Roger Olson

With respect to authors, scholars, and theologians who have taken a “post-evangelical” or “beyond-evangelical” position, some of the most influential voices of our time are Scot McKnight, N.T. Wright, the late Michael Spencer (iMonk), and Roger Olson.

You may know Olson from my book Beyond Evangelical, which he highly (and kindly) recommended.

I caught up with Roger Olson recently and interviewed him on the challenges that face evangelicalism today. Here’s the interview.

For those who aren’t familiar with you, tell us about your ministry and the topics that you are most passionate about.

Roger Olson: I teach historical theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. I’m in my thirtieth year of teaching theology and previously taught it at Bethel College (now Bethel University) and (for two years) Oral Roberts University. I’m passionate about evangelical theology and Arminian theology—clearing up misconceptions about them and exploring what they really are. Both are widely misrepresented and misunderstood. My main area of interest and research, though, is modern/contemporary theology.

In my book, Beyond Evangelical, I quote you, Scot McKnight, and the late Michael Spencer quite a bit. There is no doubt that a growing number of evangelicals today are moving beyond the classical Left and Right categories. To your mind, what are the top 3 biggest obstacles that evangelicalism faces today with respect to how the world views us?[Continue Reading...]

My Next Co-Author & FAQ Questions

Last week I wrote a post entitled Co-Authoring: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. In the beginning of the article, I made this statement:

“I don’t know about you, but I’m wired for networking and co-laboring. I love team-work and prefer joint projects over flying solo. So co-writing suits my personality.”

On the heels of that remark, someone suggested that I ask my blog readers to answer the following:

Name a published author that you’d like to see me co-author a book with.

Even if your choice is a “long shot,” I’d still like to hear your answer to this question.

Also, don’t miss my Frequently Asked Questions page. Some of the questions I’ve addressed so far are:

*what is your advice on blogging, writing books, and getting published?

*has your recent shift of ministry-focus affected your view of your previous books on the church?

*I want to leave my church. What advice can you give me on how to do it?

*I’ve looked for an organic expression of the church like you describe in Reimagining Church, but I cannot find one near me. What do I do?

*what’s the difference between clergy salaries and receiving royalties for the work of authors, musicians, and artists?

And many more . . .

If you find this post helpful, you are free to ADD A LINK to it on your blog or website. But don’t copy and paste the post as this violates Google’s guidelines.

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Meet Me in 2013 PLUS a Special Workshop for Writers & Bloggers

One of the things I really enjoy in life is meeting my readers in person. This year I had the pleasure of meeting many of you in several of my speaking events and it was great to hang out.

Click here to ensure that you’re on my Events List to be notified about future events. Even if you filled out the form in the past, I recommend filling it out again. Our old list got corrupted.

I will be speaking at several cool conferences in 2013. So I hope to meet you at one of them.

If you’re a pastor or a conference host, and you’d like to book me for 2013, go to this page for instructions. Some of my most popular messages are on that page to sample.

Writers & Bloggers Workshop[Continue Reading...]

Do You Make These 4 Mistakes When Disagreeing With Someone?

The following post was written by Heather Goodman.

If you’re in a conversation with someone about some way of thinking you think they need to see from your perspective, the following statements are unhelpful and bad form:

1) “You can only understand what I’m saying by revelation.” (Gee, what are they supposed to do with THAT?)

2) “You need to go research a bit and then come back and talk to me.” (How do you know they haven’t researched this topic more than YOU and *still* see it differently than you do? Don’t make assumptions!)

3) “You need to stop thinking so much / get out of your head / stop being so intellectual about this.” (What that usually means is that you are weak at explaining your position, so you’d rather the person just swallow what you are trying to teach them without thinking much about it.)

4) “I used to think like you on that topic – but God set me free.” (Do you know how this sets up your own experience/perception as the authority and puts the other person beneath you as you are the expert and they are still in your prior “childish” state?)

See also . . .

So You Think You Disagree?

