Against Liberal Theology with Roger Olson
September 8 2022
It might seem counterintuitive for Christians to be ‘against’ anything. In the tradition of Origen of Alexandria’s Against Celsus, Roger Olson takes on the religion of Theological Liberalism in today’s podcast.
Youtube - https://youtu.be/piePXsUmh1g
Contender: Going Deeper in the Book of Jude - This all-inclusive small group study on the book of Jude is out now. Check it out on the course page: http://courses.andymilleriii.com
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Thanks too to Phil Laeger for the new podcast music. You can find out about Phil's music at https://www.laeger.net
Welcome to the more to the story podcast I am so glad you are here, this is a show where you might hear a little bit of a.
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Andy Miller III: fan ammonium from me, because I have guests coming on who is somebody I have followed and read and admired for a long time so it's my first time talking to them so you'll have to.
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Andy Miller III: you'll just see the stars my eyes when the time comes, but before we get there.
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Andy Miller III: I am delighted to tell you about a few things I want to make sure you know, this podcast is sponsored by Wesley biblical seminary where we are training trusted leaders for faithful churches, we do have to have a variety of programs.
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Andy Miller III: lay initiatives like the Wesley Institute, which starts this Sep tember after Labor day it's a.
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Andy Miller III: Study session that goes through every book of the Bible with seminary professors for nine months.
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Andy Miller III: So we'd love for you to check it out at WB s.edu and also if you're interested in things coming from this podcast at Andy Miller, the third calm that's Andy Miller II calm.
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Andy Miller III: i'm offering a free resource for people it's called five steps to deeper teaching and preaching.
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Andy Miller III: And it is a 45 minute teaching session and an eight page document that's available for teachers and preachers to help them go deeper and their study of scripture so that they can be prepared to present and teach.
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Andy Miller III: In their given context and the other piece, I want to mention coming from my website is this new study I have on the Book of jude.
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Andy Miller III: it's six weeks, and particularly as people are kind of getting themselves ready for fall programs, and that type of thing.
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Andy Miller III: it's six sessions five hours of content, look at this powerful little book with 25 verses that a lot of times we forget about in our Christian journeys, but I found to be incredibly relevant.
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Andy Miller III: To our time, particularly as we think about the challenges of the sexual revolution.
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Andy Miller III: And the call to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints so check that out, there is a small group session there's a group of package there's all kinds of ways that this material can get to you.
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Andy Miller III: And we love to get this into your hands, if possible, and that's connected in part.
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Andy Miller III: To the idea of jude and being a contender it's connected to what we're going to talk about today.
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Andy Miller III: it's interesting emphasis that we have to be able to think about the challenge that we have in front of us in that comes from size society and culture as a whole and liberal theology.
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Andy Miller III: And I am delighted to welcome to the podcast Dr Roger olsen, who is the emeritus professor of Theology at baylor university is true at seminary, which is in waco Texas, but I don't think he lives there anymore, Dr olson welcome to the podcast.
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olsro: Thank you good to be with you.
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Andy Miller III: Now I imagine that several people who listen to my podcast are also.
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Andy Miller III: Your fans like I am I kind of cut my teeth I study historical theology, as my scholarly discipline, but my kind of like first textbook.
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Andy Miller III: To work through that discipline came with your the story of Christian theology.
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Andy Miller III: And then your mosaic, a Christian belief, I can I can keep listing the various books that you've written that have had a great impact on me, but I don't know if you know this, but many evangelical westlands.
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Andy Miller III: Are use your resources in classrooms is a real delight to have a chance to talk with you.
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olsro: Well i'm very glad for that Thank you it's good to talk to you too.
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Andy Miller III: Now just thinking of that I know I just reading your books and your blog as well, which will have a link to that in our show notes.
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Andy Miller III: I know that you're you're kind of story as a whole, like you're coming to faith, where you you serve kind of connects with that revivalists tradition and and even the kind of the the evangelical revival as a whole, can you tell us a little bit about that.
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olsro: Okay i'll try to keep it as brief.
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olsro: As I can my great grandparents were Danish immigrants and when they found land on the eastern plains of South Dakota the nearest Church was a church of God Anderson indiana, believe it or not.
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olsro: yeah on the lonely prairies of Eastern South Dakota Danish immigrants.
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olsro: So they started at a church of God, my grandparents were church of God Anderson indiana but then my grandmother became Pentecostal she joined open Bible churches.
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olsro: Okay, one in brooklyn South Dakota and that's where my father grew up in that church and then he became a minister with open Bible, which is very similar to assembly of God.
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olsro: And so I grew up in that I went to a Bible college that they operated in des moines iowa and then I went to seminary Baptist seminary in sioux falls South Dakota.
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olsro: and eventually found my way to a PhD program in historical theology at rice University in Texas, and then to Munich Germany studying with both our cronenberg.
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olsro: wow that's an by topic oral Roberts university for two years and then Bethel college in Minnesota for 15 years and then baylor for 22 years but yes my background is definitely revivalist.
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Andy Miller III: You had that as it's interesting and I think that that even just tracing that your journey there, I think that that's part of why.
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Andy Miller III: So many in the evangelical Wesley and tradition connect with you because there's a sense, like, I obviously you've written a book.
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Andy Miller III: On our mini so you've written a book against Calvinism like there's those type of things connected there's not as many non Calvinist resources in the broader evangelical community, so I think you scratch that itch for a lot of us.
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olsro: Well i'm glad to hear that i'll tell you the thing i'm most proud of that relates to just always I actually sang a solo with bill gaither one time.
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Andy Miller III: Oh did yeah.
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olsro: i'm sorry.
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Andy Miller III: That.
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olsro: I do when.
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olsro: I do okay.
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Andy Miller III: Correct correct so get give us more of that so he came to true at seminary.
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olsro: And he was at baylor university for their innovators innovators music program and he spoke in Chapel at true at seminary and afterwards.
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olsro: We had lunch and he answered questions and the Dean, asked me to go up and to the platform and and put my arm around him and pray for him before we dismissed and he said let's sing a song together and he started saying.
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olsro: farther along will know all about it farther along will understand why cheer up my brother live in the sunshine, and you know I knew the words, so I just joined in and we sang a duet together and the students mouth just dropped open.
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olsro: Like we were aliens from another planet.
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Andy Miller III: yeah well.
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Andy Miller III: Of course it's interesting bill gaither it has, I believe, has a similar history, he he's a church of God Anderson.
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Andy Miller III: Yes, yes.
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Andy Miller III: served on the board of Anderson university so.
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olsro: nazarene I think two.
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Andy Miller III: Okay okay.
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olsro: it's gone back and forth, I think, between the two.
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Andy Miller III: yeah it's fascinating who an adult I have somebody of Christian music history standing also on this call.
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olsro: yeah i'm kind of an aficionado it's a hobby of mine of studying southern Gospel music, a lot of which is.
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olsro: influenced by Wesley and traditions.
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olsro: As alone.
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olsro: I grew up going to the nazarene camp meetings and West des moines which is huge that was huge back in the 1960s and 70s and.
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olsro: Though we were Pentecostal my parents would always go to the West des moines now serene camp meeting and I was there, the night that bill gaither and the spheres premiered his song the king is coming.
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olsro: And it was amazing revival, it was just absolutely amazing the Holy Spirit fell on the audience the congregation people were rushing the aisles.
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olsro: And they sang that song at least 20 times.
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olsro: And I don't think the preacher ever got the pre she was a well known now serene creature named chuck mill have some of your listeners might know that name and so i've always had a connection with the Wesley and tradition, yes.
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Andy Miller III: Well, I think, part of where we are now in is connected to the book that we're going to talk your recent book that we're going to talk about is is how we kind of find where we are and I think that that's part of.
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Andy Miller III: Whatever appreciate about your writing even even your kind of.
