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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.”

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

Whatever happened to the Christian mind? This has been asked numerous times and by many Christian philosophers and theologians. A relatively recent classic on the subject is Mark Noll’s “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.” Francis Schaeffer, especially in his early works, decried Christian anti-intellectualism. A.W. Tozer, an evangelical preacher and writer of a previous […] Read More

I visit a lot of churches, having attended (more than once or twice) numerous churches of many denominations. And I read about churches. “Church life” is one of my strongest interests. I served as consultant for two editions of Abingdon’s “Handbook of Denominations” and I will be giving lectures about denominationalism at a Christian college […] Read More

When the cardinals of the Catholic Church elected a pope to replace retiring Benedict XVI, I commented that I was uninterested and didn’t care. The reason was simple: Not that I have anything in particular against Catholics or the Catholic Church but that, as a Baptist, the pope does not speak for me. Some Protestants, […] Read More

I have for a very long time written letters to newspaper editors about the problems I see affecting the whole of society because of the gradual decline of men and boys in education, health, work places and homes. For years I was ridiculed and called “goofy” for expressing such concerns and calling for greater attention […] Read More

I was chatting recently with a Christian magazine editor and the subject of the “nones” came up. The question on everyone’s mind, of course, is how to attract “nones” back to church, or at least how to keep millennials (many of whom are perceived as abandoning church altogether) in the churches. One strategy that’s floating […] Read More