March 27, 2021

The question on my mind today is this: Can a person be a Christian and vote to criminalize giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty person? *As always, here I speak/write only for myself and not for any other person, organization or institution. Rude, overly lengthy, off-topic comments will not be approved. (This is a moderated blog, not a discussion board.)  Read more

March 24, 2021

Thoughts about Atonement The English word “atonement” was coined by William Tyndale for what Jesus Christ accomplished to reconcile us to God and God to us. It is a combination word out of two words and a syllable: “at,” “one,” and “ment.” “Atonement” simply means “at-one-ment” with God. It is traditionally used in English to refer to Christ’s passion—his suffering and death—insofar as that made reconciliation with God possible. According to the New Testament and Christian tradition, Christ’s “work”—what he… Read more

March 19, 2021

When Is Division among Christians Justified? We, American Christians (and I’m sure others) have become used to divisions among Christians. Rarely do we question it. And yet Christ said that he wished for his followers to be one—even as he and the Father are one. Throughout the ages of Christianity visible and institutional unity among Christians have always been an ideal. Rarely has it been realized. One of the first real schisms among Christians came about in the middle of… Read more

March 16, 2021

Does Underrepresentation Necessarily Mean Exclusion? Here I step gingerly into a minefield. For forty years I have lived and worked in the American academic world. I can say with confidence that in that culture it is simply assumed that if a group other than males (boys and men) is underrepresented in a discipline or profession, they are excluded. That is, there are barriers to their being equally represented in those disciplines. To question that assumption is tantamount to academic heresy…. Read more

March 13, 2021

Congratulations to Harry and Meghan for Escaping the Royal “Trap” I wouldn’t normally watch something like Oprah Winfrey’s two hour long interview with Prince Harry and Princess Meghan (I’m not even sure if they are “prince” and “princess” anymore or what their last names are). But, it was on the television and I was trapped. I watched it with some reluctance. I am not a fan of celebrity culture or of monarchy (or of Oprah Winfrey). I know, I know…someone… Read more

March 11, 2021

Congratulations to Beth Moore on Leaving the Southern Baptist Convention! According to new reports evangelical evangelist, teacher, author and lay theologian Beth Moore, one of the most successful and widely influential Christian women in America, has finally, publicly broken ties with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). This was probably an agonizing decision for her, but I applaud her for making it. The SBC has many problems and among them is a certain (ahem) inhospitality toward female speakers—unless they totally toe… Read more

March 8, 2021

Is Texas a Failed State? There are many definitions of “failed state” and most of them have to do with nation-states, countries, whose governments, for whatever reasons, are not able to function. According to some geo-political scholars and sources, Somalia is one example. Apparently, there is no central government that governs Somalia. As a citizen of Texas for a total of 25 years (twice during those years with a hiatus in the middle) I sometimes wonder if Texas has become… Read more

March 2, 2021

A Parable/Greek Tragedy There was a large, extended family most of whose members were (and many are) intensely interested in health food and alternative medicine. Their underlying interest was health. But this family (and most of their friends) were intensely interested in organic foods, alternative “medicines” and “healthy living”—in a fairly extreme way that marked them off from most other people around them. The children were not allowed to eat many ordinary foods and were sent to school with “special… Read more

February 27, 2021

American Evangelical Christianity: A Failed Movement? I grew up in the “thick” of American evangelical Christianity and have served as a theologian in it for about forty years. My uncle was on the national board of the National Association of Evangelical (NAE). My parents were evangelical pastors; many of my close relatives were evangelical evangelists, ministers, missionaries, denominational leaders. I well remember standing on a downtown sidewalk of our Midwestern city feeling proud to see my father marching together with… Read more

February 24, 2021

Having Said That…There Are Times When We Modern Christians Must Say Tradition Was Wrong In my immediately preceding blog post I argued that modern Christians ought not to throw out long-held Christian beliefs just because they not longer seem suitable to modern cultural sensitivities. I gave some examples. Here I want to return to something I wrote about years ago—“postconservative theology.” People misunderstood my meaning even though I explained it very clearly. “Conservative theology” CAN hold too rigidly to tradition…. Read more

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