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Andy Miller III: Big scope historical pieces, is it helps us think where we are as Christians, where we've been and and I hope then that leads us to where we're going and where we are right now in society, I in the life of the Church is dealing with liberalism and let me.
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Andy Miller III: Read the title of your book as a whole, I have it right here against liberal theology putting the brakes on progressive Christianity.
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Andy Miller III: Now, even as I say that title i'm sure that some people are immediately oh I don't like this reactionary stuff oh i'm not sure if let's just talk about the very first word against.
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Andy Miller III: A lot of people won't like that, because they say Oh, our society, we have too many people talking about things that we're against we needed talk let's just be positive let's find areas of agreement.
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Andy Miller III: But you make a good case for Christians being against certain things so keep talking about that.
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olsro: Well, this was the second volume in a series, and there may be more if God gives me life and and good thinking, this was the second in a series of books that will be against the first one was against Calvinism you may remember.
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olsro: And so, then I followed up with against liberal theology and.
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olsro: I have in mind, possibly against fundamentalism against atheism I don't think there's anything wrong with being against things that deserve to be for people to be against them.
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olsro: I don't think we can be only positive all the time and i'm thinking back to origin, the early church father who wrote the contrast sell some against Celsius.
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olsro: Right opponent of Christianity so that's kind of where I get the title against Celsius which was one of his major works, and we know a lot about early Christianity from that book.
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Andy Miller III: yeah and there's a way that when we come to an identity it what who we are and figuring out like who were called to be at this time, that means, in part, identifying what we're not is that right.
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olsro: Absolutely yeah I just don't I don't understand people who think that we can just be for everything that's not even possible.
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Andy Miller III: right in saying that is a contradiction itself.
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olsro: I do see people who are who grew up evangelical and are drifting off in a liberal direction theologically and that's what the book is about it's not about politics at all.
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olsro: it's about theology and doctrine and biblical interpretation so it's a warning to students and others who may be.
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olsro: They feel attracted maybe they've read a book by Marcus Borg or john Shelby spong or some other liberal spokesman or they've begun attending a liberal main line church because it's inclusive.
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olsro: Right and that kind of can seduce them into liberal theology, I have a nephew who went to a liberal Methodist seminary and I wouldn't visited his classes for classes, one day, and you know I really sensed the liberal theology there and.
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olsro: yeah, so this is a warning, I think, to I intend it to be a warning to, especially young evangelicals who call themselves progressive Christians but don't see where that leads.
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olsro: Right unfortunately it does often lead them into liberal theology.
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Andy Miller III: So let's talk about what liberal theology is, in general, some people won't like that we use that term they might see it as a pejorative term.
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Andy Miller III: it's not helpful because it just puts people against others but i've been i'm starting to embrace it more because I think that that's what people often use themselves to describe who they are.
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Andy Miller III: But nevertheless, like, I think the idea of liberal is like identifying that as something as a placeholder to help us talk about a wider reality.
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Andy Miller III: is helpful, I certainly it can be used on cable news as like you know you know, having a cup of liberal tears are the Liberals Liberals are live but we're talking about the emotions that what what do we mean What do you mean when we talk about liberal theology.
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olsro: Well, of course I explained that and books, so I want people to read the book.
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olsro: Okay, but i'll give a very short synopsis so liberal theology as a particular tradition that considers itself part of the Christian tradition.
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olsro: But really arose in Germany, with a theologian and pastor by the name of Friedrich schreier marker in the late 1700s early 1800s and he really was the first.
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olsro: Professional Christian theologian he helped found the University of Berlin pastor trinity church in Berlin, who stepped out and dare to say we have to give up believe in miracles.
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olsro: Although he was a little bit coy about it.
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olsro: But we won't go into all of that, but he created a whole new form of Christianity that had not really been there before.
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olsro: Now, there were free thinkers there were liberal thinkers philosophers skeptics and people like Voltaire in France, and so forth, but.
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olsro: setting them aside shy remark was the first one who is really openly a Christian claim to believe in Jesus and to love Jesus with all his heart.
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olsro: grew up in a pilot just home and school and everything but really you know turned away from anything Orthodox and turn toward modernity.
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olsro: As his primary authority, I think, anyway, and yeah and he said in motion this thing we call liberal theology and all liberal theologians, by the way in the book, I only deal with theologians who call themselves liberal so i'm not attaching a label to someone wouldn't accept it.
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olsro: But they all follow him in what I call theology from below.
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olsro: Now human experience just the main authority.
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Andy Miller III: Right, so I when I was my started my doctoral work, the very first book that I had to read for a class was sly marker.
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Andy Miller III: And it was at own liberal Methodist seminary now say there were a couple of strong Orthodox Christians there as well, but nevertheless it is his his his probably most famous book on religion, you know.
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olsro: culture does pfizer's.
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Andy Miller III: Right and even in that.
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Andy Miller III: You get this just a title like he's trying to connect to this to the Enlightenment world that is he's now living in it, but, but like you said this theology from below.
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Andy Miller III: Is with centers it's this this emphasis on a inner feeling but it's interesting me that that was what a liberal seminary That was a very first book they wanted me to read.
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olsro: Are you surprised by that.
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olsro: I have had my students freeze sections of it i've never required them to read all of it.
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olsro: But um you know the general response I got from most of my students, was what I call himself a Christian, you know, but he was a he was a very notable Christian leader of the time in Germany and a spread quickly.
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olsro: To Britain to America and many American mainline Protestant pastors and theologians and students went over there to study with him and then with others, after him like Albrecht ritual.
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olsro: rawhide and others earns trail ocean on and on and on, oh eight all Horn after I have to mention a doll for next so it really began in Germany.
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olsro: But it spread like wildfire to Great Britain and to America and other countries and really caught on in the mainline Protestant denominations in the early 20th century and created this reaction called fundamentalists.
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olsro: And so, for about 20 to 30 years in the early part of the 20th century there was this conflict between liberal theologians and fundamentalist theologians.
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olsro: Now the fundamentalists of that time were really different I think than fundamentalists today in many ways, they were just Orthodox Christians who were militantly opposed to the rise of liberal theology, and the mainline Protestant seminaries.
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olsro: With good reason, I mean they saw the dangers in it what it ended up is that all liberal theologians old real liberal theologians that's what I explained in the book what that really means it's not just anyone who disagrees with me or I disagree with.
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olsro: them like that.
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olsro: yeah liberal theology is a particular type of.
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olsro: theology that I are doing the book is not Christian.
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olsro: Because it really does not recognize the authority of the Bible or of orthodox Christian tradition of things like the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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olsro: Hardly any of any liberal theologians believe Jesus rose from the dead and came out of the tomb they reinterpret these things they use the language but they reinterpret it in their books and in their teaching.
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olsro: And I would say, if anyone really wants to know read the book, but then also watch on YouTube john Shelby spong, who is a retired episcopal bishop, and he was a major spokesman for liberal theology before he died not too long ago and I talked about him in the book, as well as others.
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Andy Miller III: You know, when you say I mean it's a pretty dramatic statement, but I think I think an accurate one and i've made this on the podcast multiple times that we're really dealing with a different religion.
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Andy Miller III: Yes, and I liked in your book, how you engage kind of like the the classic book about Laura hundred years ago J Gresham animation.
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Andy Miller III: The in his book on liberals and Christianity and liberalism and and he says a similar thing, but I like I found that company again, this is what I appreciate about your writing through the years is you're like well you know measuring might have put me out to.
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Andy Miller III: So talk to you a little bit, but but, nevertheless, as the kind of classic texts you engage that throughout this book talk to me a little bit about about mason.
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olsro: So megan was kind of the last in a dynasty of really conservative Calvinist professors of Theology at princeton theological seminary called the old princeton School of Theology that's what scholars today call it, it really began.
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olsro: In the early 1800s and the best known person of that School of Theology was Charles hodge who wrote of walt's three volumes systematic theology.
