Category: Theology

When Theology is Dangerous

I love studying theology. I teach a New Testament theology class at Talbot School of Theology, speak on theological issues at Summit Ministries, and teach a high school systematic theology class at a private school in Orange County. Along with philosophy, theology is one of my favorite topics to study. And I wholeheartedly believe that learning theology is vital for spiritual growth.

But theology can also be dangerous. My concern is not with theology per se. In fact, good theology is critical for avoiding dangerous doctrines and preventing error (Titus 1:9). I wish the church would invest more time and resources in teaching good theology. I am convinced many young people disengage the church because of bad theology.

My concerns here are with the way we teach—or often fail to teach—theology.

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5 Ways Progressive Christianity and New Age Spirituality Are Kind of the Same Thing

Think about the phrase “New Age.” What comes to mind? Old documentaries of hippies at Woodstock experimenting with LSD and yoga? Shirley MacLaine holding a cluster of crystals on the cover of Time Magazine back in the ‘80s? Deepak Chopra teaching Oprah how to move things with her mind in the ‘90s? As old or out of touch as these images may seem, New Age beliefs are hotter than ever and have permeated our culture—but with a slick new image. The psychic hotline of the ‘80s has been replaced by winsome hipster gurus who have traded robes for skinny jeans—often translating Eastern religious ideas into Christianese.

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4 Practices for Navigating Those Conflicting Bible Stories

A few years ago, a man came to see me, deeply unsettled.
He had recently heard a sermon on Judges 11:29-40. In this story, a warrior named Jephthah swears that if God grants him victory in war, when he gets home, he will sacrifice the first thing that comes out of his house—which turns out to be his daughter. Jephthah mournfully declares that he must keep his vow to God, and his daughter agrees to be sacrificed after two months to grieve with her friends.
The preacher concluded his presentation of the story by praising the virtue of Jephthah’s daughter, commending her as a fine example of biblical obedience.
“What on earth am I supposed to do with a story like that?!” the man demanded. “What kind of book sends a woman home to the man who means to kill her?”
Good question.

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You are an APOLOGIST: 3 things that you are that prove it

I think apologetics is one of the most important needs in the church today. Matter-of-fact, J. Warner Wallace once said, “the world needs a million “one dollar” apologists even more than it needs one more “million dollar” apologist.”[i] This is something I totally agree with- we need more, what I call, ‘everyday apologists’. For those who are unaware, apologetics is the discipline of ‘defending the faith’, it comes from two very important passages, one that states; “…in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you,”[ii] and also, “and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

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The Gospel According to Progressive Christianity: Is it Really Good News?

In my last post, I reviewed the book, Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. It struck a chord with some, and clanged like an out of tune banjo with others. Sure, there were some fence-sitters who just wanted everyone to get along, but for the most part, people either really really loved it, or they wanted to burn it to the ground. Here are two comments I received that represent the reactions…

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Theologies that John Chapter One Combats

The Gospel of John has been one of my favorite Gospels since I first started studying the Bible. The Gospel of John is theologically rich as well as historically accurate. One of the important sections of John’s Gospel is found in its opening chapter…

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Jesus was not a Progressive

If Jesus was alive today, would He be a progressive? Many progressives say that He would. They give examples of Him being a person of color, His challenging the establishment and showing care for the poor and oppressed. But how well do His teachings align with the progressive movement? Unfortunately for the progressive, when we examine the tenants of Progressivism over against explicit teachings of Christ, we see that the two are largely incompatible…

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