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Author Roger Olson

Roger Olson is the Foy Valentine professor of Christian theology and ethics at George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas. He is the author of numerous books, including “Counterfeit Christianity” and “The Story of Christian Theology.”

Some equate “American evangelicalism” with a far right-wing political movement. They base this on a combination of two factors: First, many leading spokespersons for far-right wing American politics call themselves “evangelicals.” This has been going on since fundamentalists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson established movements within American evangelicalism to promote conservative social and political causes. […] Read More

Do all atheists deny the same God? “Atheism” literally means, “without belief in God.” However, it has come to refer to denial of the existence of God to distinguish it from “agnosticism,” which is denial of knowledge of God. Atheism affirms that God does not exist; atheists claim to know that or at least strongly […] Read More

I agree with the late Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar that the rise of nominalism in especially Western cultures has been a “catastrophe.” As Balthasar explained in his manifesto, “The God Question and Modern Man,” nominalism led to secularism, which led to “forgetfulness of beauty” and ultimately the dehumanizing of “man.” So what is […] Read More

A new television sitcom, “The Grinder,” holds up a mirror that should make us ashamed or at least embarrassed. I watch a lot of television because it helps me keep in touch with popular culture and my students. Knowing what’s on TV helps me relate to students and understand American culture. Karl Barth is supposed […] Read More

One of the most famous questions ever asked in public of a public person was U.S. Army counsel Joseph Welch’s question to Sen. Joseph McCarthy in 1954 during McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunt in Congress. In total disgust, Welch asked McCarthy, “At long last, Senator, have you no sense of decency?” This was an example of […] Read More

I grew up within classical Pentecostalism, a Christian tradition that by and large rejected the Word-Faith prosperity gospel when it emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. Yet, within a decade, most cities had at least one Word-Faith church dedicated to the gospel of health and wealth through positive thinking and speaking. Most looked to Kenneth […] Read More

Florida mega-church pastor and sometime religious television personality Paula White is emerging in news media coverage as a leading spokesperson for “American evangelicals.” Her church in suburban Orlando attracts about 20,000 attendees, and thousands more watch her on television and read her writings. Her version of evangelical Christianity is what is popularly known as the […] Read More

One of my favorite theologians is the late Emil Brunner, Karl Barth’s nemesis and counterpart in the dialectical theology movement in Switzerland in the 1920s through the 1950s. I say “nemesis” because they had a very famous and unfortunate, lengthy and complicated argument about “natural theology” in which Barth used very strong language against Brunner […] Read More

American conservative Christianity, especially conservative evangelical theology influenced by fundamentalism, still struggles with science. And, of course, many scientists struggle with religion – except that which is completely privatized and makes no truth claims about reality outside the self. Cornell University’s late, former president Andrew White’s “warfare of science with theology in Christendom” goes on […] Read More

Many Christians, including university professors at Christian universities, confuse popular culture with the Christian story. When I taught Christian theology (mostly historical theology) at an evangelical Christian liberal arts college, there was a strong emphasis on “integration of faith and learning.” And yet some of my faculty colleagues resisted the idea. Some ridiculed it. And […] Read More