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olsro: Well, after him there were several others Benjamin warfield and so forth, and nation was the last one, and he left princeton.
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olsro: The exact circumstances are unclear, but he left princeton he there, he was let go from princeton already voluntarily left and founded Westminster theological seminary in Philadelphia, and the Orthodox Presbyterian church.
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olsro: And I say that he might have considered me liberal because i'm our minion and he was very strong on Calvinism and I think that he probably would think that our minion ISM is at least a step toward liberal theology like a lot of calvinists do.
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olsro: And I disagree, of course, liberal theology is a different genre a different type altogether.
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olsro: From anything orthodox.
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olsro: And what I talked about orthodox i'm talking about the Deity of Jesus Christ, the Trinity the Bible is the written word of God inspired miracles all of that is denied by liberal theologians or so radically reinterpreted that it's not at all the same, as it always has been.
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Andy Miller III: Right say might say they believe in the resurrection but the resurrection is is a feeling that we have it's not and it says, if I remember hearing any Marcus Borg even say.
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Andy Miller III: Like well it's as if we were just.
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Andy Miller III: All the disciples are sitting around in this feels like Jesus is just here, you know just with us right and it's not so yeah they can say they believe in the resurrection but it's not.
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Andy Miller III: The same thing is that the physical resurrection one of the things that's interesting is like so.
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Andy Miller III: The comparative function seems to be a reality we deal with so.
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Andy Miller III: Some people would look at me as Conservatives, some people look at me as liberal, just like you indicated with nation like this is like one of the challenges but it's trying to find is there this.
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Andy Miller III: orthodox core and you and you highlighted it a little bit, but that's what makes it hard to say there is something that when you deny these truths you're outside of the Christian tradition.
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Andy Miller III: How people responded like how I know you've engaged the Liberals, a lot liberal theology a lot.
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Andy Miller III: How do people respond when you make that type of claim.
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olsro: Oh well, some of them are offended, of course, and some of them just dismiss what I say that you're a fundamentalist, of course, so we don't have to take anything you say seriously.
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olsro: i've had many, many reactions responses, I think, really serious liberal theologians at least are willing to you know hear what I have to say and consider it and think about it.
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olsro: And some of them, as I said in the book have actually said, well, it may be that Christianity is evolving into something else, and I pick up on that in the book and quote one of the liberal theologians that I treat in the book and I said yep it happened, you know and they saw it coming.
00:21:24.390 --> 00:21:27.780
olsro: we've stepped over the line we're no longer really Christian we're unitarian.
00:21:28.590 --> 00:21:36.060
Andy Miller III: mm hmm interesting so unitarian ISM that's kind of like that would be a good term to describe this when.
00:21:36.810 --> 00:21:51.120
Andy Miller III: In unitarian historically functioning like kind of a SEC coming out England is kind of interesting thought like what's connected but tell us a little about what unitarian is unitarian ISM is and why that's a good descriptor for liberal theology now.
00:21:51.960 --> 00:21:58.170
olsro: So utilitarianism began in England and in America in the late 1700s.
00:21:58.560 --> 00:22:11.880
olsro: A lot of congregational churches, a lot of Baptist churches in New England, for example, adopted unitarian ISM and, eventually, a new denomination emerged called the unitarian fellowship of churches and now it's the unitarian.
00:22:12.270 --> 00:22:16.140
olsro: universalist fellowship of churches, this one not too far from where i'm sitting right now.
00:22:16.860 --> 00:22:28.920
olsro: spread out all over the country it's not a very large denomination but the reason for that, I think, is that liberal theology in the mainline Protestant denominations really is is essentially the same as unitarian ISM.
00:22:29.460 --> 00:22:37.710
olsro: Maybe unitarian ISM goes a step farther and many unitarians today, unlike at the beginning don't consider themselves Christians.
00:22:37.830 --> 00:22:51.540
olsro: Right, so all the liberal theologians that I deal with in the book consider themselves Christians, but what I argue in the book is that what they really mean by Christianity is pretty much the same thing that the early unitarians meant by Christianity.
00:22:51.780 --> 00:23:09.870
olsro: And it's Christianity, without miracles is Christianity, without the Deity of Jesus Christ in any ontological sense, that is, he was just a man, but he represented God to us, he was a special kind of man who got to say adopted as his son, but still remained a human being.
00:23:11.190 --> 00:23:18.900
olsro: yeah so the the theology of the early unitarians looks a lot like liberal theology to me now of course liberal theology today.
00:23:19.200 --> 00:23:33.930
olsro: 150 years after the beginning of unitarian theology has evolved and changed unitarian ISM has evolved and change, but let me tell you one thing that I didn't really put in the book so some unitarian churches are proud of the fact that they accept wiccans.
00:23:33.990 --> 00:23:36.210
Andy Miller III: into the shirt that they have wiccans.
00:23:37.350 --> 00:23:50.220
olsro: And Recently I was at a conference in Washington DC and the dean of a united Methodist seminary boasted publicly that his seminary has wiccan students.
00:23:50.610 --> 00:23:51.150
00:23:52.440 --> 00:24:05.040
Andy Miller III: I saw somebody that our seminary wps is connected to is the Institute on religion in democracy and mark truly leads that group and and they have an arm, that is.
00:24:05.430 --> 00:24:19.410
Andy Miller III: functions of analyzing what's happening in the United Methodist church and so they'll often highlight these things, and so he has pictures and video from I won't name the seminary where that hopefully it's not more than one but maybe it might be.
00:24:20.430 --> 00:24:26.670
Andy Miller III: That that does that has that like they're proud of this offering classes, even in wiccan.
00:24:27.810 --> 00:24:34.890
Andy Miller III: So, like what what what this is the natural outcome of what's happening if you're open to everything now what's, of course, interesting this happened to me.
00:24:35.610 --> 00:24:47.340
Andy Miller III: Roger interesting, I had a few weeks ago, I had a call make it within the Salvation Army, the denomination and I have grown up in i'm six generations in in that organization that church and.
00:24:48.420 --> 00:25:01.620
Andy Miller III: there's a little bit of movement towards and around the world of embracing LGBT they'll be LGBT Q agenda and it's not i'm not I don't think it's like a majority but it's there and so i've called some of that out publicly.
00:25:01.950 --> 00:25:10.320
Andy Miller III: And as i've posted that in various places i've been kicked out of the Salvation Army inclusive website.
00:25:11.100 --> 00:25:28.380
Andy Miller III: Or the Facebook page right, so there they their whole identity is connected to their inclusive of it, but yet when I present a view that's different they're not inclusive of me, and I think that's kind of the internal contradiction that comes with unitarian ISM.
00:25:28.980 --> 00:25:36.960
olsro: So in the book what i'm arguing, is that the LGBT Q controversy in the churches, is just the tip of the iceberg.
00:25:37.350 --> 00:25:42.900
olsro: Okay, most people don't recognize that underneath there's a whole iceberg called liberal theology.
00:25:43.920 --> 00:25:44.430
Andy Miller III: wow.
00:25:44.550 --> 00:25:55.290
olsro: And, and this is the divisions, the splits that are happening in the mainline Protestant denominations and really kind of filtering out even in some evangelical organizations.
00:25:55.770 --> 00:26:06.570
olsro: Over LGBT Q inclusion is that tip of the iceberg, but people just weren't paying attention before and they weren't paying attention to the theologians.
00:26:07.020 --> 00:26:10.170
olsro: or seminaries that we're leading in that direction.
00:26:10.560 --> 00:26:23.730
olsro: With liberal theology, and so I want to roll back people's consciousness and say look folks the real problem is not just that the real problem is liberal theology itself so.
00:26:24.450 --> 00:26:34.230
olsro: Why don't we look at the deeper dimensions of the problems in the mainline Protestant churches that are creeping out into other churches and denominations even evangelical ones.
