Author Archive | Denny Burk

Mark Dever vs. Jim Wallis

Mark Dever has an informal dialog with Jim Wallis about the church’s responsibility to promote social justice. This video is part 1 of the conversation, and there are more videos to follow.

As you might expect, Dever and Wallis markedly differ about the role “justice” ought to have in gospel ministry. This section of the conversation is about race relations. Dever’s point is that the church as the church should not confuse its mandate to preach the gospel with social justice concerns. Wallis argues that that gospel ministry includes efforts at racial reconciliation in the wider culture.

What I find most interesting about this first segment is the differing ways that these two men come at this question. At the end of the video, Mark presses Wallis on the meaning of Ephesians 3 and its bearing on the issue. Wallis never addresses the text. Dever addresses the scripture as the normative basis for answering the question. Wallis goes elsewhere.

Christianity Today‘s leadership blog hosted this conversation. Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of the interview at www.outofur.com.

(HT: @TimmyBrister)

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Hollywood vs. the Heartland

Robert Duvall recently sat for an interview with Christianity Today. I found this exchange to be pretty interesting:

CT: Why do you think Hollywood has a tendency to mock Christians and preachers?

Duvall: Well, it’s not just Christians. I mean, I’m a Christian. But they mock the interior of the United States of America, the heartland. They don’t go out of their way to understand what’s really there.

I think his analysis is remarkable. It’s the “heartland” that Hollywood likes to lampoon, not just heartland religion. He sees the real divide to be a cultural one, not a merely a religious one.

This observation is correct so far as it goes. I think he’s right to see a cultural elitism in Hollywood depictions of people in the “fly over” states. Nevertheless, Hollywood often displays an ire against evangelical Christianity in particular that goes far beyond any mere cultural divide. There’s more to this antipathy than Duvall allows (John 15:18-27).

Read the rest here.

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Desktop Extinction

Roughly 80 percent of computers sold are laptops. But nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes still have a trusty desktop. So are desktops going the way of the Dodo? According to this report, they may be.

“The desktop is where the family photos are kept, where music lives. It’s more comfortable for older buyers who prefer larger screens and full-size keyboards. Parents like being able to keep tabs on the online activities of young kids. And enthusiasts who edit video or play games get more power per dollar in a desktop…

“The fact remains, laptops continue to gain while desktops continue to age, despite these occasional surges. Nearly half of the Windows desktops found in homes are four years old or older. By comparison, only 18 percent of laptops are less than a year old.”

Read the rest here.

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Who is the Bible for?

I’m calling on bible scholars to take a moment of prayerful self-examination as you consider this from P. E. Hughes:

“The Bible is for everyone. It is not the preserve of the specialist. To allow it to become the book of the expert, on whose pronouncements the average person is dependent, is an abuse and inversion that can lead only to disastrous results. The effect is to take the Bible out of the hands of those for whom it is intended, that is, the totality of mankind. Continue Reading →

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The Essential Edwards Collection

For a limited time, Westminster Books is selling all five volumes of The Essential Edwards Collection for a 50% discount from the cover price ($44.95).  For one week, from Tuesday, July 27th through Monday, August 2nd, they will sell the books for $22.50, the equivalent of one free book relative to the current Amazon price. If you haven’t purchased the series yet, looks like now is the time to do it.

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He over-repented

Ted Haggard tells The Wall Street Journal that he “over-repented” from the public sin that ended his ministry in 2006. Even though his former church has said he does not belong in pastoral ministry, he has started a new church just a few miles from the one he fell from. Haggard’s new ministry is out of step with the New Testament in a number of ways (1 Timothy 3:2-7; Titus 1:6-9). Nevertheless, Haggard provides this justification:

“Tiger Woods needs to golf. Michael Vick needs to be playing football. Ted Haggard needs to be leading a church.”

I agree with Carl Trueman on this one. Haggard’s words sound more like “personal therapy” than penitence. Read the rest of the story in WSJ here.

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Manhattan Declaration 2.0

S. M. Hutchens says that the Manhattan Declaration needs to be revised. Even though he supported and signed the Declaration, he notes some weaknesses in it. In a lengthy blog post, he argues that the Declaration confuses “revealed religion with the natural law” and as a result has mixed “the oil of Christianity with the water of popular American religion.” Hutchens’s remarks were provoked in part by a recent video released by Chuck Colson and Timothy George on civil disobedience (see above).

Hutchen’s concludes: Continue Reading →

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Intolerant of Christian Morality?

A graduate student has accused Augusta State University in federal court of violating her constitutional rights by demanding that she work to change her views opposing homosexuality. The Chronicle of Higher Education has the story:

‘In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Augusta, Ga., the student, Jennifer Keeton, argues that faculty members and administrators at the university have violated her First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion by threatening her with expulsion if she does not fufill requirements contained in a remediation plan intended to get her to change her beliefs.
Continue Reading →

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