going to be resolved until heaven.  But SOME evangelical Calvinists and SOME evangelical Arminians regard the others as true evangelicals or at least true Christians (brothers and sisters in Christ). The problem is that especially Calvinists tend to misrepresent Arminian theology.  Too often they use language that is so misleading one has to wonder how they can think what they are doing has any integrity at all.  I admit that some… Read more

January 20, 2011

Several people have misinterpreted the analogy of the ship’s captain and the drowning man as if it is meant as a picture of a sinner and Jesus Christ in the event of salvation.  I suppose someone could use it that way, but that was not my intention.  Here is a common mistake when thinking about an analogy–assuming it to be an analogy to something else even when it is clearly stated what it is an analogy to. The story is… Read more

January 19, 2011

This is a follow up to my earlier response to Michael Horton’s comment about Arminianism in Christless Christianity and to his response here.  If you haven’t read those, this post may not make a lot of sense. Mike (we are on a first name basis) says in his book Christless Christianity that Arminianism holds that salvation is a cooperative effort of God and human beings (p. 44)  I objected in my last post here.  Arminianism does not hold that; no… Read more

January 18, 2011

My friend and brother in Christ Michael Horton has submitted a response to my complaint in my last post.  You should be able to read his response and my answer by looking at that post and then reading responses and my answers. Read more

January 16, 2011

For the most part I agree with Horton in Christless Christianity that American Christianity has lost the gospel.  I’m almost as discouraged as he is by what I hear and read from and about American churches and what they preach. It reminds me of something Wolfhart Pannenberg said to me and a group of people having lunch with him some years ago at Luther Theological Seminary.  He said “When I go to most churches and hear what is preached and… Read more

January 14, 2011

When someone drags out the tired, old canard that Arminianism leads to liberalism in theology I know he (or she) knows little about theology.  The same is true when someone classifies inclusivism as “liberal.” Let’s define “liberal theology.”  Far too many people use it to mean any theology with which they disagree.  For example, open theism has been called “liberal.”  What’s “liberal” about it?  (Except perhaps in one meaning of “liberal” as open-minded, but that’s not what the critics mean.) … Read more

January 12, 2011

One of the hottest topics among evangelical theologians (and theologically interested pastors and lay people) is the destiny of the unevangelized.  Put most simply: Does everyone go to hell who never hears the gospel of Jesus Christ explicitly communicated?  One traditional and popular answer (especially among fundamentalists) is simply “Yes.”  This is called Restrictivism.  Strict Restrictivism (I don’t really know any other kind) is defeated if there can be shown to be one individual who died and went to heaven… Read more

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