Is Trump accelerating evangelical break with the GOP?

The video package above was produced by Jon Ward for Yahoo News. There are a variety of personalities that appear in it. What struck me while watching it is how the label “evangelical” is being pulled apart at the seams.

The apparent break-up with the GOP is but one sign of a larger conflict that evangelical Christians are facing in post-Christian America. As we move from “moral majority” to prophetic minority, we are feeling more uneasy in Babylon. That is not altogether a bad thing. Christianity’s contrast with the world is becoming more evident and will compel us to theological clarity. And that is happening now.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

The self-authenticating power of the Bible

In case you missed it, Andy Stanley posted a lengthy rejoinder to criticism he has received since telling his church that the Bible is not the foundation of the Christian faith. I responded to this last week. Just tonight, both Jared Wilson and David Prince  have posted thoughtful responses. For my part, I would reiterate what I said last week. I really appreciate Stanley’s clear affirmation of biblical inerrancy. He writes:

I believe the Bible is without error in everything it affirms. I believe what the Bible says is true, is true… So for anyone out there who is still a bit suspicious, I affirm The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

This affirmation is strong and unambiguous. So far so good. But Stanley goes on to argue that the real issue is not his doctrine of scripture but outdated ways of preaching the Bible. Because millennials don’t believe in the authority of scripture, Stanley argues that we cannot appeal to them with “the Bible told me so” arguments. He writes: Continue Reading →

Should “headship” determine who we vote for in the presidential election?

I taught 1 Corinthians 11:3 this morning in my New Testament Survey class at Boyce College. One student asked what implications a text like this one has on our thinking about the presidential election. If the Bible teaches male headship, should a Christian vote for a female running for president? I want to share how I answered that question, but before doing that I should stipulate that what follows should not be construed as an endorsement or non-endorsement vis a vis the current candidates for president. I should also stipulate that the Bible has much more to say on this question than is contained in a single verse. Still, it is instructive to think through what this text means and how it might relate to our thinking about our democratic stewardship. Here’s the text:

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. –1 Corinthians 11:3

One thing that is clear in this text is that “head” refers to a relation of authority (cf. Eph. 1:22; 5:23; Col. 2:10, also see BDAG). Thus to say that “Christ is the head of every man” is the same as saying that Christ is the authority over every man. Likewise, to say that the man is the “head” of the woman is to say that man is the authority over the woman. Continue Reading →


Is there a need for “sexual orientation and gender identity” laws?

Over at The Public Discourse James Gottry argues that these laws are an answer to a non-existent problem. According to the article, there is no evidence of systemic discrimination against gay or transgender persons. These laws then have the effect of coercing people who hold traditional views to violate their conscience. You should read the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt:

In recent years, laws that provide special privileges to individuals based on their self-proclaimed gender identity or sexual preferences have emerged across the country. Commonly known as SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) laws, these legislative undertakings are typically fueled by activist groups and represent a subversive response to a nonexistent problem. Available data confirm there exists no significant social pattern or practice of unjust discrimination against these groups. This is not only because the vast majority of Americans already respect each other and are fair-minded, but also because anyone engaged in baseless discrimination faces the prospect of social and financial consequences brought on by public pressure and boycotts.
SOGI laws, however, use the full force of the law to punish individuals who seek to live peacefully and to work in a way that is consistent with their consciences. Elaine Huguenin, Barronelle Stutzman, Jack Phillips, and Blaine Adamson are just a few of the small business owners who gladly serve all people without exception, but who also face legal punishment because they declined to participate in certain events or to create custom art that would have violated their consciences. In Elaine’s case, she politely declined a request to use her expressive photography skills to tell the story of a same-sex commitment ceremony. Her attempt to remain peacefully true to her faith’s teachings about marriage led to a seven-year court battle that culminated in a ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court against her and her husband, Jon. One justice stated that the Huguenins “now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives,” and added that this compulsion “is the price of citizenship.”

Farewell to Les Miles. No one wanted it to come to this.

I am a fan of Les Miles. I admire Les Miles. I think Baton Rouge and LSU owe so much to Les Miles. He’s the winningest coach in the school’s storied history. He gave us some great teams and, no question, some great players. He was the Mad Hatter with more tricks than you could shake a stick at (one of my favorite bits of mad-hattery above and another below). He brought the school two SEC championships (2007 and 2011), two national championship appearances (2007 and 2011), and one national championship win (2007).

In addition to that, he has meant so much to the community in Baton Rouge. He showed leadership and rallied the community during Katrina, during the racial unrest over the summer, and during the aftermath of recent devastating floods. In spite of the downturn in Tiger football of late, people in Louisiana genuinely love and admire Les Miles. That is why he got one more shot to coach the Tigers after a disappointing 2015 season. That is why after the victory over A&M last year, his players carried him off the field. They love him, and so do so many others in my home state.

So what happened that led to his abrupt firing earlier today? If you think it was due solely to the heartbreaking loss to Auburn yesterday, you only know part of the story. The real story is that LSU football has been in decline since 2012. In fact, we can put our finger on the exact moment that the decline began. It was January 9, 2012. Continue Reading →


Is the Bible Foundational to Christianity?

Andy Stanley preached a controversial sermon a couple weeks ago arguing that the Bible should not be the basis of our Christian faith. A number of worthy responses have appeared, but I want to highlight one that appears today from Michael Kruger. Kruger sets forth a copious critique of Stanley’s argument. I highly recommend that you read all of it. Among other things, Kruger writes: Continue Reading →

“The Benedict Option” for evangelicals will likely include 9Marks

I am a Baptist by conviction. That means that I not only hold to believer’s baptism but that I also adhere to congregational polity. I believe in these not for pragmatic reasons—though I do think they “work” the best—but for biblical reasons. It marks out a way of being in the world, not of the world, for the sake of the world.

Without question, my understanding of scripture on these matters has been decisively shaped by Mark Dever and the ministry of 9Marks. For me, this influence began when I was still a seminary student in a conversation with Mark Dever in the hallway at Southern Seminary. It was actually more of a debate. But over time after doing more reading and study, I became persuaded that he was right about what the Bible teaches. Continue Reading →

Should an Evangelical Theological Society admit members who affirm gay marriage?

Stan Gundry is Senior Vice President and Publisher at Zondervan Academic and a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). On Friday, he posted a letter to the membership of ETS voicing concern about a resolution passed at our annual meeting last November in Atlanta. Before getting into this, a little background is in order.

At last year’s meeting Owen Strachan offered a resolution affirming traditional marriage and the sexual binary taught in scripture. These kinds of resolutions are unusual at ETS, but the rationale was that such a resolution might be in order given the extraordinary Obergefell decision handed down by the Supreme Court just months before the annual meeting. I made the motion that the four points of the resolution be taken together and voted up or down. Here are the four points. Continue Reading →

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