00:26:34.860 --> 00:26:50.580
olsro: And i'm shocked by what i'm hearing and experiencing about you know churches organizations colleges universities that are traditionally evangelical that are you know beginning to adopt liberal views on things.
00:26:51.150 --> 00:26:53.040
Andy Miller III: What are some of those views that you see coming.
00:26:54.390 --> 00:27:00.090
olsro: it's not so much on the part of the Faculty, although there are some I think.
00:27:01.170 --> 00:27:05.880
olsro: yeah i've had my experiences with that, but many of the students.
00:27:06.960 --> 00:27:12.810
olsro: are saying things like I don't follow Paul I follow Jesus.
00:27:12.990 --> 00:27:29.130
olsro: Right and I just immediately challenge that and say wait a minute, how do we even know about Jesus Paul wrote first he was the earliest writer of the New Testament and how can you just toss Paul out Oh, because I don't agree with him.
00:27:30.210 --> 00:27:36.900
olsro: Everything Jesus said he you know, and then I point out some things Jesus said that are anything but inclusive.
00:27:38.310 --> 00:27:48.630
olsro: You know it's just I don't know it's just amazing to see liberal theology beginning to arise in places where you would just least suspected.
00:27:49.410 --> 00:28:00.810
Andy Miller III: Yes, it's interesting like as that's coming about like in as as we see this kind of world emerging and people like I think that this was the danger of.
00:28:01.050 --> 00:28:11.730
Andy Miller III: Maybe even the red letter Christian movement right that he okay I wouldn't say at that point when doing that came around 20 years ago and Tony can polo was pushing that forward.
00:28:12.030 --> 00:28:20.490
Andy Miller III: Okay, you could kind of embrace it but, but then we see where he's gone as well along the way, on the honest on a similar trajectory as, sadly, to see that.
00:28:20.730 --> 00:28:35.100
Andy Miller III: But it's there isn't within within the Orthodox tradition, the kind of the faith once for all delivered to the saints there isn't the reality of thinking of one portion of scripture being more inspired than another.
00:28:35.820 --> 00:28:36.210
olsro: mm hmm.
00:28:36.780 --> 00:28:48.180
Andy Miller III: And I think that that is very problematic and so like and i've heard this too, like I just I just disagree with Paul what's interesting to me, is on the sexuality discussion so often even honest.
00:28:49.470 --> 00:28:56.430
Andy Miller III: scholars will suggest that they just disagree with Jesus and Matthew 19 that the creation of foundation for marriage.
00:28:58.080 --> 00:29:07.920
Andy Miller III: You know I won't I won't go through every chapter, but I wanted to highlight one, and I think it's really helpful because what you do in this book and I want to encourage people to go out and get this and you can find a link for it.
00:29:08.160 --> 00:29:16.650
Andy Miller III: In our show notes and they would love for you to find this book I think it'd be incredibly helpful and again friends we're talking with Dr Roger olson.
00:29:17.460 --> 00:29:25.170
Andy Miller III: Who has written a book called against liberalism and against liberal theology, so he talked about liberal theology in the Bible liberal.
00:29:25.590 --> 00:29:42.480
Andy Miller III: theology and doctrine of God there in christology I want to talk about this one chapter, if we can just about liberal theology and salvation what is what what is it that they offer as a sociological foundation for what they're doing.
00:29:43.500 --> 00:29:55.860
olsro: Well, first of all, every liberal theologian that i've ever studied and studied, many of them and met many and had dialogue with them they're all universalists they don't believe in hell, except as a.
00:29:56.550 --> 00:30:09.690
olsro: Lack of God consciousness is schleyer marker put it in this life and some of them don't even believe in life after death, but that's a debate among liberal theologians whether there's conscious existence after death they certainly don't believe in the resurrection.
00:30:10.770 --> 00:30:11.760
olsro: bodily sense.
00:30:12.840 --> 00:30:31.560
olsro: But whether they believe that there is actually conscious life after death is a debate among liberal theologians which I think is shocking, but none of them believe in hell and they believe that everyone is already saved so, then what what is the point of evangelism it is to.
00:30:32.580 --> 00:30:43.650
olsro: help people in their spiritual formation, I would say, they would use that term spiritual formation is salvation so growing in your ethical life and conduct.
00:30:44.340 --> 00:30:54.030
olsro: Being other centered rather than self centered being concerned for social justice issues aligning your thoughts with god's thoughts.
00:30:54.540 --> 00:31:10.290
olsro: As revealed in portions of the New Testament perhaps the sermon on the Mount or something, but you know so Marcus board put it best he said what Christianity is all about, and therefore I interpret in this meeting salvation is to love God and love what God loves.
00:31:10.740 --> 00:31:15.930
olsro: hmm and you don't need some special grace for that it's.
00:31:16.380 --> 00:31:24.210
olsro: it's latent within all of us the opportunity, the ability so salvation becomes a matter of turning over a new leaf really.
00:31:24.570 --> 00:31:39.690
olsro: and deciding to follow Jesus, which sounds good, I mean that's wonderful we can all agree on that, in the book, by the way, I say over and over and over again, many times what's wrong with liberal theology isn't so much what they for for it's what they are against.
00:31:39.780 --> 00:31:49.350
olsro: right there for spiritual formation and so am I, but they're against miracles, and they don't believe that God intervenes or against divine intervention ISM.
00:31:49.860 --> 00:32:01.020
olsro: And they're against special grace given to some people, but not to other people, and so forth, so yeah salvation I think is a big problem because they use the language.
00:32:01.470 --> 00:32:09.060
olsro: of salvation but don't mean anything, the same that conservative Christians mean or the Christians of all traditions have met in the past.
00:32:09.570 --> 00:32:15.300
Andy Miller III: Right and there certainly is differences with the way that we look at a doctrine of hell like there can in I think.
00:32:15.930 --> 00:32:21.420
Andy Miller III: you're not saying like like like somebody like john stott with a firm something like annihilation ISM.
00:32:22.170 --> 00:32:35.790
Andy Miller III: And, and in my tradition, we would have something that says, like the eternal punishment, the wicked it doesn't necessarily same conscious, I mean there's some, but like even even today, like a stock, they would reject is that right.
00:32:36.240 --> 00:32:36.600
olsro: uh huh.
00:32:37.680 --> 00:32:37.890
00:32:38.670 --> 00:32:40.830
olsro: They would call that divine capital punishment.
00:32:42.150 --> 00:32:43.200
olsro: annihilation ISM.
00:32:44.280 --> 00:32:44.670
Andy Miller III: sake.
00:32:45.030 --> 00:32:52.860
olsro: You know it's a complicated thing it's and I don't get into all of it in the book, but by denying hell, they mean in their case.
00:32:54.000 --> 00:32:58.440
olsro: They just don't even they don't even think we can know much about life after death at all.
00:32:59.040 --> 00:33:01.740
olsro: But what we can know is that God is.
00:33:02.160 --> 00:33:12.240
olsro: merciful and so everyone is saved in some sense but I don't you know liberal theology is very this world focused very focused on this world in its history.
00:33:12.600 --> 00:33:24.960
olsro: And here's one way that I would put it there all for spiritual formation and ethics, but doctrine really takes a backseat there are no doctrines that are essential to Christian belief.
00:33:25.470 --> 00:33:26.490
olsro: to being a Christian.
00:33:26.730 --> 00:33:38.820
olsro: And that sounds like unitarian is, you know that that's how unitarian ISM evolved, to the point where doctrine really went out the window and you didn't have to believe in any doctrines to be administered and so forth.
00:33:39.270 --> 00:33:47.760
olsro: And so, liberal theology, in my opinion, and simply follow that same path to our doctrine is just not really that important at all hmm.
00:33:48.120 --> 00:34:04.710
Andy Miller III: It takes to say, as you say, like they just like Marcus board says it's not connected to doctrine it's just following Jesus, which is kind of a chic thing to say, occasionally i'm just a Jesus follower It makes me almost not wanting to use that term, though I am a Jesus follower.
