November 21, 2019

A Relational View of God’s Sovereignty Roger E. Olson   My office phone rang and I answered it. A stern voice said “Is this Roger Olson?” who which I confessed. The man introduced himself as pastor of Baptist church in the state, implying that he was a constituent of the seminary where I teach. Anyway, I got the message. “I hear you don’t believe in God’s sovereignty,” he declared. I responded “Oh, really? What do you mean by ‘God’s sovereignty’?”… Read more

November 18, 2019

Is Contemporary Worship “Utterly Dangerous?” Keith Getty Says Yes In a recent article published in The Christian Post, an online Christian news magazine, contemporary Christian hymn writer Keith Getty declared that the “modern worship movement is utterly dangerous, causing de-Christianizing of God’s people.” That might be putting it a bit more strongly than I would, but I have argued something similar here. Please read the Getty interview at The Christian Post’s web site. Use a search engine to find it…. Read more

November 14, 2019

Can God Change the Past? And What Does that Have to Do with Open Theism? My thesis: The “past” is what by definition, a priori, cannot be changed. That means that even God cannot change the past anymore than he can make a round triangle. Even William of Ockham, one of the main medieval formulators of nominalism and voluntarism admitted that, although God has no essential, unchanging nature that binds him, he cannot do what is strictly illogical. This nearly… Read more

November 10, 2019

Who Needs a God Who Looks Like Us? Over my years of teaching Christian theology I have frequently encountered the problem theologian Karl Barth identified as “projection.” (Of course, he was borrowing that term from 19th century atheist Ludwig Feuerbach who argued that God himself is but a projection of humanity on the “heavens. Barth used the term for a different concept.) For Barth, “projection” is when people project themselves onto God. For example, when people think that God as… Read more

November 7, 2019

A Question about Evangelical Churches that are “Welcoming and Affirming” Let me define my terms. To me, “evangelical” is a brand of (mostly) Protestant Christianity that strongly emphasizes the unique inspiration and authority of the Bible, that believes and preaches and teaches that all people are sinners in need of redemption and that Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world and that he is God incarnate, the Second Person of the Trinity. It also believes, preaches and teaches… Read more

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

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