The Art of Being a Jerk Online

We Have Not So Learned Christ: On Internet Correspondence

The Anatomy of a Slanted Critique

An Important Insight from President Obama

Do you think Heather’s list is valid and can you add any other statements to it?

The Next Big Social Network

Many people are waiting for the next big social network to show up.

Facebook has been declining in popularity with their constant privacy changes as well as making members pay for a decent amount of people to see your updates. If you don’t pay to promote your status updates, only 10-12% of your friends see them.

Twitter is less effective on this front. Only about 2% of your Twitter followers see your tweets.

Google+ is horrible in the visibility-awareness department. Everyone is on it, but hardly anyone uses it. I’m in about 5,000 circles. But that and a dollar will buy me a Lotto ticket. I can count on one hand how many people see my updates.

Pinterest is effective for some, but ineffective for others. If there’s a way to send a personal message to someone on Pinterest (like you can do on Facebook), can you tell me how to do that?

Quora is ineffective as well, for the same reason.

For all of these reasons, many are looking for the next big social network. And they want to get in on it early when it launches.

Are you aware of such a network?

P.S. If you missed it, our Christmas special is still on. There are only 7 copies left of the collector’s item.

Giving Thanks

In addition to thanking God for His infinite mercy and unfailing grace . . . and the many blessings He’s given me . . . I want to thank all of you who have subscribed to this blog and have made it an awesome community of stimulating discussion and encouragement.

If you’re new to the blog, you can subscribe by Email and receive my “Next Reformation Seminary” as a free gift. The seminar is not available anywhere else.

Just click the banner below. But make sure you activate your subscription. The blog will automatically generate an activation link to your inbox right after you subscribe. You must use the link to activate the subscription.

For you pastors and teachers, here’s a thanksgiving message I wrote that you may find of help.



Psalm 115:1

He’s Brilliant!

Or . . . “She’s Brilliant!”

You’ve heard this statement before.

Or perhaps you’ve uttered those words yourself about another individual.

But what does it mean?

When someone describes another mortal as being “brilliant” . . . what are they saying about them exactly?

And how does it differ from terms like “smart” . . . “funny” . . . “intelligent,” etc.?

I look forward to your responses.

P.S. We still haven’t run out of our Christmas special. There are still some left, so act soon if you want to take advantage of the offer.

A Powerful Resource for Authors & Musicians – Getting the Word Out About Your Book or Album

Mike Morrell (not the CIA guy) helps authors and artists get their message out. He has a unique program called SpeakEasy. If you’ve heard of the book The Shack (regardless of how you may feel about it), Mike was the marketing genius behind its tremendous sales.

Recently, I interviewed Mike and asked him to tell us about the program. If you’re an author or musician, you’ll want to read this.

Explain what the SpeakEasy program is and why did you create it?[Continue Reading...]

Rethinking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit: Part VI

If you’re just joining us, be sure to go back to Part I and work your way up to this post. Each post in this series builds on the previous ones. None are stand-alone articles.

Here are some thoughts in review . . .

We have established that the idea that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased and tongues isn’t for today cannot be sustained by Scripture. God still gives tongues to some of His children, but it’s largely a prayer language for private use. If tongues are prayed in public, they should be interpreted (so says Paul).

We have established that the idea that the baptism of the Spirit is a separate and subsequent experience from conversion-initiation cannot be sustained by Scripture. We’ve established this in previous posts.

We have established that the idea that there is a normative second-work of the Spirit after conversion cannot be sustained by Scripture. The Holy Spirit comes into all believers at conversion. But His work will vary in the lives of each person and at different seasons of their lives.

We have established that the idea that a person can be filled with the Spirit only once is incorrect. People can be filled with the Spirit many times throughout their lives.

We have established that the idea that the baptism of the Spirit is always evidenced by speaking in tongues cannot be sustained by Scripture.

We have established that the idea that some Christians have received the Holy Spirit, or have been “filled with the Spirit,” while others have not cannot be sustained by Scripture. In Romans 8, Paul makes clear that a person who doesn’t have the Spirit doesn’t belong to Christ.[Continue Reading...]