My friends at Denton Bible Church are hosting an apologetics conference this November 5-6, and it looks like they’ve got a great line-up. It’s called the “On Guard Christian Apologetics Conference,” and featured speakers include William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland, and Sean McDowell. Here’s a description of the event from the conference website: Continue Reading →
Marvin Olasky reports for World Magazine that Jim Wallis’ Sojourners group has been receiving funding from George Sorosâ€”the billionaire leftist who has financed groups promoting abortion, atheism, and same-sex marriage. Anyone who has paid any attention at all to Wallis’ leftward commitments shouldn’t be surprised that Soros might be interested in beefing up Sojourner‘s bottom-line.
The July 2010 issue of the journal Themelios came out earlier this week, and the entire journal is available as a free download. I have an article in this issue about the debate among Christians over the moral status of homosexuality. You can download that single article here:
There are some outstanding articles in this issue that you should check out as well. Fred Zaspel’s essay on B. B. Warfield is an important one. B. B. Warfield is often cited as the prime example of an evangelical inerrantist who also held to theistic evolution. Zaspel shows that the conventional wisdom concerning Warfield is incorrect. He was not a theistic evolutionist.
D. A. Carson has a short essay on preaching for conversion.
There is a mountain of book reviews. Check out especially Barry Joslin’s review of James Thompson’s commentary on Hebrews.
The beleaguered conference of my alma mater just took another hit. The AP reports that Fresno State and Nevada are leaving the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) for the Mountain West Conference (MWC). The WAC’s highest profile team, Boise State, announced earlier this summer that it was leaving for the MWC as well. There are rumors that BYU might be joining the WAC for all sports except football. That would leave the WAC with only six teamsâ€”two teams short of the NCAA minimum to have a conference.
After losing our head coach this year to the University of Tennessee, this news comes as another blow to the program. For the sake of Bulldog football, I hope the WAC doesn’t go the way of the dodo. It’s not looking very good right now.
CT‘s interview with Anne Rice is a fascinating read. I have to say that I am astonished to discover how much she enjoys reading conservative, Protestant interpreters of scripture. She lists D. A. Carson, Craig Keener, and N. T. Wright among her favorites, and says, “Of all the people I’ve read over the years, it’s their work that I keep on my desk.” Here’s a piece of the relevant exchange: Continue Reading →
The video above is a case in point of why I don’t care for Glenn Beck’s politics. It doesn’t matter to me that he is an economic and national defense conservative. He treats the greatest human rights crisis of our time (abortion on demand) as an afterthought, and he’s totally out to lunch on gay marriage. This is libertarianism, and I’m not a fan.
Here’s a bit from the exchange on gay marriage: Continue Reading →
Scot McKnight recently sat down and asked Brian McLaren three questions about what exactly McLaren believes (see above). I have the three questions transcribed below, but I think the last question is the most important.
In the third question, McKnight asks McLaren if he’s a universalist. Don’t hold your breath for a direct answer because McLaren doesn’t give one. McLaren says that he is not an exclusivist but that he can’t say that he’s a universalist either. He won’t commit to either view. McLaren’s says that he’s working within a new “narrative” in which those old questions of heaven and hell don’t make sense anymore. In spite of McLaren’s obfuscation, I think it’s pretty clear that he’s a universalist. Continue Reading →
The most recent issue of Rolling Stone has an interview with pop music sensation Katy Perry. I’ve written about Perry before and have noted her past life as Katy Hudson—a Christian music star and the daughter of two charismatic youth pastors. What I found interesting about this interview in Rolling Stone was her remarks about her current spiritual state and practices. She describes it this way:
“Speaking in tongues is as normal to me as ‘Pass the salt.’ A lot of religions use meditation or chanting as a subliminal prayer language, and speaking in tongues isn’t that different–it’s a secret, direct prayer language to God. If I felt intuitively that I had to pray for some situation, but I didn’t rationally understand it, I just let my spirit pray for me.”
Perry tells Rolling Stone that she still gets offended at blasphemy, even when her own fiancé is the culprit. She doesn’t want anyone taking God’s name in vain. The interviewer is astonished at Perry’s residual Christian scruples:
“It’s surprising to hear Perry talk about God in this way, because one would think her religious past is behind her, but she says she still considers herself a Christian. She shows me the tattoo of the word JESUS that she got on her wrist, just like her dad. ‘God is very much still a part of my life,’ she says. ‘But the way the details are told in the Bible—that’s very fuzzy for me. And I want to throw up when I say that. But that’s the truth.’
“‘I still believe that Jesus is the son of God… But I also believe in extraterrestrials, and that there are people who are sent from God to be messengers, and all sorts of crazy stuff… Every time I look up, I know that I’m nothing and there’s something way beyond me. I don’t think it’s as simple as heaven and hell.'”
The article also reveals why Perry has departed from Christian music and the strict charismatic faith of her parents.
“Perry started to question the path she was on. Her Christian label shut down, and, she says, ‘My gospel career was going nowhere.’ She started to write songs about love—and boys—on her guitar. And those weren’t gospel songs. ‘Letting go was a process,’ she says. ‘Meeting gay people, or Jewish people, and realizing that they were fine was a big part of it. Once I stopped being chaperoned, and realized I had a choice in life, I was like, “Wow, there are a lot of choices.” I began to become a sponge for all that I had missed—the music, the movies. I was as curious as the cat.'”
The article is as sad as it is revealing. I hope and pray that perhaps there is a flicker of gospel still alive in Perry and that she will heed it soon. Pray for her. The Lord’s arm is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1).
Source: “Sex, God & Katy,” Rolling Stone (August 19, 2010)
Randy Alcorn has been a heroic pro-life advocate for many years. His part in the fight has cost him greatly. Nevertheless, he soldiers on. Mark Driscoll has recorded a series of conversations with Alcorn about the issue, and it would be well worth your time to watch all of them. The most recent installment focuses on inconsistent pro-life evangelicalsâ€”that is, those who call themselves pro-life but then don’t vote their stated conviction.
Here are links to all three parts.
Part 2 – How God Uses Evil for Good
Carl Trueman notes that for Americans under 35 years of age, homosexual marriage is not even an issue. That figure indicates a great generational divide over attitudes toward homosexuality. The trend lines in our culture are moving decidedly in the direction affirming homosexuality as normal. Trueman predicts, therefore, four challenges that lie ahead for Christians. Here’s the fourth challenge that Trueman mentions:
“Those evangelical leaders, academics and evangelical institutions that prize their place at the table and their invitations to appear on `serious’ television programs, and who enjoy being asked to offer their opinion to the wider culture had better be prepared to make a choice. As I have said before in this column, we are not far from the place where to oppose homosexuality will be regarded as in the same moral bracket as white supremacy. Those types only appear on Jerry Springer; and Jerry generally doesn’t typically ask them their opinion on the ethics of medical research, the solution to the national debt, or the importance of poetry to a rounded education.”
Of course, evangelicals who are faithful to biblical teaching aren’t really bigots, but that won’t matter. We will be maligned as such, and we need to be prepared for difficulties ahead. The encroachment upon religious liberty will be real and acute. But it will also be an occasion to bear faithful witness to Christ. Let’s pray that we do just that.