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

September 24, 2010

I get asked this all the time.  Especially students, but also strangers, ask me “What do you think of emergent churches?”  (Here I will use “emergent” and “emerging” interchangeably even though some are trying to distinguish between them.) I can’t claim expertise.  Others have studied the phenomenon much more thoroughly than I have.  But I have attended several well-known emergent churches and I am either acquainted with or count as good friends some of the movement’s leading spokesmen. Some years… Read more

September 22, 2010

I have to give them credit.  Reformed theologians are prolific when it comes to writing about their own tradition.  I have in my library (and have read) several excellent volumes expounding the Reformed theological tradition.  (E.g., Introducing the Reformed Faith by Donald K. McKim, The Westminster Handbook to Reformed Theology edited by McKim, The Basic Ideas of Calvinism (really a book about Reformed theology in general) by H. Henry Meeter, What Is Reformed Theology? by R. C. Sproul.  The newest… Read more

September 20, 2010

I see two opposite and equally dangerous trends pulling evangelicals apart and thereby weakening our witness to the world.  One is, for lack of better terms, particularistic tribalism and the other is generic, plain label Christianity.  Please allow me to explain. I value Christian particularity.  That is, I want Baptists to be Baptist, Pentecostals to be Pentecostal, Wesleyans to be Wesleyan, Presbyterians to be Presbyterian, etc.  While it would be ideal for us all to get together and have one… Read more

September 17, 2010

Call me strange (I know some will!), but for years I’ve had an obsession with trying to figure out why equally God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving evangelical Christians think so differently and seem so easily to become hostile to one another.  Often, it seems to come down to differing views of the Bible.  These people agree with each other about fundamental Christian orthodoxy (Christology, the Trinity, resurrection, etc.) but seem to have different attitudes toward the Bible that drive them apart. On… Read more

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