August 10, 2010

Recently a federal court struck down as unconstitutional California’s Proposition 8 that made gay marriage illegal in that state.  It seems this debate over marriage is never going to end until everyone is satisfied which isn’t likely to happen.  Both gays (and their advocates) and conservatives have dug in their heels and there doesn’t seem much room for compromise. I suggest this compromise for consideration although I’m not committed to it.  I would just like to see voices on both… Read more

August 9, 2010

A Calvinist seminary professor lectured on the incompatibility of salvation by grace alone through faith alone and belief that in order to be saved a person must freely accept the grace of God.  “Arminianism makes the individual person’s free choice the decisive factor in his salvation.  Therefore, in his theology, salvation cannot be a free gift.  By choosing it freely the person is contributing something to his own salvation.  That’s a meritorious work and therefore his salvation would not be… Read more

August 7, 2010

I find the weekend a good opportunity to change subjects (even if only temporarily).  Most of us will be attending worship services this weekend.  What kind of music will we hear and sing?  As a theologian I am dismayed at the turn taken in worship music (especially congregational singing) in the last two to three decades.  As a professor of theology teaching mostly Christian undergraduates and seminary students I’ve noticed a very definite decline in their understanding of Christian doctrine… Read more

August 6, 2010

People often ask me what is my single most serious problem with Calvinism.  Why am I not a Calvinist?  First, I like to point out that nobody is obligated to be one.  Some evangelicals are under the mistaken impression that Calvinism is the norm for all evangelicalism and that if you’re not a Calvinist you’re somehow defectively evangelical.  It is wrongly believed to be the default theology of authentic evangelicalism.  I grew up in the thick of evangelicalism–spiritually nurtured by… Read more

August 5, 2010

Contrary to what some critics say, an Arminian is someone who believes that salvation is all of grace and through faith alone without any merit (except, of course, the merits of Christ).  An Arminian is also someone who believes, contrary to Calvinism, that the person being saved is enabled by grace to cooperate in his or her salvation without “contributing” anything meritorious to it.  In other words, God does all the saving but he won’t save without our consent.  All… Read more

August 4, 2010

My blog is called “My evangelical, Arminian theological musings.”  I’ve “mused” about evangelicalism.  Now it’s time to begin a brief (I hope) series of posts about Arminianism.  Not long ago I met a well-known philosopher-theologian whose first comment to me was “Well, I’ve never met anyone who actually called himself an Arminian before.”  Many years ago John Wesley wrote a brief essay entitled “The Question ‘What Is an Arminian?’ Answered by a Lover of Free Grace.”  (I’m sure you can… Read more

August 3, 2010

I’m an avid student of denominations and have served as an unpaid consultant to two major handbooks of denominations.  I realize we are living in what some call a “post-denominational” era, but in reality denominations are alive and well and proliferating.  There are at least 300 distinct denominations in the U.S. with over 5,000 members and I’m sure there are more that haven’t been discovered yet.  And new ones keep popping up all the time.  Two of the newest are… Read more

August 2, 2010

Some students and readers have asked me why I expend energy and waste time trying to define evangelicalism; why not just give up the term “evangelical” and let the conservatives, fundamentalists and Religious Right people own it?  After all, so I’m told, it’s too late to rescue it.  “Evangelical” and “evangelicalism” are now so identified in the popular mind with right-wing conservativism in both theology and politics that they can’t be salvaged.  I’m urged to just let them go. So… Read more

July 31, 2010

Needless to say, my first post about evangelicalism was incomplete.  There’s so much more to be said about this subject.  Here I want to continue my delineation of the term “evangelical” and the movement called “evangelicalism.”  I’m not going to take back anything I wrote there, but I’d like to add to it. First, about Noll’s and Bebbington’s four hallmarks of authentic evangelicalism.  I would add a fifth as part of the historical-theological core of the evangelical movement and its… Read more

July 29, 2010

I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to technology.  Well, it’s not exactly that I’m AGAINST it; I’m just not very good at it!  It takes me a while to catch up.  Everyone seems to have a blog and I’ve been urged to join the crowd, so here goes.  I’ll probably make some mistakes, but please be patient with me.  From time to time (hopefully at least once weekly) I’ll post some of my thoughts about theology here. … Read more




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