Archive | Christianity

Andreas Köstenberger on Evangelical Boundaries

By now, many of you will have read Justin Taylor’s interview with Andreas Köstenberger, accomplished NT scholar and current editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS). Among other things, Köstenberger discusses with Taylor the issue of evangelical identity and the role of the ETS in the larger evangelical movement. He writes: Continue Reading →

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Rob Bell Is Coming to Town

Pastor Rob Bell is bringing his “The Gods Aren’t Angry Tour” to Dallas next week. In anticipation of the big event, Kate Goodloe from the Dallas Morning News called to get me to comment on Rob Bell’s controversial ministry. Like most most reporters who cover controversial issues, Goodloe includes in her story both supporters and critics. I was brought in as the critic.

Her account of our conversation is good, so far as it goes. But I thought I would fill in some of the gaps since some of my remarks need some more context. Here’s the relevant excerpt from Goodloe’s report: Continue Reading →

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ETS President Comments on Proposed Amendment

ETS President, Dr. Hassell Bullock, comments on our amendment proposal in an interview with Collin Hansen for Christianity Today. Here’s the relevant section:

CT: Is there any merit to suggestions for changing the ETS doctrinal basis?

BULLOCK: The recent return of Francis Beckwith, the ETS president, to the Catholic faith of his childhood, has obviously and understandably created questions within the society about the adequacy of our theological basis, which is quite brief: “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.”

The society was founded upon a simple theological basis rather than a statement of faith, with the intention of providing a broad evangelical basis for academic discussion, thus allowing and encouraging diversity within unity. While the proposed amendment will not change that basis, it will expand the statement quite significantly, and, while solving one problem, may create others.

However the society decides this issue, I hope ETS will continue to see itself as a wide space for discussing biblical-theological and related issues within the bounds of an unshakable commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture.

I am heartened that Dr. Bullock has gone on the record to say that our amendment will not change the “broad evangelical basis for academic discussion.” We certainly agree with this assessment. Our amendment would accommodate the wide variety of theological traditions within Evangelicalism and would continue the tradition of “diversity within unity” that has always characterized the ETS.

Given the President’s positive evaluation of the amendment, I am wondering what “problems” he thinks this amendment will create. Perhaps the answer to that question will have to wait for the debate.

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Pastor Charged with Criminal Discrimination against Female Pastor

Christianity Today has a story about a Finnish pastor who is being charged with criminal discrimination against a female pastor:

‘A Finnish district court prosecutor recently charged a member of the Finland state church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF), with criminal discrimination for refusing to work with a female pastor. Two other church leaders have also been charged for not interfering to prevent the alleged violation.
Continue Reading →

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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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