00:34:04.740 --> 00:34:21.240
Andy Miller III: That means right Jesus is resurrected he's he's in thrown in the right hand of the father he's returning and he's going to rule, I mean this is, this is a part of this is the Jesus i'm talking about but it's almost too vague nowadays to say i'm just a Jesus follower.
00:34:21.480 --> 00:34:22.860
Andy Miller III: I feel like it needs to be clear.
00:34:23.700 --> 00:34:27.030
olsro: yeah I was speaking at a college and evangelical college that.
00:34:28.140 --> 00:34:30.990
olsro: calls itself a university now out East and.
00:34:32.370 --> 00:34:43.110
olsro: Some of the people there and it was a denominational conference that was meeting at this evangelical College and the colleges, you know says they have three streams quietest and a Baptist in Westland.
00:34:43.500 --> 00:34:53.100
olsro: And you know I didn't think i'd run into this, but when when we talk about what being a Christian that I said there's an element of orthodoxy there's an element of belief.
00:34:53.910 --> 00:35:05.640
olsro: You can't just say i'm a follower of Jesus and that's all that matters there there's a cognitive content to Christianity and I got some pushback from some kpis there yeah.
00:35:07.260 --> 00:35:13.560
Andy Miller III: yeah I think that's where that's where we are at this point we don't tell me what I need to believe i'll just live it out, and I think that that's.
00:35:13.770 --> 00:35:24.210
Andy Miller III: That can come to like even the, the problem of people saying Oh, you know preach the Gospel and when necessary use words, I guess, if St Francis actually said that first of all, but like that sounds really good.
00:35:24.540 --> 00:35:29.760
Andy Miller III: Because you you don't have to believe that this is what i've come to you in my own study of my denominational.
00:35:30.540 --> 00:35:39.630
Andy Miller III: The founders of my denomination that William and Catherine booth is that part of what motivated him and why the Salvation Army was in 50 plus countries before they died, is that they really believed in hell.
00:35:40.620 --> 00:35:52.410
Andy Miller III: They really like they might be the principal doctrine of his ministry, and so they like know if people are going to hell and we're going to say that we affirm this we have to do something about it, and if you don't have that cognitive understanding.
00:35:52.830 --> 00:36:01.800
Andy Miller III: I that can lead you say Oh well, let's just kind of let's be nice let's just have be friendly to people I would we ever want to say that some one person saved and one person is not.
00:36:02.580 --> 00:36:14.370
olsro: So something I I don't usually have time to talk about in these podcasts and I don't know how long time how much time we have, but in the book in every Chapter I mentioned something called symbolic realism.
00:36:14.580 --> 00:36:20.730
olsro: Yes, and that's where I go a little deeper in the book, then a lot of books would go on this subject.
00:36:21.120 --> 00:36:36.990
olsro: Liberal theology embraces was called symbolic realism, though they may not always use that term but that's what it is hell, in other words, is a symbol with power, but the symbol doesn't correspond to the actual ontological reality.
00:36:37.320 --> 00:36:37.740
Andy Miller III: They have.
00:36:37.800 --> 00:36:44.070
olsro: dependent existence it's a symbol of our alienation from God.
00:36:44.700 --> 00:36:57.870
olsro: Right same with the resurrection symbolic it's a symbol, so they use the words but to them they're that these are words that it captures symbols which are like images that have power.
00:36:58.680 --> 00:37:09.210
olsro: And I think Paul Tillich a liberal theologian, who I don't really use in the book because he was really Germany came to America, but most of the people I talked about in the book or American liberal theologians Paul Tillich.
00:37:10.140 --> 00:37:31.110
olsro: Really gave symbolic realism like push you might see by talking about the difference between a symbol and assign and as a symbol participates in the reality at symbolize assign doesn't so a stop sign is just a sign it's not a symbol, whereas say a swastika, is a symbol.
00:37:32.730 --> 00:37:33.630
olsro: an evil symbol.
00:37:34.650 --> 00:37:42.960
olsro: Well, when you take that into Christianity, it can lead to, and I think I did in politics case and in these liberal theologians mostly anyway.
00:37:43.290 --> 00:38:01.020
olsro: To where they use the words like hell, and heaven salvation resurrection even divinity of Jesus even trinity, but when you plumb the depths of what they mean behind the words, these are symbols that have power to transform.
00:38:01.650 --> 00:38:09.360
olsro: um but they're not to be taken literally and they don't necessarily point to any actual historical events.
00:38:10.380 --> 00:38:16.350
Andy Miller III: Right, this is so helpful I hope people will go back and if you're on a podcast APP or if you're on YouTube just.
00:38:16.590 --> 00:38:30.330
Andy Miller III: rewind just press a 32nd that a button twice and go back in here but Dr olson just said, this idea of symbolic realism is flooding our like our context, at this point in.
00:38:31.140 --> 00:38:39.870
Andy Miller III: One thing is interesting is like I try when I speak with students try to convey the idea of like how we understand truth and how we form what is real generally.
00:38:40.500 --> 00:38:43.200
Andy Miller III: I I kind of use the idea of the correspondence theory that.
00:38:43.530 --> 00:38:54.180
Andy Miller III: That truth corresponds with something that is real some something that exists, and so, if we're going to use words, and this is a kinda like the postmodern shift is like Okay, well, we can take words and it can mean.
00:38:54.420 --> 00:39:09.870
Andy Miller III: Whatever we want them to mean well we're we're saying that that truth corresponds with something actual, and that is it that's the challenge, I see like what your highlights i'm so I was glad to see that emphasis throughout your book as well.
00:39:10.260 --> 00:39:23.880
olsro: it's really I, I consider it my contribution to this study, not that I invented symbolic realism, but that I really discovered it as what I think is the essence of liberal theology.
00:39:24.510 --> 00:39:24.870
Andy Miller III: hmm I.
00:39:24.960 --> 00:39:32.220
olsro: think you really have liberal theology without symbolic realism it's at the heart or the core of liberal theology.
00:39:33.060 --> 00:39:36.270
Andy Miller III: it's so helpful, where do you think that this will.
00:39:37.410 --> 00:39:50.310
Andy Miller III: Take liberal theology like so it's interesting to me or i'm following the United Methodist Church and the emergence of the global Methodist church regularly I have guests on who are leaders in the global Methodist church and some who are staying and.
00:39:52.080 --> 00:40:02.940
Andy Miller III: Like what I I feel like whatever it becomes is dying away and there's not much of a future job I don't know if that's just me trying to be as triumphalist six side.
00:40:03.510 --> 00:40:15.150
Andy Miller III: It seems like with as we talk about salvation there's not an impetus for evangelism I even heard it kind of interesting thing that came out of the I think it was in Washington Post that indicated that.
00:40:16.230 --> 00:40:22.320
Andy Miller III: If you find a church, with a rainbow flag it's generally it's not going to have a nursery okay.
00:40:23.340 --> 00:40:35.280
Andy Miller III: there's those days correspond like that reality so like what what will is there a future for liberal theology, or will it eventually just die away and become an academic discipline for people ivory towers.
00:40:36.060 --> 00:40:44.940
olsro: yeah I do say that liberal theology is largely becoming, in spite of strong attempts by some liberal theologians it's largely becoming religious studies.
00:40:45.270 --> 00:40:48.270
olsro: And really losing its Christian.
00:40:49.770 --> 00:41:02.400
olsro: Whatever I see Christianity and just becoming religious studies, but often and I use some of the people are trying to breathe new life into it Gary dorian at Union theological seminary.
00:41:03.180 --> 00:41:09.690
olsro: Douglas so tati Presbyterian college, I believe, to remember exactly where he teaches one of the carolinas.
00:41:10.560 --> 00:41:28.020
olsro: are pumping out books that are trying to revive liberal theology, as a Christian theology and keep it from just devolving into religious studies, they really want it to be an alive option for Christians, but the problem is that.
