How can models of salvation be compared on a scale of graciousness?: a response to Jerry Walls

    Daniel Sinclair has shared what he learned at the 2015 Rethinking Hell Conference. Since I was not there myself, I read his comments with interest, but I was surprised when my name showed up in his second point. I think that the ideas cited from Walls definitely merit some consideration, and I offer this as a contribution to the discussion of this very important matter.     Jerry Walls’s perspective on my model … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology, Soteriology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The distinction between Reformed Arminians and Wesleyan Arminians

In Roger Olson’s helpful review of Free Will Baptist theologian Matthew Pinson’s book, Arminian and Baptist: Explorations in a Theological Tradition, the distinction between “Reformed Arminianism” and “Wesleyan Arminianism” is described very helpfully. Olson explains that Pinson’s book is a defense of “Reformed Arminianism” which he treats as the historical theological tradition of Free Will Baptists—as opposed to other Baptists and Wesleyans/Methodists. He appeals to Arminius himself to show that the Dutch theologian was firmly … Continue reading

Posted in Historical Theology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A female soul in a male body?: a theological proposal

  The Vanity Fair article on Bruce Jenner’s gender transition into Caitlyn Jenner has created a lot of buzz. Given the dominant perspective on sexual diversity in North American culture, much of the public response has been enthusiastically affirmative. Meanwhile, Christians are trying to figure out what to make of the stories of people with gender dysphoria. How are we to understand this theologically and to assess it morally?     A Christian perspective on … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology (theological), Ethics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Robert Millett clarifies some things about Mormonism

A few days ago, I passed on the fruit of Roger Olson’s study of Mormonism which has convinced him that some Mormons are saved but that Mormonism as a theology is not Christian. Today, Olson gave Robert Millett “the final word (for now).” If this issue interests you, this is a piece you will want to read carefully. I found it helpful, to some degree it confirms my earlier gratefulness at what God is doing … Continue reading

Posted in Ecclesiology | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Is Mormonism Christian?

Roger Olson has written a long post in answer to the question of whether Mormonism is Christian. That question will probably seem to many evangelicals to be hardly worth asking, but Olson’s answer is carefully nuanced and it grows out of much greater knowledge of Mormonism than most evangelicals possess. I commend the whole post to you if you are at all interested in what is happening within Mormonism, but here is the nub of its … Continue reading

Posted in Ecclesiology, Soteriology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Do Calvinistic Baptists belong within the Reformed community of churches?

  Through the years, I have had a few conversations with members of Reformed churches about the wish of Calvinistic Baptists to be identified as “Reformed,” as in “Reformed Baptist.” Some of those Reformed or Presbyterian people have rejected as an oxymoron the name “Reformed Baptist” because Baptists do not follow a presbyterial polity or baptize the infant children of believers. We insist, rather, that only believers should be baptized. In proof of the inappropriateness … Continue reading

Posted in Ecclesiology | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Rethinking Hell Conference # 2

The second conference organized by Rethinking Hell will convene at Fuller Theological Seminary on June 18-20. The theme for this year’s conference is “Conditional Immortality and the Challenge of Universal Salvation.” The program looks excellent and I’m sorry that I won’t be there, though I hope to catch up on many of the sessions afterwards if RH makes video/audio files of them available. I commend the conference to anyone who is seeking a better informed … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Forthcoming: “A Consuming Passion”

  I just got word from the editor that a book to which I contributed a chapter is soon to come off the press from Wipf and Stock, under the Pickwick imprint, which is their primary academic venue. I look forward to reading the other essays, because it looks like a very worthwhile collection – good authors on interesting topics. I am happy to have a small part in honoring Edward Fudge, a lovely and … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Eschatology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

How the Christian doctrine of sin should lead believers in eternal conscious torment to affirmation of annihilationism

In a blog post at Jesus Creed, Jeff Cook (lecturer in philosophy at the University of Colorado and pastor of Atlas Church) has raised a very significant philosophical objection to the traditional doctrine that hell is eternal conscious torment. He demonstrates convincingly that the concept of hell as dehumanization, as affirmed by C. S. Lewis and N. T. Wright is almost indistinguishable from annihilationism. That dehumanization tends toward annihilation has already been nicely demonstrated in … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s love in the context of his relationship with the world: notice of a valuable book that is forthcoming.

Three and half years ago, I was asked to look at a manuscript proposal which IVP was considering and to make some evaluative comments. I suggested that the book was worth publishing but heard no more about it until recently. Then I was happy to learn that the editors had concurred with me, because I was asked if I’d be willing to write an endorsement for the book, which is scheduled to come off the … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Theology Proper | Tagged | Leave a comment