Archive | Christianity

Doug Wilson on the Politics of N. T. Wright

This is likely the first and last time you will see the word “turd” in one of my blog posts. But this is the metaphor that the inimitable Doug Wilson chooses to describe the current polarities of the American political landscape. In his commentary “The Fox News Jesus or the CNN Jesus?,” Wilson responds to Joseph Laconte’s critique of N. T. Wright that appeared last week in the web version of The Weekly Standard (see my “More Wrong from Wright“). Wilson’s basic point is that choosing between the “Fox News Jesus” and the “CNN Jesus” is like choosing between cat turds and dog turds. They’re certainly different, but neither one is very desirable. Wilson writes: Continue Reading →

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Amend ETS in the News

In July I wrote about my participation in an effort to amend the doctrinal basis of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). Just yesterday, the Baptist Press wrote a little story about the proposal, and you can read it here: “Profs seek change in ETS statement.”

I was happy to read the endorsement given by Dr. David Dockery, the President of Union University:

“I commend . . . efforts to provide a more full-orbed confession for the Evangelical Theological Society. When the society was formed, there was an assumption that a commitment to inerrancy brought with it a commitment to other orthodox and evangelical doctrinal distinctives. But that may not be the case anymore. [The amendment] will help safeguard the mission of the society in the 21st century.”

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New Website for CBMW

The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) launched a new website over the weekend. If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to check it out: www.CBMW.org. There are many resources available for free, including every single back issue of the Journal for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood. There is even a “Gender Blog” to which you can subscribe. Also, don’t miss the sermon audio section.

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‘Confessions of a Pastor’ in Defense of Mohler

When I was a candidate for the Ph.D. at Southern Seminary, I spent the vast majority of my time with faculty who were specialists in the New Testament. As a result, I missed out on getting to know some of the faculty representing other disciplines. One of the men that I didn’t get to know very well was Dr. Hershael York, Professor of Preaching.

I think we have met a couple of times, but in reality I hardly know Dr. York personally. But let me say that I love him nevertheless. He keeps a blog called “Confessions of a Pastor” that is one of the most enjoyable blogs that I read (even when I disagree with him). I subscribe to “Confessions of a Pastor” and read it whenever he posts something new (which is not frequent enough!).

His latest post is a defense of his boss against the scurrilous and cowardly allegations of an anonymous critic. His bottom line is right on target:

“Little men with lots of time find it easy to discover faults in great men with little time.”

You can read the full essay here:

“Mohler’s Motives and Ministry” – by Hershael York (Confessions of a Pastor)

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A Good Word from Tony Snow

I’m thankful for public servants like Tony Snow—so much so that I have written about him more than once on this blog (see here). Last week, he announced that he would resign as President Bush’s press secretary.

Many people will remember that he is a cancer survivor. Unfortunately his cancer has returned. Snow wrote a short piece for Christianity Today describing his decision to step down, and he also shared some of his reflections on having cancer. You should read the whole essay, but one line stuck out to me:

“We want lives of simple, predictable ease—smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see—but God likes to go off-road.”

Read the rest: “Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings” by Tony Snow (Christianity Today). Continue Reading →

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John Piper on Tattoos and Body-Piercing

I get asked from time to time about the Bible’s teaching on tattoos and body-piercing. Typically, the questions center on the interpretation of Leviticus 19:28: “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.”

I am in basic agreement with John Piper on this question. I suspect that the prohibition of Leviticus 19:28 is rooted in a concern about pagan religious practices. Thus the tattoos and cutting of the body in Leviticus 19:28 were evil relative to their association with paganism.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any reasons to think twice about getting a tattoo or a body piercing. I’ll let you listen to Pastor John for the rest. You can hear him discuss it here:

“What do you think of tattoos and body-piercing?” – by John Piper (Desiring God).

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What Evangelicals Can Learn from Flannery O’Connor

I just received the latest issue of Touchstone magazine in the mail yesterday. You won’t want to miss Donald T. Williams’ article, “Writers Cramped,” in which he outlines three things that evangelical authors can learn from Flannery O’Connor.

The opening of the article sets up and asks a penetrating question:

My fellow Evangelicals publish reams upon reams of prose. What we have not tended to write is anything recognized as having literary value by the literary world. What makes this failure remarkable is that our Protestant forebears include a number of people who did: Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, George Herbert, John Milton, and John Bunyan, to mention a few.

Equally remarkable is the host of near contemporary conservative Christians—sometimes quite evangelical and even evangelistic, though not “Evangelicals”—who were also important writers. G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, T. S. Eliot, Graham Greene, Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Walker Percy, and Flannery O’Connor are all recognized as important literary figures even by people who do not share their Christian commitment.

Where is the contemporary American Evangelical who can make such a claim?

I think this is an important question, one that reveals that evangelicals just might have something to learn from a Catholic novelist. Be sure to read the rest of this one:

“Writers Cramped” – by Donald T. Williams (Touchstone).

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