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

January 11, 2011

My blog master tells me a fix is on its way.  Many of you have told me you are getting error messages when you attempt to post comments here.  Some of you have said your comments go through after a few failed attempts.  Please don’t give up!  Hopefully the problem will be fixed soon.  In the meantime I’ll try to post something every couple or three days. Read more

January 10, 2011

Several potential commentors have e-mailed me saying they have tried without success to post comments here.  If you have that problem, please let me know at: Roger_Olson@baylor.edu.  I will not be able to respond to all e-mails, but I would like to know how many are having this problem.  My blog master says the WordPress spam filter has detected a lot of spam and automatically trashes messages it thinks are spam.  Sometimes that includes valid comments.  I want to know… Read more

January 8, 2011

One of my pet peeves is the fact that most Christian lay people and even many pastors don’t seem to know what they think the “Kingdom of God” means or have no idea what the Bible really says about it and yet use the phrase all the time. A couple years ago I taught every adult Sunday School class in my church a series on the Kingdom of God.  I began by asking these good, educated, thoughtful folks what they… Read more

January 6, 2011

Recently there’s been a lot of talk about something called “American exceptionalism.”  Some right wing politicians have been touting the idea as dogma for all Americans and some have even suggested that people who don’t agree should leave these shores and go elsewhere to live. IF American exeptionalism ONLY means that America is one of the greatest countries the world has ever known BECAUSE of its ideals, then, yes, I agree that it the idea.  Of course, one of those… Read more

January 4, 2011

I often scratch my head in bewilderment at some theologians’ reactions to things.  For example, to be get very straight to my point, some people I count as friends and comrades in what I call postconservative evangelicalism absolute despise the term and are quite critical of my (and my late friend Stan Grenz’s) project.  I know we think much alike about specific doctrines and about theology’s tasks (viz., that the contstructive task of theology is always ongoing and never finished). … Read more

January 2, 2011

Calvinist: You non-Calvinists limit God’s power and sovereignty and thereby denigrate his glory. Non-Calvinist: No; we don’t.  Why do you say that? Calvinist: You limit God’s power by claiming that created agents such as we can thwart his will and you denigrate his glory by elevating human agency and will to a level almost equal with God’s.  You rob God of his sovereignty. Non-Calvinist: Oh, but I affirm that God is omnipotent, sovereign and glorious. Calvinist: But you undermine your affirmation by limiting… Read more

December 29, 2010

Lately I’ve been thinking about how different theologies are driven by what I call “pre-biblical” perspectives–choices one makes, often subconsciously, regarding the meaning of biblical materials. We Protestants like to think that we only get our theology from the Bible.  I remember the title of one book I gave away long ago: The Bible without theology.  One could write a similarly lame book entitled The Bible without philosophy (and here I mean “philosophy” in a very broad sense of a… Read more

December 26, 2010

Thanks to those of you who have responded already to the first installment of what may turn out to be a series of posts on this very important but often ignored issue in theology–an issue I call a continental divide in theology and suggest may lie at the bottom of many debates between Calvinists and Arminians. Here I will assume you have read my previous post on this subject and proceed from where I left off. It seems to me that… Read more




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