February 16, 2019

Why Sexual Abuse within Baptist Churches Is Not the Same… Recently a major U.S. city daily newspaper has run a series of articles about sexual abuse by clergy and other church professionals especially in the Southern Baptist Convention. Victims and victims’ rights groups have demanded that the SBC do more to prevent sexual abuse within its ranks and to punish (by banishing) the predators. It’s clear to me that there exists some confusion about Baptist polity (church government); I suspect… Read more

February 12, 2019

The Dark Side of Evangelicalism Here, in this essay, by “evangelicalism” I do not mean any particular evangelical movement but what I have described as the “evangelical ethos”—a broad and inclusive spiritual-theological form of Christianity defined by the so-called “Bebbington quadrilateral”: conversionism, biblicism, crucicentrism, and activism. I have expounded these here much in the past, so I will refrain from doing so again. Anyone interested can simply look up the “Bebbington quadrilateral” and read about evangelical Christianity—not as a particular… Read more

February 8, 2019

Evangelicalism Again: Why Are They Not Using My Distinction between “Movement” and “Ethos?” This is my response to the following Religion News article: https://religionnews.com/2019/02/06/there-are-no-real-evangelicals-only-imagined-ones/ I read it with real interest and was very disappointed. The subject is one I have discussed here and in some of my articles, book chapters, and books frequently. I expended great energy in trying to enlighten people about the difference between “evangelical movements” (which come and go) and the “evangelical ethos” which is world-wide and… Read more

February 4, 2019

What Has Happened to the Evangelical Christianity of Not Long Ago? The other day I was having a conversation with a man about my age who entered the Christian ministry as a very young man—while still in college. My father did the same. He began pastoring a church at age 19! I grew up in a church world where young men (and women) were expected to hear a “call from God” to some kind of vocation of service while they… Read more

February 2, 2019

Does Taking Migrant Children from Parents Constitute a Crime Against Humanity? Before reading this, I suggest you read the following New York Times article from June 5, 2018: “Taking Migrant Children From Parents Is Illegal, U.N. Tells U.S.” Many people both within the U.S. and outside it condemned the U.S. practice of separating children from parents at southern border crossings. Over the months of this operation as many as two thousand (probably more) children (many of them little more than… Read more

January 29, 2019

Is Evangelicalism White? Increasingly others are joining me (or I am joining them) in criticizing the tendency of American sociologists or religion, their researchers, and the mass media to identify “evangelical” as a white phenomenon. I find this equation both bewildering and disturbing. Now, I have to admit that when there was a semi-organized “evangelical movement” in the United States it was primarily led by Caucasian males. In my opinion, that post-World War 2 movement that looked to Billy Graham… Read more

January 26, 2019

What Is a “Moral Universe?” In my immediately preceding blog essay here I talked about God, being, and goodness and equated them. I also argued that without that equation, this cannot really be a “moral universe” except in the sense (if one can say it seriously and with a straight face) that everything is as it should be (or everything simply “is what it is”). In my experience, many people, both Christians and non-Christians, do not really understand what is… Read more

January 23, 2019

Down to “Rock Bottom” of Christian Theism: God and the Good Unfortunately for everyone (including God), the vast majority of people who consider themselves Christians have little to no understanding of basic Christian world and life perspective. Unfortunately for Christianity, the vast majority of people who consider themselves astute critics of Christianity have little to no understanding of basic Christian world and life perspective. A few of us Christians do, but getting people, Christians and critics of Christianity, to sit… Read more

January 20, 2019

Does God “Embrace All People Regardless…?” Not very long ago I was invited to sign a “declaration” crafted by a group of noted American religious scholars and leaders that condemns racism and other forms of bigotry and calls for American Christians to oppose public policies and behaviors—both public and private—that work to the detriment of disadvantaged, oppressed, marginalized people. Hundreds of scholars and religious leaders signed it. I don’t think that I did. (The list of signatories is so long… Read more

January 17, 2019

Is There Anything New Under the Sun? (Return to Discussion of “INC”) My previous (most recently preceding) blog post about the so-called “INC” phenomenon has set off a conversation (almost a debate) about whether INC is really new or, as I argue, just a new manifestation of something old. If you are joining here and don’t know what “INC” refers to, please look back to the previous blog post here. It was entitled “A Newish American Church Phenomenon: INC (Independent… Read more

Browse Our Archives