Why Being "An Evangelical" Today is Complicated

Clair MacMillan, National Director of the Church of the Nazarene in Canada recently published a characterization of what it is to be “evangelical” in Canada (HT: Bill Jones): Evangelical Christianity begins with the biblical assumption that God loves all people equally and . . . Continue reading →

The Gospel Is Not Social

Between Monasticism And Transformation

Like Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) before him, Rauschenbusch’s Pietism had not equipped him to address the challenges before him. Like Schleiermacher, Rauschenbusch turned to the liberals for answers. He synthesized his Pietist theology with Albrecht Ritschl’s theology of the Kingdom of God. The Social Gospel movement wanted to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth. Their optimistic eschatology (doctrine of last things) told them that they could do it. They were inspired by the Modern idea of the universal brotherhood of humanity and the universal fatherhood of God. As many others before them had done the Social Gospel movement harassed the Christian faith to their social agenda. Continue reading →

Christian, Why Do You Sing A Swedenborgian, Social-Gospel, Hymn Written By A Unitarian Minister?

“It Came Upon The Midnight Clear” (now typically titled, “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”) was first published in 1834. It was written by Edmund Hamilton Sears (1810–76), an Unitarian minister with Swedenborgian convictions. C. Michael Hawn, who teaches sacred music, describes . . . Continue reading →

On Samuel, Social Justice, And The Prophetic Office Of The Church

It is not difficult to find calls for the church to be “prophetic” especially toward the end of “social justice.” Of course we should favor social justice since nature and Scripture (e.g., Rom 13:1–7) both teach us that it is the function . . . Continue reading →

Your Ethnic Identity Is Important But It Is Not Ultimate

Christians are not Gnostics. Against the Gnostics, Christians have, since the first quarter of the second century, affirmed the essential, inherent goodness of creation. Against the Gnostics and Marcionites we also affirmed the unity of the covenant of grace. Both of those truths help us to address the problem of ethnic tensions in Christ’s church. Continue reading

So You Say You Want A Revolution?

Addressing The Impatience Of Our Age

In the wake of the disaster that was World War I, in which about 8.5 million military personnel died and an even greater number of civilians died, there developed in this country and in Europe a desire not only for a future . . . Continue reading →