Author Archive | Denny Burk

Leonard Fournette blows up an Aggie defender

I haven’t blogged much on football this season, but I’m ending my neglect tonight. And it’s all inspired by a smashmouth play by freshman running-back phenome Leonard Fournette. In LSU’s victory over A&M earlier this evening, Fournette had one run in which he ran right over an Aggie defender. It was positively Hershael-Walker-esque. He blasted the guy. It was painful to watch. See it for yourself above or below. Wow. Continue Reading →

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A few thoughts on Ferguson

I’m reluctant to say anything, so I will say very little. Here are my thoughts on the morning after.

1. We still have race issues in this country. As President Obama said last night, we’ve made progress, but we have by no means arrived. It is an enormous grief that African Americans feel so regularly alienated by police and by the criminal justice system more broadly. It is a great sadness that black fathers have to have sobering conversations with their sons about encountering the police without getting shot—a conversation I never had with my father. As a people, we are not yet what we should be. It does no one any good to deny that. Again, as the President said last night,

Continue Reading →

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Odell Beckham Jr’s catch of the decade

Last night, Odell Beckham Jr. had what many people are calling the best catch by a receiver in a very long time. It was certainly the catch of the day and the catch of the year. But it might also be the catch of the decade and even of the century. The NBC announcer says it’s the best catch he’s ever seen. Continue Reading →

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If you didn’t get the SNL joke, this post is for you.


SNL’s opening sketch has been making the rounds over the weekend (see above). It lampoons the President’s executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. It occurred to me that there are probably countless viewers who don’t get the joke because they are too young to remember the source material for this skit. For those of you who fall in that category, this post is for you. Continue Reading →

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The Owlings: A Worldview Adventure Story

It’s holiday season and time to think about gift ideas. I just came across this new little book written and illustrated by Dan Dewitt. It’s titled The Owlings: A Worldview Novella. The book focuses on four talking owls: Gilbert, Clive, Dorothy, and Reuel. You likely recognize the names: G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, and J.R.R. Tolkien. From the publisher’s description:

The Owlings is a worldview adventure for readers young and old alike about a young boy named Josiah who discovered an important lesson from some unlikely visitors. Get ready to meet Gilbert, a talking owl, who is joined by three of his friends to explain the greatest truth in all of the world—that the world is not all there is, or ever was, or ever will be.

You can get a copy here.

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What’s wrong with reparative therapy?

I have expressed my own concerns about reparative therapy on this blog in the past. But Heath Lambert has perhaps the most thoroughgoing critique from an evangelical perspective that I have yet seen. He focuses his attention on the work of Joseph Nicolosi and writes,

I am convinced that one of those unbiblical approaches to change is reparative therapy. Reparative therapy (RT) is infamous in the current cultural context. It has received scorn in the media, politics, and psychology. Many people, including Christians, have embraced it because of the promise of change it holds out to homosexual men and women.

Because of the controversial nature of the therapy it is crucial for Christians to think through it with care. I want to try and begin that thoughtfulness in this blog by evaluating RT as articulated by Joseph Nicolosi in Shame and Attachment Loss: The Practical Work of Reparative Therapy. Many other articulations and modifications of RT are out there, but Nicolosi is the leading practitioner and Shame and Attachment Loss is his most recent—and most thorough—articulation of the therapy.

I will argue here, that in spite of some positive elements, RT is an unbiblical and ultimately unhelpful approach to change for same-sex attraction.

Lambert does not mince any words here. Near the conclusion, he explains why he does not even regard reparative therapy as a Christian approach to counseling:

Any method of change will fall short if it fails to understand the central importance of repentance in the change process. God has ordained that our sinful desires and behaviors are changed as we humbly name our sin, and plead with God for his grace to turn from sin to Him (Prov. 28:13).

This is a crucial matter. If the core problem of homosexuality is something other than sin, the solution will be something other than the grace of Jesus Christ. This is an unacceptable concession for Christians. The gospel is truly at stake in this issue.

Any counseling approach that ignores the importance of repentance and the consequent centrality of Jesus Christ, as RT does, is not worthy to be called Christian.

This conversation will no doubt be explosive, but it is a conversation that evangelicals need to have. Read the rest of Lambert’s essay here.

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The Pope affirms the “Complementarity” of Marriage

Six videos have been released in conjunction with the Vatican’s colloquium on complementarity—an event being held now in Rome. I have not yet seen all six, but I have viewed the first one (see above). It is really well done. In fact, I would say that this is a must-watch video. It bears an international, timeless perspective on the fundamental “complementarity” of marriage—that is, that marriage is fundamentally a heterosexual union. It includes testimonials from N. T. Wright, Peter Kreeft, and many others.

I think that this video is expressing what Pope Francis himself declared today in his opening remarks to the colloquium. In a translation provided by the Vatican News website, the Pope affirms that marriage is irreducibly heterosexual in its nature. You can read his remarks here.

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Evangelicals meet to discuss sexual orientation in San Diego this week

This week the 66th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) will be held in San Diego, California. I will be there to participate in a special session on sexual orientation. As I have said elsewhere, I think that we evangelicals have not yet thought our way through to biblical clarity on this issue. Among evangelicals who are otherwise close to one another confessionally, there is still a range of opinions about how to think biblically about sexual orientation. There are some who recognize same-sex orientation as an identity category that is beyond moral scrutiny. There are others who deny that Christians can even make faithful use of the category. There are some who view same-sex attraction as morally benign, and others who do not.

So for our special session we’ve gathered together three New Testament professors who are publishing in this area and who are coming at this question from different perspectives: Wesley Hill, Preston Sprinkle, and yours truly. The three of us will present papers and then sit for a panel discussion moderated by Owen Strachan. These are good brothers, and I am looking forward to be sharpened by them. If you are in or near San Diego during this year’s ETS meeting, I would love to see you there. Here’s the info on our session:

Session: “Issues in Sexuality & Gender”
When: 2:00-5:10pm, Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Where: Hampton, Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego, CA

Presentations:
DENNY BURK, “Is Same-Sex Orientation Sinful?”
PRESTON SPRINKLE, “Sexual Orientation in Paul’s World: It’s Not What You Think”
WESLEY HILL, “Is Being Gay Sanctifiable? Scripture and the Great Tradition on Same-Sex Love and Christian Friendship”
OWEN STRACHAN, moderator of panel discussion

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Albert Mohler comments on KBC decision to oust church

Yesterday, the Kentucky Baptist Convention (KBC) voted to sever ties with the historic Louisville congregation Crescent Hill Baptist Church. The KBC moved to disfellowship because the church has recently announced that it no longer believes homosexuality to be a sin. Albert Mohler commented on the move yesterday to a reporter from our local NBC affiliate. See above.

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