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John Piper on the Calamity in Minneapolis

John Piper has just written on the Desiring God blog about the tragedy in Minneapolis: “Putting My Daughter to Bed Two Hours After the Bridge Collapsed.” He reports:

“At about 6 PM tonight the bridge of Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed. I am writing this about three hours after the bridge fell. The bridge is located within sight of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Most of us who minister at the church cross this bridge several times a week. At this point I don’t know if any staff was on the bridge. Desiring God offices are about a mile from the bridge.”

You’ll want to read the rest of this piece. It’s a meditation on Luke 13 and God’s purposes in the midst of calamity. Pray for the injured and for those grieving the loss of loved ones.


Tragedy in Minneapolis

About 2,000 feet of a heavily trafficked bridge collapsed in the middle of rush hour today in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As many of you know, John Piper’s Desiring God ministries and Bethlehem Baptist Church are right there in downtown Minneapolis. It turns out that the bridge is only about a mile from the Desiring God office and that folks from Desiring God travel on it often. I just received a note from Abraham Piper, and he says that they are not yet aware of anyone from Desiring God being involved in the tragedy.

Jon Bloom has already written about the bridge collapse over at the Desiring God blog and has asked for prayer: “Pray for those who are injured and for families of loved ones who have perished. And pray that God will guide us in responding to this tragedy in a way that points to the mercy and patience of God the way Jesus did in Luke 13.”



FBC Pell City, Alabama

I have been on vacation for the past week, and this morning I had occasion to visit the First Baptist Church of Pell City, Alabama. I didn’t know anything about the church or the pastor as I walked into the sanctuary for morning worship. So, I was delighted to find how God-honoring it turned out to be. Pastor John Thweatt preached on Galatians 2:20, and the sermon was exceptional.

I’m writing about my experience this morning because I think it’s worth noting when you come across something valuable. I have heard many Southern Baptist preachers, and there simply aren’t that many anymore who open up their Bible, explain the meaning of the text, and apply it to the lives of their congregation. Yet Pastor Thweatt did exactly that this morning. He preached the gospel, and the “amen” was welling up in me all the way through.

If you are ever in Pell City, Alabama, be sure to visit the First Baptist Church. If you love the gospel and the preached word, this is a place you don’t want to miss.

First Baptist Church, Pell City, Alabama (You need Explorer to view the website)


Rod Dreher on the Pope’s Recent Clarification

Rod Dreher comments on the Pope’s recent clarification that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church:

“It’s the pope’s job to explain and defend Catholic teaching, which makes unique and exclusive truth claims. It would be logically inconsistent for the pope to affirm Catholic teaching while asserting that churches proclaiming contradictory things are equally correct.
Continue Reading →


Why Al Qaeda Supports the Emergent Church

Believe it or not, Frank Pastore really argues that Al Qaeda supports the Emergent Church. His basic argument is this. If the American church were vibrant and healthy, then America as a nation would have the resolve required to defeat terrorists. Since the Emergent movement weakens the church, the nation’s resolve to defeat terrorists is weakened too. Therefore, Al Qaeda supports the Emergent church.

Kind of a stretch, huh? While I’m no fan of Emergent, I do think Pastore’s piece is a bit heavy on the Constantinian triumphalism (of which I am not a fan either). The article has lots of other problems, but here’s the whole thing anyway:

“Why Al Qaeda Supports the Emergent Church” – by Frank Pastore (

(HT: Tom Ascol)


Surprised By Virtue

Newsweek‘s Susannah Meadows spoke with Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and a practicing evangelical himself, about how evangelicals have responded to news of Senator David Vitter’s moral problems. Cromartie responds:

“What one has to understand is that classic Christianity believes that people are fallen and desperately need a redeemer. If they’re authentic Christians, they understand that but for the grace of God, they too could fall. Evangelicalism likes to pride itself on being magnanimous and forgiving. It ought to be the case that evangelicals, while not condoning such behavior, are not surprised by such sinful behavior. I’m not surprised by vice. I’m surprised by virtue.”


Let’s Amend the ETS Constitution

Dr. Ray Van Neste (Union University) and I have been working on a proposal to amend the constitution of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). We have been in touch with senior members of the society (e.g, living founders, past presidents, and executive committee members) and have received some excellent, critical feedback (though no endorsements). We have completed our proposal, and now we want to go public and to gather support for it from our fellow members of the ETS.

In short, our aim is to expand the doctrinal basis of the ETS. We are not naïve about the challenges of uniting such a diverse body around an expanded doctrinal basis. Nevertheless, we are hopeful about this particular proposal because it is not a creation ex nihilo. We are merely adapting a statement that already unites a diverse body of evangelicals in the U.K.

I won’t go into a full explanation of the proposed amendment here because we have already done that on our new website: Please come visit the site, read about the amendment, and join the conversation. We are looking forward to feedback from our fellow members.

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I’m still at least 51% Protestant

Evangelical-Catholic dialogue has been a hot topic in the wake of the Pope’s recent affirmation of the Roman Catholic Church as the only true church. For example, Christianity Today‘s “Honest Ecumenism, Again” and “Virtue That Counts” as well as Al Mohler’s “No, I’m not offended” have been making the rounds in the blogosphere.

In this context, it is interesting to read some questions raised by my old mentor Daniel Wallace over at the “Parchment and Pen” blog. Although Wallace’s remarks are not a response to the Pope’s recent announcement, they are relevant to Evangelical-Catholic dialogue. Wallace says, “I’m still at least 51% Protestant.” You’ll want to go and read the whole thing, but here’s his conclusion: Continue Reading →


President Nixon and Chuck Colson

The National Archives has released some new tape recordings of President Nixon’s telephone conversations. Some of the tapes record the President’s speaking to the yet to be born again Chuck Colson. Listening to these exchanges only magnifies the contrast between the old Chuck Colson and the new one. The Chuck Colson on these recordings has given way to the new creation that I heard preach in San Antonio last month. The Lord’s arm is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1). Continue Reading →


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