October 16, 2018

Bonhoeffer, Ethics, and “Scruples” Foreward to this blog post: I make no claim to being an expert on Bonhoeffer, but over the years, since seminary (1970s), I have read many books by him and about him. These are my musings; I make no claim to infallibility and I would appreciate it if no one would nit-pick in responses. For example, if I say Bonhoeffer is “widely regarded as a martyr,” I do not invite correction. Yes, I know there are… Read more

October 14, 2018

Why Essentialism is Essential (At Least to Me) Here’s a delicious irony: “essentialism” is the philosophy that says entities have certain necessary properties that define them, that make them what they are. (It is, of course, a form of metaphysical realism as opposed to nominalism.) However, “essentialism” is itself an essentially contested concept. Look it up in dictionaries of philosophy. So, here, for purposes of this blog essay I am going to use “essentialism” for how I think and write… Read more

October 11, 2018

What Were You in the 1970s If You Remember…? Larry Norman and Keith Green Washington for Jesus (1980) Mike Yaconelli and Youth Specialties The Other Side and the PostAmerican Eternity magazine Thief in the Night (movie) Christian coffeehouses Petra Bill Gothard and Basic Youth Conflicts seminars HIS magazine ”Key ‘73” Rex Humbard and the birth of “televangelism” Jesus People USA Andre Crouch and the Disciples Brian Ruud Arthur Blessit Tom Skinner The Relational Revolution and Christian Encounter Groups Camps Farthest… Read more

October 10, 2018

Are White Evangelicals the Only Religious Group to Support Trump? According to an article published by Baptist News Global (curated from Vox) “White evangelicals are the only religious group to support Trump.” (October 8, 2018) I doubt it. *Note: This blog is not a discussion board; if you choose to write a comment know that it may not be posted here. This blog is moderated and only comments and questions that are relatively brief, addressed to me, civil in tone,… Read more

October 7, 2018

Does Calvinism Justify Domestic Abuse? Recently there has been some “buzz” in public and “around the water coolers” that Calvinism justifies domestic violence and abuse. Because I am one of Calvinism’s best known critics, I feel the need to wade into this controversy and nip it in the bud, so far as possible, early—before it gets to the point of people accusing Calvinists (people) of justifying domestic violence and abuse. *Note to readers and potential commenters: Here, as always, I… Read more

October 4, 2018

Who’s Really a “Fundamentalist?” Again—the American Media Gets Religion Wrong One of my main complaints about the American media—both “news” and “entertainment” (and the line between the two is increasingly blurred)—is their tendency to get religion wrong. Often these are journalists who have easy access to religion scholars and don’t use them (us). Often these are entertainment writers of television (or other broadcast or streaming media) programming. *Sidebar: The opinions expressed here are my own (or those of the guest… Read more

October 1, 2018

Back to Theology: Again with Arminianism     When I first began this blog my primary intention was to focus on reclaiming original Arminianism and correct the many misrepresentations of Arminianism especially among evangelicals (including theologians). I hope that by now, after many years of fighting this battle (against misrepresentations) that began in about 1992, I have made a dent in the armor of the opposition. (I know I’m mixing metaphors but that has never stopped me from doing it!)… Read more

September 29, 2018

Why Income Tax Is the Only Fair Tax Whenever I make this case, someone jumps to a wrong conclusion. The person obviously does not read my whole essay! (I have written on this subject before and it has been published as a guest column in a local newspaper. Many who responded with letters to the editor made fools of themselves because they clearly didn’t read my whole essay!) I am not advocating adding an income tax to other taxes; I… Read more

September 26, 2018

What Is “Situation Ethics?” What Should Be a Christian’s Response? When I was a kid growing up in the “thick” of American evangelical Christianity in the 1960s there was one great horrible “bugaboo” (cause for fear and alarm) against which we were being warned lest it infect our thinking and lead us down a road to complete personal decadence and eventual loss of salvation: “situation ethics.” I don’t recall anything being as forcefully condemned as that—by my spiritual mentors. Now,… Read more

September 23, 2018

The Many Faces of Socialism Let’s talk about “socialism.” Especially since Senator Bernie Sanders ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States this word, which he uses for his own economic policies and proposals, has been bandied about and, I fear, greatly misunderstood by many people. Sanders has made clear that what he wants is “democratic socialism.” In most conversation I have overheard the “democratic” has been dropped and Sanders has been accused (or sometimes applauded)… Read more

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