‘Theological Opining’ Archive

Did the New Testament Prophesy Islam? August 16, 2017 No Comments

Muslims sometimes claim that the coming of Muhammad is prophesied in John 14 under the name of the Helper.  I doubt this; there is not a lot of similarity between the actual work of Muhammad and how the Helper is described here, so I must contend that the Helper is

Did Jesus Give Us Our Individualism? July 27, 2017 No Comments

Patrick Deneen has warned that modern ‘liberalism’, which includes American style conservatism, has stressed the individual and dominion over nature so much as to weaken community.  In trying to liberate the individual, the state, and for conservatives the market, expand to protect us from the arational [as Fukuyama calls them] spheres of authority, which is to say, […]

Jesus Did Not Teach Universal ‘Acceptance, Tolerance, and Inclusion’ June 14, 2017 No Comments

We are often told today that Jesus taught radical ‘acceptance, tolerance, and inclusion’.  Well, he did open the door to many the Pharisees thought beyond hope, and on the other hand he excluded many of the Pharisees themselves. Let’s start with the Sermon on the Mount.  In it he excludes: Those whose righteousness is not “better […]

Why I’m Not Ultimately a Pessimist May 1, 2017 No Comments

These are strange times indeed.  The traditional ‘fusion-conservatism’ has been shattered, to be replaced by a form of nationalism that in some forms seems to lean in the unfortunate direction of white nationalism. Some of the old social conservatives have taken to looking to Putin’s Russia, of all places, as their beacon of hope.  This […]

James K. A. Smith and the Pentecostal World View November 30, 2015 1 Comment

Is there such a thing as a ‘Pentecostal philosophy’?  James K. A. Smith says there is.  They don’t necessarily talk about it in ways we are accustomed to, but he says they have one.  And here are its major elements according to Smith: 1.  A position of radical openness to God, and in particular, God […]

“Shared Intentionality” and its Implications February 2, 2015 No Comments

The ‘developmental and comparative psychologist’ Michael Tomasello, an American who now works at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, has come up with a concept called “shared intentionality” as a mark that separates humans from chimpanzees and bonobos [asserted in many circles to be our closest blood relatives].  Where I first read of this, in […]

The Place of Sharia Law in a Free Society January 3, 2011 No Comments

There has been some controversy recently, because the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less, suggested that sharia law could in some ways be incorporated into the British law code.  This suggestion created a certain amount of outrage; and in the last election the state of Oklahoma, not a state with a large number of Muslims, passed […]

The H-word, and the Other H-word December 6, 2010 2 Comments

In the ‘60s we had a lot of slang phrases using the word “head” – “head trip” “got a crazy idea in his head” “feed your head” (Jefferson Airplane) “we’d like to change your head” (The Beatles) “out of my head” “big head” “hard headed woman” (Yusuf Islam) In other words, the significance of the […]

Representing our Jesus to Their Jesus, A Book Notice April 22, 2010 2 Comments

Todd D. Hunter, Christianity Beyond Belief: Following Jesus for the Sake of Others . 2009: IVP Press. Author’s website: 3isenough.org. At first I think I had Todd Hunter mixed up with Joel Hunter of Florida, but Todd Hunter is a native Californian, to which I am partial, now setting up an Anglican AMIA church that […]

Jesus’ Theology of Earthquakes April 19, 2010 1 Comment

It has been more than a week since the Easter Sunday Mexicali earthquake, but better late than never. Many of us have thought, or, frankly, even hoped, that natural calamities would mainly fall on sinners.  A famous verse came out of the San Francisco earthquake:

A Theology of Earthquakes and Culture February 12, 2010 5 Comments

After the Haiti earthquake, Pat Robertson declared that the earthquake was punishment for Haiti’s voodoo culture.  How does he know?  And is it any of his business?  Pronouncements of this sort, I believe, fall into the category of “taking the name of the Lord in vain,” a commandment often misunderstood to be about what you […]

Great Commission Utilitarianism February 3, 2010 2 Comments

Darrow Miller of Disciple Nations Alliance (disciplenations.org) writes about Great Commission Utilitarianism. I frankly claim credit for coining the term, and the issue is certainly one of my passions, but he writes about it more effectively than I could. Document: Great Commission Utilitarianism by Darrow Miller

Creeping Lutheranism? December 14, 2009 1 Comment

I have no interest in making my non-believing readers feel uncomfortable, but I did reserve a Theology category in this blog. And you may not understand everything I write about theology, but I hope you find it entertaining. My wife, in her career at the Register, was able to make religion stories interesting, entertaining, and […]

The Heart vs. The Gut November 18, 2009 3 Comments

One of the common errors in modern Western thinking is to confuse the “heart” with the “gut,” the home of the emotions and moods. My emotions and moods change over time. The attitudes that trigger my moods and feelings are much more stable and change, if anything, very slowly. The Bible speaks constantly of the […]