August 5, 2019

What’s Behind the Frequent Mass Shootings in the United States? My fear is that mass shootings are becoming so frequent that many people, perhaps most people, will begin to take them for granted as “just the way things are.” My hope is that a special group of sociologists and psychologists will form a task force and study the shooters to figure out what they have in common and what is prompting them to commit these mass murders. The only thing… Read more

August 2, 2019

Why True Christianity Can Never Be an Ideology This is my promised follow up to the immediately preceding post about ideologies. It is best that you go back and read that before reading (and certainly before responding to) this one. One of the characteristics of an ideology is its “totalizing” character. Typically, ideologies claim, implicitly if not explicitly, to explain everything important to the exclusion of all correction or criticism. Further, ideologies tend to treat critics as enemies. This is,… Read more

July 31, 2019

What Is an Ideology and How to Detect One For many years I’ve been fascinated by the phenomenon of ideology. When did that fascination begin? I can’t remember the absolute beginning but I remember some books that piqued my interest along the way. When I was in the seventh grade, back then the first year of junior high school, I read The Diary of Anne Frank. I remember that the particular paperback edition I was reading was actually titled The… Read more

July 27, 2019

The Key Difference between Conservative and Postconservative Evangelicals Some years ago I thought I coined a new label for a certain group among evangelical theologians, pastors, students and reflective lay evangelicals: “Postconservative.” I even wrote an article about the label and category that was published in The Christian Century. Then I wrote a book about it titled Reformed and Always Reforming: The Postconservative Approach to Evangelical Theology (Baker). Then I discovered that others had used “postconservative” before me. I have… Read more

July 24, 2019

My Religious Roots: A Pilgrimage I rarely talk here about myself, but some of my faithful readers have asked me to do just that. They especially want to know more about my religious background and upbringing and my early religious influences. Here I bow briefly to their desires. My first memories of church are of Pentecostal or “Full Gospel” services of all kinds in a tiny, very old, almost falling down, white clapboard church in the poorest neighborhood of the… Read more

July 23, 2019

Stopping the Mouths of Evangelicalism’s Critics I have said it before here many, many times and yet many of my readers, both evangelicals and non-evangelicals, simply do not seem to get it. This blog is aimed solely (!) at those critics of evangelical Christianity who hold all evangelicals responsible for the rise of Trumpism. The World Evangelical Alliance (and its predecessor organizations) has exited for at least a century. It includes sixty to eighty million evangelicals world wide. The WEA… Read more

July 18, 2019

9.5 Theses about Evangelical Christianity 1. Evangelical Christianity is not a movement. There have been evangelical movements; there are movements composed mostly of evangelicals. “Evangelical Christianity” is a spiritual-theological ethos found somewhere in almost every orthodox Christian denomination. 2. Evangelical Christianity at its best is orthodox Christianity with special emphasis on the Bible as the inspired and authoritative Word of God written and on the importance of individual decision decision to repent and trust in Jesus Christ and his cross… Read more

July 17, 2019

What This Blog Is For: From Roger Olson Some people who comment here seem not to understand the purpose of this blog. So this is for you—if you are at all ignorant of or confused about the purpose of this blog and why I do not approve all comments. I started this blog off the Patheos platform and was then invited to join the Patheos family of bloggers. I did. So, first of all, Patheos’s rules govern what can and… Read more

July 12, 2019

The New American Evangelical Liturgy Over the years I have had the blessing and curse of visiting numerous (very broadly defined) evangelical Christian churches in the United States. I have spoken in many and simply visited many unnoticed. They were of many different denominations spanning the entire spectrum of historic, classical evangelicalism: Pentecostal, fundamentalist, “Third Wave,” conservative Presbyterian, Reformed, Adventist, Lutheran, Wesleyan, independent, etc. One thing I have noticed especially in recent years is a convergence of worship styles. No… Read more

July 9, 2019

Where Is America Going? Why Is There Not More Outrage? Today (when I write this) is July 4, otherwise known as “Independence Day” in the United States. People are celebrating the country’s open rebellion against its monarch—something most conservative Christians in the U.S. think would be wrong based on Romans 13—except for us. We are exceptional. Numerous churches throughout the U.S. celebrated America with “patriotric hymns” and readings and even sermons, some even with flag-waving bands and marchers in the… Read more

Browse Our Archives