October 10, 2010

There is no absolute definition of fundamentalism that fits every considered case like a litmus test.  Like many other religious labels “fundamentalism” is an essentially contested concept and an indexical one (i.e., meaning depends on a context).  Historically, however, American Christian fundamentalism is a movement that has undergone two major transitions that have changed its character.  In the beginning (late 19th and early 20th centuries) “fundamentalism” was simply a transdenominational, conservative Protestant attempt to reassert traditional Protestant orthodoxy against the… Read more

October 7, 2010

Here is an interesting excerpt from Bloesch’s early work The Evangelical Renaissance (p. 53): “Sovereignty in the biblical sense…entails omniscience.  God knows the course of the future and the fulfillment of the future, but this must not be taken to mean that He literally knows every single event even before it happens.  It means that He knows every alternative and the way in which His children may well respond to the decisions that confront them?  The plan of God is… Read more

October 6, 2010

One of the most gentle and scholarly of all evangelical theologians, and one of the most significant theological influences in my life, passed away in August.  Donald G. Bloesch died at 82 after a long and fruitful life of teaching theology both in the classroom and through is published works.  He was not only a theologian; he was also a hymn writer and author of devotional works. I was privileged to know Don during the 1980s and 1990s as we… Read more

October 5, 2010

I rarely post other people’s writings here, but this sermon by Bill Smelvoe (preached in chapel at Regent College, Vancouver) especially well expresses my belief about God’s grace.  I couldn’t have said it better or as well! Bill Svelmoe I grew up on a mission base in the Philippines. It was a beautiful spot, fruit trees everywhere, a lovely spring fed swimming hole, and lots of other kids to play with. But my relationship with God was not always so… Read more

October 5, 2010

According to reports (e.g., Baptist Press, August 10, 2005) Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Al Mohler believes a person cannot be consistently both Christian and believer in evolution. I wonder what he would say about the book Darwin’s Forgotten Defenders: The Encounter between Evangelical Theology and Evolutionary Thought by David N. Livingstone (1984)? Interestingly, Old School Princeton theologian and inerrancy defender Benjamin B. Warfield (generally considered a hero by conservative evangelicals) believed in evolution.  I guess he would just say… Read more

October 4, 2010

Just for the record (in case anyone cares), as an unapologetic, unashamed and determined evangelical I wish to state for the record that Al Mohler (cover story subject, Christianity Today, October, 2010 and picture story at AOL’s Welcome Page, October 4, 2010) does not speak for me.  Thank you very much. Read more

October 4, 2010

The second fatal flaw (that I will describe here) in (at least some) Calvinism is worse than the first because it touches not only logic but God’s reputation. Many Calvinists claim that God loves all people.  The only way to make this work within the TULIP system is to redefine love so that it loses all meaning. THE crucial question facing Calvinism is why God does not save everyone rather than “pass over” many damning them to eternal suffering forever… Read more

October 2, 2010

Recently I wrote about flaws and fatal flaws in theological systems.  All have flaws.  Some also have fatal flaws.  One I mentioned that I see in the Calvinist system (as articulated by some leading Calvinists) is the dual claim that everything without exception is foreordained and rendered certain by God for his glory and that certain heresies (probably all heresies) detract from, diminish, demean God’s glory and rob God of his glory.  Some respondents here have attempted to defend these… Read more

September 29, 2010

Recently I argued here that every theological system has flaws that should be acknowledged so that the entire system is held somewhat lightly and open to revision.  One problem is when a system, such as Charles Hodge’s “stout and persistent theology” (David Wells’s description) is treated as if it were simply stating divine revelation in other words and therefore not really (as opposed to theoretically) open to correction and revision. But I see another problem in theological systems.  SOME have… Read more

September 27, 2010

I admit it.  I am a fallibilist–with regard to human beings (except when being infallibly inspired by God).  My definition of “theology” is human reflection on God’s infallible revelation.  (Or, in the case of philosophical theology–human reflection on God insofar as unaided reason is able to know something about God.)  In other words, I assume that all theologies (outside Scripture itself) are fallible because they are created by finite and fallen human beings. Unless a person is quoting Scripture in… Read more

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