00:41:29.100 --> 00:41:37.650
olsro: The mainline Protestant denominations that have adopted liberal theology as an option and even often as the main option are dying.
00:41:38.130 --> 00:41:39.420
olsro: All of them are dying.
00:41:40.710 --> 00:41:55.980
olsro: And I just think that people in those denominations wake up, eventually, and say this isn't Christianity or well what i'm hearing in church really is that different than what I could hear in a club or a fraternal organization.
00:41:55.980 --> 00:42:07.560
olsro: I think, or one of the political parties and so what's the point of giving my tithes and offerings to a church and in coming to worship, when I don't even know what i'm worshiping.
00:42:08.010 --> 00:42:13.170
olsro: yeah because in liberal theology, you know God becomes so vague.
00:42:14.460 --> 00:42:17.430
olsro: That you wonder if he's even a person anymore.
00:42:18.090 --> 00:42:28.050
Andy Miller III: yeah yeah sure yeah I think they would be opening to move against that I I were apart, we were credited like most seminaries to association theological schools.
00:42:28.260 --> 00:42:29.280
Andy Miller III: which has i'm sorry.
00:42:29.430 --> 00:42:35.280
Andy Miller III: hahaha well you know the accreditation, I mean that that is something to think about.
00:42:36.630 --> 00:42:38.040
Andy Miller III: I said that.
00:42:40.200 --> 00:42:44.490
Andy Miller III: Well, you know it's helpful to have a crack in lb interesting where things go.
00:42:44.940 --> 00:42:47.490
Andy Miller III: I mean, in the next 10 years and, as somebody now.
00:42:47.880 --> 00:42:52.770
Andy Miller III: serving in theological education we'll see what happens, but I I sat on last year's.
00:42:54.000 --> 00:43:12.600
Andy Miller III: School for new deans and I was in that and, as there was probably 2030 other new dean's around there was a Dean from Harvard who is there, and she identified yourself and most people had his or her his their pronouns listed as well, but she was a Buddhist priest.
00:43:13.110 --> 00:43:23.460
Andy Miller III: mm hmm and then I had others on that same meeting, who are identifying themselves in like all kinds of interesting ways there's there's some Catholic priests as well.
00:43:24.120 --> 00:43:30.360
Andy Miller III: But it's like at some point what, in that, as we are talking through various things that we're all facing.
00:43:30.660 --> 00:43:37.140
Andy Miller III: The CFO got on, and I think probably most people like Oh, my goodness, what else is going to be I didn't seem like a nice guy he gets on but.
00:43:37.440 --> 00:43:51.030
Andy Miller III: He showed what the trajectory where of various schools and they delineate them based upon their theology certain point, and he kind of said, like a mainline schools and show the difference that the one of the key differences is.
00:43:51.420 --> 00:44:04.740
Andy Miller III: That and financially that evangelical schools have to actually tuition dollars like there isn't much tuition money coming in, for the mainline schools it's built on endowments and the.
00:44:05.190 --> 00:44:15.630
Andy Miller III: disparity is unbelievable but at some point, like I don't know how they can keep existing without ever having students pain and what's happened is some of these schools have just.
00:44:16.350 --> 00:44:32.610
Andy Miller III: are just losing students and they're almost exist as just a academy so i'm sorry I kind of went on a little bit of a rant there, but I just I see that happening within my discipline and i'm worried that people don't see what's coming and that's what's been so helpful about your book.
00:44:34.260 --> 00:44:39.870
Andy Miller III: yeah i'll give you what I want to ask you one question not related your book, but if you have anything else you'd like to say about your book.
00:44:41.190 --> 00:44:41.490
00:44:42.690 --> 00:44:44.430
olsro: Really it's a lot y'all read it.
00:44:44.790 --> 00:44:59.070
olsro: um yeah I I feel bad that anyone thinks that i'm just being against things because the book is really for orthodox Christianity and I make that point in every chapter that what my concern is is to.
00:44:59.760 --> 00:45:18.780
olsro: Call people back to a sense of orthodox Christianity by orthodox I mean biblically based and traditional across the denominations ecumenical but believing in the Deity of Jesus Christ is really meaningful that he really was God and man both it God incarnate pre existed.
00:45:18.810 --> 00:45:26.370
olsro: I think that's the crazy man pre existence and all liberal theologians deny the pre existence of Jesus Christ.
00:45:26.850 --> 00:45:40.050
olsro: And so i'm just trying to get people to think more deeply about what's going on behind the scenes that that they're not maybe aware of, and what liberal theology really is and and to be vigilant.
00:45:40.230 --> 00:45:52.020
olsro: about it because I think a lot of going to get myself in trouble now, but a lot of the administrators of Christian colleges, universities and seminaries are vigilant at all.
00:45:52.830 --> 00:46:00.510
olsro: they're so concerned with institutional you know sucks survival and success and things like that which they shouldn't be.
00:46:01.440 --> 00:46:16.320
olsro: But I hope this book will alert them to the dangers of professors, for example, like it one of the schools, I taught at a professor actually a leading Professor told me he didn't believe in miracles.
00:46:16.500 --> 00:46:19.290
olsro: wow, and this is a Christian institution.
00:46:19.680 --> 00:46:20.220
Andy Miller III: Yes.
00:46:20.280 --> 00:46:32.610
olsro: Well, how can you not believe in miracles they didn't mean just modern miracles he wasn't talking about like evangelists miracles and things like that he didn't believe in miracles at all, he didn't believe that God ever did miracles.
00:46:32.640 --> 00:46:36.390
Andy Miller III: wow so even in firm the resurrection resurrection.
00:46:36.570 --> 00:46:37.830
olsro: Well, he couldn't he couldn't.
00:46:38.160 --> 00:46:50.010
olsro: be rolled out miracles, and that would be, by definition, a miracle, I wanted to pursue that with him a little bit more, but I didn't want to get into an argument either, and so I waited to publish this book until I retire.
00:46:50.670 --> 00:46:51.840
Andy Miller III: Oh interesting.
00:46:52.290 --> 00:47:03.360
olsro: Because then every university and institution that i've had anything to do with it was any size, I encountered some element of liberal theology growing there.
00:47:03.660 --> 00:47:08.880
olsro: And I would try to alert administrators to it when I could, in a collegial way.
00:47:09.510 --> 00:47:25.350
olsro: But it really wasn't easy to do without writing a book, and so I waited until I retired because I spent I didn't want to be a troublemaker and a traveler Zion as the old language says i'm rocking the boat and everything and getting into conflicts with colleagues and so forth.
00:47:26.370 --> 00:47:34.500
olsro: But I wanted to be out there and I wanted to say my piece, and I had to wait till I retired to do it, and I was glad when I finally could.
00:47:34.770 --> 00:47:46.680
Andy Miller III: Interesting I wouldn't have the I just figured you're responding to the moment, and so I mean this has been something that has been in the work okay i'm not i'm still gonna keep on the book for a second, I was interested to to hear you say.
00:47:47.400 --> 00:47:55.740
Andy Miller III: Earlier, you said they don't believe in the resurrection none of the bodily resurrection, but I think when you're actually saying that you were talking about the general resurrection.
00:47:55.770 --> 00:48:00.600
Andy Miller III: Oh yeah so like yeah exactly both, and I think a lot of times.
00:48:01.320 --> 00:48:13.770
Andy Miller III: People people don't realize that we're not even talking about a reality that can be experienced out like the the basic Christian belief that there is a resurrection that there are bodies will again be raised, like him, like we sing on.
00:48:14.130 --> 00:48:18.480
Andy Miller III: On Easter made, like him, like him, we rise nope that doesn't happen anymore.
00:48:19.950 --> 00:48:20.190
Andy Miller III: Okay.
00:48:20.250 --> 00:48:26.130
olsro: What are they saying here's the really strange thing that a lot of churches they'll sing Charles Wesley hymns but.
