Archive | Christianity

Touchstone Forum on Evangelicalism

The latest issue of Touchstone magazine has a forum in which a diverse group of Evangelicals answer questions related to the state of Evangelicalism today. I am a contributor to this discussion along with Russell Moore, Michael Horton, Darryl Hart, John Franke, and David Lyle Jeffrey. The article is posted online, and you can read it here. Here are the questions that each of us answered:

● “How do you define ‘Evangelical,’ in a way that distinguishes Evangelicals from other believing Christians? And has this definition changed over the last several decades?” Continue Reading →

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Richard Land: Third Party Is Not a Bluff

Richard Land has some things to say in an interview with Newsweek that I hope Republicans will hear. Some of the key exchanges are below:

NEWSWEEK: So we wanted to ask you, first of all, about the third party idea and whether it’s serious. A number of people are suggesting it is just a threat.
LAND:
My intuition [is that] this is not a bluff. If Giuliani is the nominee, there will be a third party. There are things that Giuliani could do to help mitigate the damage. But I have been in too many discussions over the last 15 years where evangelical leaders have said, “The one thing we will never allow to happen is for the Republican Party to take us for granted the way the Democrat Party too often takes the African-American community for granted.”
This is not a bluff. Continue Reading →

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The Gnosticizing Joel Osteen

Joel Osteen is making the rounds promoting his new book. He appeared on “Larry King Live” on Tuesday night. The video is available here, and the transcript is here.

The interview with Larry King only makes me more wary of Osteen. When King asks him if he believes in an afterlife, Osteen says that his mortal body is like a “coat,” and that the “real me” lives on the inside. Osteen makes the same mistake that many people make with respect to the eternal state. He doesn’t realize that we live for eternity in resurrected physical bodies. The whole exchange smacked of the ancient Gnostic heresy which regarded matter as evil and denied the bodily resurrection. Continue Reading →

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Joel Osteen’s Christianity without a Cross

The sad thing about Joel Osteen is that he has all the marks of a sincere person. I just finished watching the profile of his ministry on “60 Minutes,” and there is not one thing about him that looks phony. He is one of the most likeable, loveable fellows that you’ll ever see. I really think he believes everything he is saying.

Continue Reading →

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Answering Brad Pitt’s Objections to Religion

In a recent interview with Parade
magazine, Brad Pitt explains why he no longer embraces Christianity. It turns out that he was raised as a Southern Baptist, but when he got to college he came upon some stumbling blocks that led him to cast aside his faith altogether. He describes his current feelings on “religion” in this way:

“Guilt is the thing I find most evil about it. It’s the thing I rail against the most. . . Religion works. I know there’s comfort there, a crash pad. It’s something to explain the world and tell you there is something bigger than you, and it is going to be alright in the end. It works because it’s comforting. I grew up believing in it, and it worked for me in whatever my little personal high school crisis was, but it didn’t last for me. I didn’t understand this idea of a God who says, ‘You have to acknowledge me. You have to say that I’m the best, and then I’ll give you eternal happiness. If you won’t, then you don’t get it!’ It seemed to be about ego. I can’t see God operating from ego, so it made no sense to me.” Continue Reading →

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C. F. D. Moule, R.I.P. (1908-2007)

His was not a household name, but C. F. D. Moule was a luminary in my field. He was a great scholar who also had a reputation for having a warm evangelical spirit. For me by far, his most influential book was his first book, An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek. I have benefitted from this book immensely over the years and can say that some of the ideas in my own publications can be traced backed to nuggets found in this little volume. Would that we all could be as careful and prolific as C. F. D. Moule. R.I.P.

“C. F. D. Moule: Last of the Gentlemen-Scholars” – by Dan Wallace

“The Reverend Professor CFD Moule” – Telegraph

“The Rev Professor C. F. D. Moule” – Independent

(HT: Mike Bird)

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Are You A Convergent Christian?

Last week, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina hosted a conference addressing the Mark Driscoll wing of the emerging church. The plenary speakers included Mark Driscoll himself, seminary president Danny Akin, and others.

I was particularly interested to hear Driscoll’s message. Driscoll is widely known as an emerging church pastor. But because many Southern Baptist leaders tend to treat the emerging church as a monolithic movement, Driscoll has been regarded by many as theologically liberal (like Brian McLaren and Tony Jones). But this characterization is certainly unfair. Continue Reading →

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