November 3, 2019

The Fundamentalists Are At It Again Most American fundamentalists stopped calling themselves fundamentalists years ago—around the time the media used that label to label non-Christian religious militants and terrorists. I was shocked when I heard the Ayotolah Khomeinei and his Iranian followers as “fundamentalists.” I had never before heard the label “fundamentalist” attached to anyone but extremely conservative but basically orthodox British and American Protestants. *Here I speak only for myself* Around that time many extremely conservative but basically orthodox… Read more

October 31, 2019

What Is It Like to Be Black in America? The simple answer is “I don’t know.” One thing I do think I know is that “It depends.” It depends somewhat on location, education, economic status, and gender. I’m not saying those differences change everything; I’m sure they don’t. But the differences aren’t what concern me here. What concerns me here is that in spite of fifty years of abolishing “Jim Crow” laws, in spite of the somewhat successful Civil Rights… Read more

October 27, 2019

Some Thoughts about Celebrities Who Become Christians and Then… Recently, here in the United States, two very well-known musical celebrities have come out publicly as Christians. And by “Christians” I mean “born again Christians.” I mean they testify that turning to God through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior has changed their lives and they intend to live from now on as followers of Jesus Christ. I feel bad for them. *Sidebar: The opinions expressed here are my… Read more

October 24, 2019

Is It Ever Wrong for a Christian to Forgive? Here is my question spelled out more fully: If we do not believe that forgiveness requires forgetfulness or that it sets aside consequences for the person who needs forgiveness, is it ever wrong for a Christian to forgive someone? Out of context, most Christians would say no; it is never wrong to forgive someone (given the conditions stated in the italicized sentence above). Christians claim to be Christ-followers; Jesus Christ commanded… Read more

October 20, 2019

Review of Lovin’ On Jesus: A Concise History of Contemporary Worship Plus Thoughts about “Contemporary Christian Music” Background: Recently here I argued that real Christian worship cannot happen with a “concert atmosphere.” I examined a church’s web site because someone asked me to. There I saw a comment, under “About Us,” that said the church worships with a “concert atmosphere.” I was pleased that at least the church admits it and dismayed that any church would do that. To me,… Read more

October 17, 2019

Surprises in the History of Christian Ethics Lately I have been reading a great deal of primary and secondary literature about Christian ethics—beginning with the ancient church fathers. (In my opinion, Richard Hayes’s The Moral Vision of the New Testament more than adequately covers New Testament ethics, so my book will begin with the second century church fathers.) I have run into some very startling ideas about the right way to live the Christian life—in the church fathers and in… Read more

October 12, 2019

Should Christian Worship Happen with a “Concert Atmosphere?” Recently someone seeking a church to attend asked me to examine a church’s web site and give them advice about the church, from its web site, before they visit it. I have examined numerous church web sites in that city and visited many churches there. So, that church’s web site revealed the following. And I must say, after examining numerous churches’ web sites and visiting many of the churches in that metropolitan… Read more

October 9, 2019

Our God Reigns (But How?) *This is a sermon I preached recently. I think I posted it here once before, so if it sounds familiar, that’s why. However I have a good reason to post it here again.* One of our favorite truths is that “our God reigns.” The Bible clearly tells us and our experience confirms—that God is the ruler over all. I whole heartedly affirm that great truth—but with one reservation, qualification. It has to do with another… Read more

October 5, 2019

A Scholar Who Denied Sex/Gender Difference Recants How well I remember first being told that there is no difference between males and females, men and women, boys and girls—except anatomy and socially assigned roles. That was sometime in the 1980s. Over the years since then, I have witnessed how popular this denial has become especially in academic circles. To make a very complicated “story” simple, I will boil this denial down to its bare elements. According to this narrative about… Read more

October 2, 2019

Trump and the Rhetoric of Tyranny I used to see a bumper sticker on cars that said “If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention.” That is my message to all of my fellow Americans today. In recent days America’s head of state and head of government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces has been more than implying that he believes critics and whistle-blowers undermining his presidency are traitors. According to one recording (according to news reports) he said of… Read more

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