The Clash of Civilizations–Theology Matters

How are we to understand the gruesome pictures from Iraq, and the awful reality that a mob not only killed several Americans, but tortured them and mutilated their bodies? Americans were rightly shocked by the senseless brutality of this attack, but the most frightening aspect of it all was the look of glee on the faces of the young men and boys who led the attack in Fallujah.

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“Tomorrow’s God”–Today’s Heresy

The postmodern world is filled with shamans, gurus, and hucksters, but few can hold a candle to Neale Donald Walsch. Author of the best selling Conversations with God series, Walsch is now back with Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge. Given the fact that at least two of his books have hit the New York Times bestseller list, Walsch’s Tomorrow’s God is likely to be tomorrow’s bestseller as well.

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Dr. Dean Talks Religion–Or Something Like That

Democratic front-runner Howard Dean is talking a lot about Christianity and religion these days. Or, at least he’s talking about something he thinks is Christianity. He says he will have to talk this way to reach southerners. He had better hope they’re not listening closely.

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Can a Christian Deny the Virgin Birth?

Can a true Christian deny the virgin birth? This question would perplex the vast majority of Christians throughout the centuries, but modern denials of biblical truth make the question tragically significant. Of all biblical doctrines, the doctrine of Christ’s virginal conception has often been the specific target of modern denial and attack.

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How to Abandon Historic Christianity in Ten Easy Lessons

G. K. Chesterton once described the Victorian loss of faith as “a great silent collapse, an enormous unspoken disappointment.” In our own times, the collapse is often anything but silent or unspoken. Indeed, one of the most noteworthy developments of our age is the rise of the theologian or church leader who, once orthodox, now declares before the world that he has outgrown biblical Christianity.

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Why Doctrine Matters

The 20th century witnessed an increasingly energetic revolt against doctrine. A denial of specific formulations of classical Christian doctrine has been evident in some quarters, while others have rejected the very notion of doctrine itself.

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The ‘Openness of God’ and the Future of Evangelical Theology

Theology will be front and center at this week’s meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Atlanta, Georgia. This is not a year for business as usual, for the society will be confronting charges brought against two of its members. Given the nature of the charges, one or both of these individuals may be removed from membership in the society. Why? The answer to that question points to one of the most significant controversies facing contemporary evangelicals.

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Christianity Transformed? An Important New Look

Alan Wolfe thinks we are not much of a threat. In The Transformation of American Religion: How we Actually Live our Faith, Wolfe presents a sociological analysis of American religion that deserves attention. The bottom line of his study is that “American religion has been so transformed that we have reached the end of religion as we have known it.”

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God and General Boykin: A Controversy Worth Watching

General Omar Bradley, the “soldier’s general” of World War II, once quipped: “I am convinced that the best service a retired general can perform is to turn in his tongue along with his suit, and to mothball his opinions.” The very active tongue of a very active general is attracting worldwide attention this week, and the controversy shows no signs of retiring.

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Pluralists of the World Unite!

In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels called for the laboring classes of the world to join the communist revolution and promised assured liberation: “Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.” In similar fashion, the prophets of religious pluralism promise world peace and true spiritual happiness if Christians will just abandon Christianity and join the pluralist revolution. Ready to join?

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Must We Believe the Virgin Birth?

Must we believe in the Virgin Birth? In his recent column in The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof pointed to belief in the Virgin Birth as evidence that conservative Christians are “less intellectual.” [see this week’s WebLog entries] Are we saddled with an untenable doctrine? Is belief in the Virgin Birth really necessary?

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The Theology of Wishful Thinking

The major trade booksellers give little space or attention to works of theology, so when the big national chains put a theological title on prominent display, something is afoot. Alas, that something is usually not good.

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Deciphering ‘The Da Vinci Code’

The summer publishing season seems always to include a thriller that leaps to the top of the best-seller charts and stays there until the fall–when readers get serious and return to school and work. The Da Vinci Code is this year’s winner, sitting at the top of the Amazon.com ratings this week and listed at second place in the New York Times hardcover fiction list. The book was on the top of that list last week, and it has made the list for 18 straight weeks. Not bad for a book with a seemingly unmanageable mix of plot structure, conspiracy theories, and mountains of detail about Catholic orders, renaissance art, theological heresy, and theoretical mathematics. Hooked yet?

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