Tebow’s Narrow Religion

Tom Krattenmaker has taken a whack at Tim Tebow in a recent article for USA Today. He complains that Tebow’s conservative Christianity has afflicted sports culture in general:

“Jesus’ representatives in sports aren’t just practicing faith. They are also leveraging sports’ popularity to promote a message and doctrine that are out of sync with the diverse communities that support franchises, and with the unifying civic role that we expect of our teams.” Continue Reading →

President Obama’s Revolution

On Saturday, President Obama delivered a speech to the Human Rights Campaign, one of the most ardent gay-rights organizations in the country. He promised to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to abolish the Defense of Marriage Act, and to sign into law the Matthew Shepherd hate crimes bill that was just passed in the U. S. House of Representatives. None of this is surprising, though it does seem inconsistent with his 2008 campaign statements affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

What was astonishing, however, was his open admission of what his real goal is. He’s not simply trying to change the law. He wants to change society. Continue Reading →

Noonan Calls Nobel Wicked and Ignorant

Peggy Noonan has a hard-hitting piece on yesterday’s news about President Obama’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize. She is not critical of Obama, but of the committee who diminished the award. She writes:

“The giving of the peace prize to President Obama is absurd. He doesn’t have a body of work; he’s a young man; he’s been president less than nine months. He hopes to accomplish much, and so far–nine months!–has accomplished little. Is this a life of heroic self-denial, of the sacrifice of self for something greater, of huge and historic consequence, of sustained vision? No it’s not. Is this a life marked by a vivid and calculable contribution to the peace of the world? No, it’s not. Continue Reading →

Hollywood’s Indignation about Polanski

Carson Holloway at First Things is astonished at Hollywood’s reaction to Roman Polanski’s arrest for a 30-year old rape charge. While pity might be an appropriate response, he argues that indignation is not.

“Pity, yes. But indignation? This is strange, and it compels us to ask how we can account for the inclination of some in Hollywood righteously to condemn those who would bring Polanski to justice. The reasons are no doubt complex. . . Nevertheless, this controversy should not pass without our observing that Hollywood surely has deep self-interested reasons to defend Roman Polanski. Put simply, Polanski’s sins are inextricably bound up with Hollywood’s own sins. If he is guilty, Hollywood is, in some measure, guilty as well. . . The embrace of sexual liberation necessarily diminishes our horror for rape, and contemporary Hollywood has been nothing if not ardent in its embrace of sexual liberation.”

Holloway goes on to interrogate the sexual liberation ethic of Hollywood. The only limits to their liberation is consent, but he argues that such a position is self-defeating. This one is well-worth the read.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Jim Hamilton with Piper, Storms, and Wilson on Eschatology

Southern Seminary professor Dr. Jim Hamilton made the case for premillennialism at a debate on eschatology last week at Bethlehem College and Seminary. Pastor John Piper moderated the discussion. Doug Wilson and Sam Storms represent the postmillennial and amillennial views respectively.

The discussion lasts two hours, and I think the second hour is the most important. In it, they have a spirited discussion about the interpretation of Revelation 20. Of the three debaters, Jim Hamilton presents the most biblically compelling case. This is an outstanding resource, and I hope you will take time to listen to it.

Mutual Submission in Ephesians 5:21?

S. M. Hutchens recent post about “mutual submission” in marriage got me to thinking about the interpretation of Ephesians 5. Hutchens and I are on the same page theologically when it comes to gender-roles in marriage, though my exegesis of this particular passage differs a little bit from his. Here’s my go at it.

In Ephesians 5:22-25, Paul directs wives to “submit” to their husbands, and husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Traditionally, this text has been understood to teach that husbands should be the leaders of their families.

A newer interpretation, however, says that the command in verse 21 shows the older view to be wrong-headed. Continue Reading →

The Apocryphal Martin Luther

One of my favorite quotes from the great reformer Martin Luther is this one:

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

It’s a powerful, provocative word, and I have used it I don’t know how many times in speeches and sermons. I picked it up somewhere along the way and have found it to be very effective. Recently, I decided to include it in my forthcoming editorial for JBMW. Since my use of it is to be published, I decided to track down the original source of the saying. Continue Reading →

Is emotive preaching manipulative and wrong?

The first time I heard John Piper preach I didn’t like it. It was about fifteen years ago. Someone had given to me a cassette tape of Piper speaking on the topic of the supremacy of God in preaching, and in this particular message he stressed that the preacher’s delivery of the sermon should match the emotional gravity of the text. I disagreed with Piper, believing that he had embraced an anthropocentric view of the preacher’s task. As far as I was concerned, the Bible was the point of preaching not the preacher’s delivery. I didn’t understand how Piper could be so wrong.
Continue Reading →

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