The Most Objectionable Part of the Bible

From First Thoughts

We all hear about the supposed “God of Wrath” in the Hebrew Bible, and the supposed “God of Love” of the New Testament. Those who draw that distinction don’t know their Bibles very well. For the Hebrew Bible celebrates human sexual love, underwritten by the Hebrew Bible’s God, in its . . . . Continue Reading »

A New Christian Zionism

From Web Exclusives

Critics of Christian Zionism usually dismiss it for one or more of three reasons: 1. They say it makes mincemeat of the New Testament, where (it is alleged) the Old Testament focus on a particular land is replaced by the vision of a whole world; 2. They think it is the exclusive concern of premillennial dispensationalists, whose theology supposedly uses Jews to advance its own role in presumptuous schedules of End Time events; 3. It is said to be more political than theological, attached to right-wing American and Israeli political parties that wrongly identify the current Israeli state with the eschaton.Scholars at a recent conference at Georgetown made the case for a “new” Christian Zionism that takes a fresh approach to all three of these problems. Continue Reading »

The Only Creatures Who Disobey God

From Web Exclusives

Yesterday I took a glorious walk with my wife on one of the ridges of the Appalachian Trail. Jean reminded me, as we smelled the Christmas-like pines and gazed at the rippling rows of mountains stretched out on the other side of valleys below us, that there are only two creatures who disobey God.  The angelic (or one third of them at least) and human creatures. Continue Reading »

Evangelical Maximalism

From First Thoughts

Dale Coulter is a fine historical theologian. His recent article at this space (“ Two Wings of Evangelicalism ”) helpfully provides perspective on the divide in evangelical theology. But it does not get at the root problems. Coulter rightly explains that the “confessionalist” . . . . Continue Reading »

Is Evangelical Liberalism an Oxymoron?

From Web Exclusives

A new battle is brewing over the future of Evangelical theology. Roger Olsen, Evangelical theologian at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary, protests in a recent article that some Evangelicals (especially me in a recent article in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society) misunderstand “liberal theology.” We think, he says, that liberal theology “is a good label for any deviation from orthodoxy.” So we wrongly label, he says, “any deviation from or attempt to re-form orthodox Christian tradition as ‘liberal.’” Instead, he argues, liberal theology is that which makes modernity rather than Scripture its norm… . Continue Reading »

Was Moses a Stutterer?

From Web Exclusives

In these pages recently Stephen Webb suggested that the apostle Paul had stage fright. This would be remarkable, given his history of travelling throughout the Roman Empire speaking in many dangerous situations. But any reader of the Bible knows it is full of remarkable ironies. Such as the probability that Moses, arguably the greatest leader of Israel, was a stutterer… . Continue Reading »

No, the God of the Qur’an is Not the God of the Bible

From Web Exclusives

Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Since the devastating attacks of 9/11”when the world saw afresh that religion has geo-political consequences, and that Islam is the most volatile religion on the world’s stage”more and more Christians have been asking this question. Yale theologian Miroslav Volf answers the question in a recent book (Allah: A Christian Response) with a nuanced but insistent Yes … Continue Reading »