How a Calvinist Rates Cake

From First Thoughts

There are several presupposed and pre-ordained principles necessary for a quality dessert. And, of course, they follow the expected TULIP scenario. These are:T - Totally awsomeU - Unconditionally servedL - Limitless in supplyI - Irresistible icingP - Preserves our current weightNote that these . . . . Continue Reading »

That’s Not Fundamentalism

From First Thoughts

What is Christian fundamentalism? It is a set of protestant tenets published, in the early 20th century, as a response to the theological liberalism and higher criticism of the 19th century. It is a doctrinal statement and nothing more. These positions include concerns about the virgin birth, . . . . Continue Reading »

On the History of Empires and Theology

From First Thoughts

Niall Ferguson provides a simple, clear, and insightful portrayal of the (potential) rise and fall of the American empire in his article Complexity and Collapse, Empires on the Edge of Chaos, from the March/April 2010 edition of Foreign Affairs. The thread of his analysis follows a thread provided . . . . Continue Reading »

In Search of the Next Revival?

From First Thoughts

American evangelical history has been, it seems largely, driven by revival events. Whether Wesleyan, Moody, fundamentalist, or the Jesus movement, it seems that our culture has run on a roughly 40-year cycle of events. Moody, 1890ish; fundamentalists, 1930ish; Jesus movement, 1970ish. Then there are . . . . Continue Reading »

One Issue with Philosophical Theology

From First Thoughts

It has been an issue for centuries – theologians acting as philosophers and using philosophy as the starting point for theology.  Some do it on the broader scope, constructing theological frameworks out of philosophical tenets.  This is true not only of the modern errors we know as . . . . Continue Reading »

Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

From First Thoughts

With full apologies for the vulgarity of the title (going back to a 70s piece of fluff top 40 music), it was the only thing that came  to mind.  The subject of prophecy, false prophets, and charlatans in our midst often inspires sarcasm within my heart.  But I just could not help . . . . Continue Reading »

On Hymn and Stories

From First Thoughts

Many of our hymns have a rich, and sometimes painful, history behind them.  There is Amazing Grace and the Lord’s redemption of John Newton from the most vile of livelihoods — the slave trade.  Then there is Horatio Spafford’s It is Well with My Soul.  The first part . . . . Continue Reading »