September 19, 2018

A Call to Protestants Everywhere to Take “Marriage” Back from the State Immediate clarification is needed to prevent and ward off objections from people who don’t read anything but the title of this blog essay! By “Protestants” I mean specifically those denominations and churches that are orthodox doctrinally but not Catholic (with a capital “C”) or Eastern Orthodox. I also mean those mostly non-fundamentalist but relatively conservative, biblically-committed Protestant denominations and churches that have slipped into the habit and custom… Read more

September 17, 2018

Who Is God? (Sermon to a Baptist Congregation) John 14:8-10 We Baptists tend to be more concerned with what God wants with us…than with who God is because we take who God is for granted. But I want to say that we can’t take that for granted anymore because there are so many powerful and influential “pictures” of God in culture that bleed into Christian and even Baptist thinking about God and can distort our beliefs about what God wants… Read more

September 12, 2018

Is Truth Worth Seeking? What if the Experts Disagree? Every once in a while I run across a paragraph that leaps off the page and causes me to think (if not utter aloud) “I wish I had said that!” Often the paragraph encapsulates an idea I have been wrestling with, an idea rolling around in my mind, that I have not quite figured out how to put into words. Said another way: What I’m talking about here is an idea… Read more

September 9, 2018

What Most People Don’t Know about Hitler, Naziism, Fascism and 1930s Germany One of the most quoted clichés is from philosopher George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Another cliché is that history repeats itself, but that’s false. History does not repeat itself; people repeat it—often out of ignorance. I’m a theologian by vocation and profession, but my avocation is history, especially 20th century history. Specifically, since high school, I’ve been fascinated, some would… Read more

September 7, 2018

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Sunday School Apologies to author Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, 1988) for borrowing and paraphrasing his book title. What ever happened to Sunday School? Yes, I know many churches still have Sunday School, but my observation is that it is mostly a pale shadow of what Sunday School used to be—in American evangelical churches. When I was growing up in American evangelicalism…. Okay, I… Read more

September 3, 2018

Does God Always Get His Way? If there is one main point of confusion among American Christians (and other monotheists) it is this—the belief that God must always get his way in everything that happens. We all know the story of the first sentence communicated via telegraph line. According to the story (which may be legend) the inventor of the telegraph, Samuel F. B. Morse, demonstrated his invention by sending the message “What hath God wrought?” from Washington, D.C. to… Read more

September 1, 2018

Two Spiritual Books You Ought to Read Occasionally here I recommend what I consider really good books that I hope others will read because they fill a gap in many Christians’ knowledge and are therapeutic in the good sense—helping with spiritual formation. Here are two I highly recommend; please look at them on line and read what others are saying about them and consider adding them to your “wish list” if not buying one or both outright. The first is… Read more

August 27, 2018

Is Trump “Our Cyrus?” A Critical American-Christian Explanation and Response Over the past year many researchers have asked evangelical Christians who voted for Donald Trump for president why they did it—given his somewhat unsavory past in terms of morality (as understood from a traditional Christian perspective). As more of that has come to light, evangelical Christians who support Trump as more than “just another president” but as something of a messianic figure have been pressed to explain why. Here I’m… Read more

August 24, 2018

Christians in the Roman Empire and Christians in the American Empire It has become fairly common for Christian scholars to compare the “Pax Romana” with a contemporary “Pax Americana”­—both referring to far-flung influences of central cultures including military interventions and occupations. Many Christian scholars have also begun to compare Christians in the American empire to Christians in the ancient Roman Empire—both before and after its “conversion” to Christianity. Lately I have been reading early post-New Testament Christian writers again. As… Read more

August 21, 2018

Some Questions about the Latter-day Saints (Formerly Known as the Mormons?)                 (I know the image above has nothing to do with the LDS Church/Mormons; it looks a bit like the inside of the Mormon Tabernacle. I’m limited in what images I can use here. Those I can use do not include one that is specifically LDS/Mormon.) Over the past three to four decades I have had many encounters with well-informed Latter-day Saints… Read more

Browse Our Archives