00:48:27.360 --> 00:48:29.880
olsro: I know the pastor doesn't like it.
00:48:31.260 --> 00:48:31.770
Andy Miller III: Right.
00:48:32.160 --> 00:48:34.560
olsro: In surveys in a member of churches like that.
00:48:35.040 --> 00:48:40.080
olsro: And I quit as soon as I figured out, you know that the pastor didn't leave any of that.
00:48:40.440 --> 00:48:48.090
Andy Miller III: yeah You said something interesting I quit, and this is the point like i've talked to some people who say well Andy you know.
00:48:48.930 --> 00:49:03.030
Andy Miller III: So the Episcopal Church is doing this, so the United Methodist church has an ordained a lesbian bishops so there's this Well, no, this is my my Church is fine, you know my local can that's that's what matters.
00:49:04.260 --> 00:49:05.010
Andy Miller III: What do you, what do you.
00:49:05.040 --> 00:49:06.480
Andy Miller III: How do you monitor that Roger.
00:49:07.050 --> 00:49:15.810
olsro: Well, in this particular case, I found myself and my family in liberal Protestant church it happened to be Baptist well when he first aware, or what.
00:49:16.620 --> 00:49:31.080
olsro: But the but the liberalism was a little hidden it looks some discernment to figure out and we were already members of that denomination so when we moved to a new city, we joined the nearest church of that Baptist denomination.
00:49:32.370 --> 00:49:38.220
olsro: But the one we had belong to, which was in Tulsa when I taught at oral Roberts university was evangelical.
00:49:38.400 --> 00:49:40.980
olsro: That church of that denomination was very evangelical.
00:49:41.220 --> 00:49:46.590
olsro: So we kind of assume that the church nearest in the new location would be evangelical.
00:49:47.040 --> 00:49:59.340
olsro: But I began to pick up on things, for instance, the pastor lead a Bible study on Wednesday evening i'm mark on the gospel of mark and the first night he said now I want you all to know that I don't believe in demons.
00:49:59.760 --> 00:50:07.380
olsro: wow and so afterwards I went up to him and I said I said his name and I said, you know I can't wait till we get to the fourth chapter.
00:50:07.410 --> 00:50:08.490
olsro: Because I know.
00:50:08.580 --> 00:50:22.770
olsro: How you interpret that you know where the demons are cast into the swine and the swine go over the cliff and everything and he just looked at me kind of funny well later, we had a conversation about things, and he said to me, Roger I don't really think any of that happened.
00:50:23.280 --> 00:50:23.820
00:50:25.260 --> 00:50:42.960
olsro: So he explained to the Bible study group and they didn't all seem for it as shocked, as I was that he thinks that all the demon possession stories in the New Testament are stories that could be explained by modern medical science, they were epileptic seizures or you know schizophrenia.
00:50:42.990 --> 00:50:44.040
olsro: or something like that.
00:50:45.210 --> 00:50:54.570
olsro: And you know after after maybe a year of knowing it was a liberal or the he wasn't liberal, even if not everyone in the congregation was.
00:50:54.810 --> 00:51:08.760
olsro: After a year, I had to take my family out because I had a daughter, who was you know, moving on into youth group and so forth, and they were in youth group they were studying a book by a secular psychology a popular psychologist that had nothing to do with Christianity.
00:51:08.790 --> 00:51:10.050
Andy Miller III: whatsoever yeah.
00:51:10.560 --> 00:51:24.000
olsro: And you know I just finally couldn't take it anymore, and I didn't want to subject my family to that so we went looking for an evangelical Baptist church, but it meant changing denominations, because that particular location, there was no evangelical church or that denomination.
00:51:24.420 --> 00:51:32.850
Andy Miller III: wow well, I appreciate you being willing to share vulnerable that story and it's very difficult man it's like real world things that you're having to deal with on a regular basis.
00:51:33.270 --> 00:51:41.370
Andy Miller III: On this particular event Now I want to transition but it's a there's a connection here with i'm going to say Next, and this is how you've part of how you've helped me.
00:51:41.670 --> 00:51:50.190
Andy Miller III: And this is the great blessing of writing ministry, is that you and I haven't met today i've sent you a few notes of appreciation through the years but um you know we haven't seen it, yet you haven't seen me.
00:51:51.630 --> 00:52:09.630
Andy Miller III: I when your book mosaic, a Christian beliefs UK is a great book that kind of like moves through unity and diversity and on your section on the church you discuss my denominations stance on the sacraments and in that I didn't like it at first, because.
00:52:10.650 --> 00:52:26.100
Andy Miller III: And I didn't I didn't exactly you know throw it in the ground or anything like that, but I I wasn't happy be because you, you indicated that it is it's almost a heresy of neglect now i've memorized that because i've used i've quoted you a few times with that.
00:52:27.240 --> 00:52:29.880
Andy Miller III: And I think the danger that I see in it.
00:52:30.150 --> 00:52:33.630
Andy Miller III: Other of our current state and so i've been very public on the on this podcast.
00:52:33.780 --> 00:52:45.930
Andy Miller III: and academic articles popular articles, calling for the Salvation Army to reinstitute the sacraments, not just because of you, but, in part because the scripture but it took me a few years working through somebody who I admire theologically as much as I do that Roger olson.
00:52:46.320 --> 00:52:54.360
Andy Miller III: thinks that this could be something that is a neglecting the great tradition of the Church, I need to be cautious and here's why i'm concerned is that.
00:52:55.200 --> 00:53:06.030
Andy Miller III: It is a move it's a almost a liberal move when I see salvation is do it wasn't William William Kevin booth I don't think they were taking a liberal move, but nevertheless.
00:53:06.570 --> 00:53:16.380
Andy Miller III: they're able to say I don't need this portion of scripture I don't need to affirm and and the bible's not clear, and we can just kind of read it, as we want.
00:53:16.770 --> 00:53:29.940
Andy Miller III: Our experience says we're saved it doesn't matter and there's a there's a danger that, when we if we have this our theology has a little bit of room for saying we don't have to agree with the faith once for all delivered to the saints.
00:53:30.270 --> 00:53:43.950
Andy Miller III: We can come up with our own interpretation our own feeling are superior this becomes a problem so that's why I wanted to bring up, so I want to thank you for that maybe i'll give you a chance to address that can buy some nice Salvation Army friends as well.
00:53:44.490 --> 00:53:56.010
olsro: yeah I don't have any more to say to Salvation Army about that I think it's just something that they need to work through and think about and by heresy I didn't mean non Christian that they're not Christians, I just meant.
00:53:56.520 --> 00:54:00.960
olsro: And I think almost every denomination has something in it like that.
00:54:01.230 --> 00:54:01.680
olsro: So let me.
00:54:01.890 --> 00:54:18.720
olsro: give you my own story, I had to leave pentecostalism because, while I was in Bible college, I decided for my own study of the Bible, and the great tradition to speaking in tongues could not be the initial physical evidence for everyone of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
00:54:18.990 --> 00:54:26.280
olsro: I continue to believe and still believe in a subsequent of the filling of the Holy Spirit after conversion, it could be one minute after.
00:54:26.280 --> 00:54:26.790
00:54:26.820 --> 00:54:28.380
olsro: Or it can be crafter conversion.
00:54:28.650 --> 00:54:36.900
olsro: But speaking in tongues is in the Bible not taught as the initial physical evidence as our doctrine said said when I was Pentecostal.
00:54:37.980 --> 00:54:43.500
olsro: So I began to ask questions about it and began to let it be known that I didn't leave that anymore.
00:54:43.860 --> 00:54:55.140
olsro: And I even went to my uncle who is President of our little denomination and I asked him is billy Graham filled with the Holy Spirit he said Oh, of course, he is, and I said, but he just published a book on the Holy Spirit where he says he's never spoken in tongues.
