February 15, 2024

The Political Meaning of Christianity: Preface and Prologue Some of us here are reading and discussing together a book entitled The Political Meaning of Christianity by political scientist Glenn Tinder (HarperSanFrancisco1991). The purpose is to discern Tinder’s recommendation to us American Christians in this time and place (America in 2024). A question for discussion, throughout this collective reading and discussion, is whether our present circumstances would change what Tinder calls “the prophetic stance”—his own Christian perspective on the timeless and... Read more

February 13, 2024

What Does “Evangelical” Really Mean? According to Rachel Maddow and others on MSNBC (an American news outlet), “evangelical” designates a “political faction” and a “voting block.” See on Youtube “What evangelical really means in the Trump era.” Is this true? I hope not. And I would like to send Maddow and others at MSNBC a message from a leading evangelical influencer—me. I won’t go over my credentials here, now, as you can look them up if you want to. I... Read more

February 10, 2024

But Is It Worth It? A Question to Christian Trumpist By Christian “Trumpists” here I mean simply Christians who support Trump for President regardless of his obvious moral and character failures. I recently watched and listened to a MSNBC segment featuring journalist and commentator Lawrence O’Donnell. It’s on Youtube. There he says he has interviewed numerous Trump supporters, including Christians (I assume), who acknowledge that Trump’s very serious character flaws but say they will support him no matter what. Why?... Read more

February 7, 2024

Are American Evangelicals Gullible? This question has been bothering me for decades. And for what I consider good reasons. But first let me be clear about this: By no means would I ever believe that evangelicals are necessarily or always or only more gullible than anyone else. What I am asking is if American evangelicals TEND to be too gullible for their own or anyone else’s good? Should they be taught to be more critical in their thinking? As I... Read more

February 6, 2024

A New Book Discussion Here: The Political Meaning of Christianity I have gone back and forth thinking about how to do this as the book, The Meaning of Christianity, is out of print except for a rather expensive re-print by Wipf & Stock. It is available used (many copies) and at ARCHIVE.ORG (but only borrowable for 14 days). And an article, based on the book, entitled “Can We Be Good Without God? On the Political Meaning of Christianity” is available... Read more

February 4, 2024

Essentials of Christian Thought: Appendix The appendix expresses the reason for the book! It’s title is : A Model for the Integration of Faith and Learning. Several years ago I posted here an essay on which this appendix is based. The book’s publisher asked me to write a book explaining the “faith” part of faith and learning integration. This is that. Usually here I avoid quoting the book, but here is an especially succinct expression of “faith-learning integration” found on... Read more

January 31, 2024

Treason of the Intellectuals? One of the most thought-provoking Youtube videos I have watched recently is “The Treason of the Intellectuals with Niall Ferguson.” It is an interview conducted with historian and public intellectual Niall Ferguson, a highly educated scholar who has taught at both Harvard and Stanford universities. It interviewer is Hoover Institute fellow Peter Robinson. The gist of the interview is that new universities are needed in America as the traditional ones, especially the grand ones, have become... Read more

January 29, 2024

Essentials of Christian Thought: Chapter 6: The Biblical-Christian Perspective on the World The biblical story can only be rightly interpreted as representing an “ontological interval” between God and the world as well as a “moral interval.” However, the two intervals must not be confused with each other. The ontological interval, God’s transcendence (not to diminish God’s immanence), does not cause the moral interval. According to the biblical story, sin and evil are NOT caused by finitude or by God’s transcendence;... Read more

January 26, 2024

Going Out on A Limb: Needed: A National Religion I said that after retirement I will “take off the gloves” here. There are some things I just couldn’t say before, while I was still employed, especially in institutions that highly valued “separation of church and state” in a fairly strict way. I do still believe in separation of “church” (denomination) and state. However, I have come to believe that a community, which America should be, cannot go on forever being... Read more

January 24, 2024

Essentials of Christian Thought: Chapter 5: The Biblical-Christian View of Ultimate Reality: God *Note: I apologize for skipping over chapters 5 and 6. I’m now backing up to chapter 5. I hope to cover chapter 6 on Monday (January 29).* Personally, I am finding discussing my own writing challenging. Do I critique what I wrote? It wasn’t long ago that I wrote this book. I don’t think I’ve changed my mind about anything. But could I have said something better?... Read more

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