00:54:56.370 --> 00:54:58.080
olsro: My uncle said well he's the exception.
00:55:00.960 --> 00:55:07.290
olsro: And then I followed up by saying well if I teach theology, and one of our Bible college, can I teach there, there are exceptions and he said no.
00:55:09.540 --> 00:55:10.710
olsro: So you know.
00:55:11.880 --> 00:55:23.460
olsro: I i've concluded over the years that every denomination has something in it, and what I think about that doctrine speaking in tongues as the initial physical evidence is that it really comes out of modernity.
00:55:24.000 --> 00:55:29.430
olsro: hmm, why do we need physical evidence of a spiritual reality and.
00:55:29.580 --> 00:55:30.990
olsro: Because modernity says oh.
00:55:31.800 --> 00:55:32.250
Andy Miller III: wow.
00:55:32.850 --> 00:55:34.440
olsro: I can't think of any other reason for.
00:55:34.440 --> 00:55:42.900
Andy Miller III: wow I never thought about that yeah about it seems like maybe it's been a while, since that happened that there's a backing off and in many Pentecostal.
00:55:42.900 --> 00:55:43.650
olsro: Traditional yeah.
00:55:43.860 --> 00:55:44.460
Andy Miller III: Of that yeah.
00:55:44.610 --> 00:55:47.700
olsro: I think they still have it in their statement of faith but they don't enforce it.
00:55:48.210 --> 00:55:48.840
Andy Miller III: yeah it's.
00:55:48.930 --> 00:55:53.340
olsro: Nice, and in fact the denomination that I grew up in that told me to leave.
00:55:53.580 --> 00:55:54.360
Andy Miller III: So I would like.
00:55:54.540 --> 00:55:55.380
olsro: It to leave.
00:55:57.360 --> 00:56:04.230
olsro: they've changed their statement of faith, so that speak in tongues is no longer the initial but an.
00:56:04.290 --> 00:56:04.740
00:56:06.480 --> 00:56:10.950
Andy Miller III: Even brought church of God Anderson we said, the very beginning here, and you know their their belief is there.
00:56:11.040 --> 00:56:12.420
Andy Miller III: You know, not a denomination.
00:56:12.930 --> 00:56:13.200
Andy Miller III: You know.
00:56:13.260 --> 00:56:14.610
Andy Miller III: Not they don't have Members.
00:56:14.880 --> 00:56:22.200
Andy Miller III: In like the Salvation Army often doesn't want to identify itself the Church, but yet it's very clear that that's the best word to describe what.
00:56:22.950 --> 00:56:32.100
Andy Miller III: describes this well Dr olson Thank you so much for your time here I one last kind of fun question I have for a lot of folks and that's connected to my title, more to the story.
00:56:32.490 --> 00:56:43.920
Andy Miller III: Is know we talked a lot about theology history your testimony but is there, more to the story of Dr Roger olson that isn't often told you, you have a hobby that you don't talk about or something that makes you unique is there.
00:56:44.220 --> 00:56:45.840
Andy Miller III: something about you that's distinct.
00:56:46.680 --> 00:56:48.480
olsro: I love southern Gospel music.
00:56:48.660 --> 00:56:52.410
olsro: Okay, on my iPhone I have 150 plus.
00:56:53.460 --> 00:57:00.540
olsro: performances of southern Gospel music that i've downloaded paid for, and downloaded back when you could do that my tunes now.
00:57:00.570 --> 00:57:00.930
Andy Miller III: There you go.
00:57:01.290 --> 00:57:04.620
olsro: it's different, but I have 157 they're all.
00:57:05.730 --> 00:57:14.280
olsro: You know Gospel groups that I grew up hearing at home on records and on Christian radio and so forth, and I love southern Gospel music.
00:57:16.020 --> 00:57:25.380
olsro: I wouldn't say that's a hobby but kind of a pastime of mine is to listen to them and as i'm driving or walking outside sometimes I sing along with them and.
00:57:26.430 --> 00:57:40.110
olsro: I love church i'm dedicated to the Church, not to any one denomination per se, although I consider myself a Baptist been very involved in our church and right now candidate in to be the preaching pastor of a church.
00:57:40.230 --> 00:57:40.950
Andy Miller III: Oh interesting.
00:57:41.610 --> 00:57:48.540
olsro: In retirement I can't leave it I can't let it go, I very much involved in church life I blog every other day or so.
00:57:49.440 --> 00:58:05.100
olsro: love to interact with people about theology, and now that i'm retired I feel like the you know the limitations are a little bit off of me I don't have to really worry too much about being I don't have to worry about the organization i'm a part of I can just say what I think.
00:58:05.280 --> 00:58:06.360
Andy Miller III: yeah interesting.
00:58:06.390 --> 00:58:08.340
olsro: chips fall where they may I guess.
00:58:08.640 --> 00:58:11.160
olsro: But my time is spent, with my grandchildren.
00:58:11.370 --> 00:58:12.180
Andy Miller III: Oh, I love it.
00:58:12.360 --> 00:58:25.980
Andy Miller III: Now, so if I if I was riding in a car with you and you had your iPhone plugged in and we're listening to music and you found out I had never heard this group, and I have to listen to this southern Gospel group which group is it.
00:58:27.030 --> 00:58:30.030
olsro: One of my favorites is the happy good months.
00:58:30.270 --> 00:58:32.940
Andy Miller III: Okay, I haven't heard them I don't think oh.
00:58:33.180 --> 00:58:40.380
olsro: My goodness, they were church God not Anderson indiana Cleveland Tennessee and they were a family group there were three.
00:58:40.950 --> 00:58:54.630
olsro: See two brothers and a wife of one of the brothers now maybe three brothers and the wife of one anyway back in the 50s and 60s, they were all over Christian radio and they gave live performances to black woods i'm sure you've heard of the black.
00:58:54.630 --> 00:58:55.710
Andy Miller III: as well, but i've heard of them.
00:58:55.800 --> 00:58:58.440
olsro: Okay yeah and the spheres.
00:58:59.580 --> 00:59:09.870
olsro: related group and yeah so Those are some of the main ones on the hoppers are still performing out of North Carolina and I Oh, and the cathedral Quartet.
00:59:09.900 --> 00:59:10.410
00:59:10.620 --> 00:59:16.200
olsro: answer now, but Oh, my goodness the cathedral Quartet I used to drive my wife and I used to drive 100 miles.
00:59:16.560 --> 00:59:18.660
Andy Miller III: Okay wow.
00:59:19.140 --> 00:59:20.370
olsro: gaither homecoming.
00:59:20.730 --> 00:59:34.740
olsro: yeah all of those kinds of things we used to drive to attend those sometimes quite a ways and i've met bill twice and we've had good fellowship with each other and yeah so Those are the kinds of things you'd hear.
00:59:35.370 --> 00:59:36.240
Andy Miller III: that's been.
00:59:36.600 --> 00:59:42.240
olsro: Some there are a lot more quirky than even those I would say there's some really odd things.
00:59:42.300 --> 00:59:44.640
Andy Miller III: On there and odd close to odd.
00:59:46.950 --> 00:59:54.300
olsro: So, Dr olson yeah Thank you so much for your time, it is a real honor for me to talk to you and I.
00:59:54.660 --> 01:00:00.090
Andy Miller III: As I said in my intro i'm a fan, and I just appreciate your ministry it's blessed me it's helped my teaching.
01:00:00.390 --> 01:00:08.400
Andy Miller III: And my preaching through the years, so I appreciate you taking time to come out and talk about his book check it out folks and if you don't mind share a link to this make a comment.
01:00:08.550 --> 01:00:17.370
Andy Miller III: Even if you disagree, something we said share it let's have a discussion let's talk about this, I really appreciate those of you who do that online and Dr Nelson said Thank you so much for coming along.
01:00:17.730 --> 01:00:19.260
olsro: you're welcome, thank you for having me.