Caner says, “I never signed it.”

Dr. Ergun Caner is the President of Liberty Theological Seminary, a school founded by the late Dr. Jerry Falwell. Many were surprised to see his name among the charter signatories of “An Evangelical Manifesto.” He writes,

‘In recent days, I became aware that my name is on the list of “Charter Signatories” for the Evangelical Manifesto (EM).

‘There is only one problem: I never signed it. Continue Reading →

Note: A New Ministry and a New Article

Congratulations to my good friend Jim Hamilton who has just been appointed Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Jim is the most prolific young scholar that I know, and his work in both testaments in the area of biblical theology has been a great contribution to the church. Southern could not have gotten a better guy. You can read the announcement here.

On a side note, Jim and I wrote a little article together for JBMW last fall, and it has recently been made available for free download from the CBMW website. The article was a brief survey of younger evangelicals and their views on gender. Here are the links:

“Younger Evangelicals and Women in Ministry: A Sketch of the Spectrum of Opinion” by Denny Burk and James M. Hamilton Jr. in JBMW 12.2 (2007): 26-40. – - – - [PDF verson]

Irving Bible Church Goes Egalitarian?

In 2003, Pastor Rob Bell led Mars Hill Bible Church to amend its constitution and statement of faith in order to open all offices-including that of elder-to women. It was a high-profile egalitarian conversion of an entire church that received no little attention in the blogosphere (see here for the story). Earlier this month, a high-profile Bible Church in my own city made a similar move.

Irving Bible Church (IBC) is a large Bible Church in the Dallas area. It is one of the many Bible Churches in our city that represents an important constituency of Dallas Theological Seminary. Recently, the elders of IBC published a website explaining how they have moved away from a complementarian position on women in ministry. After over a year of looking at the issue, they have put the results of their study into a 24-page position paper that outlines the biblical and theological rationale for the change. The elders summarized their findings in five points: Continue Reading →

Evangelicals Less Relevant Than Ever Before?

Andy Crouch is an editor at Christianity Today. Recently he commented on the fact that more and more evangelicals are leaving behind abortion and marriage as transcendent moral values in their choice for President next November. He writes:

“This could turn out to be the election where both parties realize that the evangelical vote is so hopelessly split down the middle that it’s not worth courting them at all because what parties need are blocs that can be appealed to en masse. Paradoxically, evangelicals would become less relevant than ever before.”

Well, Crouch certainly right about that. For more on evangelicals who no longer prioritize defending the unborn, read here:

“Young, evangelical … for Obama?” – by Haley Edwards (The Seattle Times)

A Response to Daniel Wallace

Dr. Darrell Bock and I have been discussing our differences about the “Evangelical Manifesto” in my previous post, and I want to continue that conversation here. But this time, I’m going to post my response to another one of my former professors who has signed the document, Dr. Daniel Wallace. Dr. Wallace was a mentor to me when I was a graduate student, and I am very grateful for his ministry to me over the years. So I offer this response with humble regards.

His endorsement is here, and he expresses his hope that many will sign the Manifesto. What follows is an item that I left in the comments section of his blog in which I explained why I would not sign it. There may not be a lot that is new here, but I’m hoping to keep the conversation going for those who missed it over the weekend. Continue Reading →

Debating Bock on the “Manifesto”

Dr. Darrell Bock was one of my professors at DTS during my years as a Master’s student. He’s an exemplary Christian scholar, and I am grateful for his contribution to the kingdom.

That being said, our assessment of “An Evangelical Manifesto” is very different. In the last two days we have debated the Manifesto two different times on two different radio stations. The gist of our disagreement is over what the Manifesto calls “single-issues politics.” I argue that in America, abortion and marriage are transcendent moral issues.

The first two items are the debates with Dr. Bock. The third item contains my initial analysis of the document from Wednesday.

Friday – “Evangelical Identity Crisis” – Calling for Truth

Thursday – “Debate with Dr. Bock about the Evangelical Manifesto” – JJL

Wednesday – “Discussion about ‘An Evangelical Manifesto’” – JJL

My colleague Barry Creamer anchored both episodes of JJL. You’ll enjoy hearing him in the audio linked above. He’s an Associate Professor of Philosophy here at the Criswell College, and his reflections on the Manifesto are posted on his blog here.

Critical Reflections on “An Evangelical Manifesto”

On Wednesday, a group of high-profile, centrist evangelicals unveiled “An Evangelical Manifesto” at the National Press Club in Washington, D. C. A nine-person steering committee is responsible for the contents of the document (including Timothy George, David Neff, Richard Mouw, and Os Guinness). There are also scores of notable “charter signatories” (including Mark Bailey, Darryl Bock, J. P. Moreland, Alvin Plantinga, Ron Sider, Jim Wallis, and others). Continue Reading →

Albert Mohler Comments on “Manifesto”

The Washington Times reports why some prominent evangelical conservatives did not appear among the charter signatories of the recent “Evangelical Manifesto.” James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Richard Land and Janice Crouse are among those not listed, and all of them have statements in the Times article. Dr. Albert Mohler is also on the record expressing reticence about the document. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the story:

‘Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said he was passed over but doubted he would have signed a document “that vague.”

‘The document, he said, “is often eloquent and many ways sets forth some key evangelical convictions. My questions have to do with its actual intent. How specifically do those who are framing this document wish to define evangelicalism with reference to some crucial questions, such as abortion and gay marriage? They appear to be calling for civility, but how do they suggest discussing these issues in the public square and be as civil as they think themselves to be?”‘

Alan Jacobs Takes “Evangelical Manifesto” To Task

Alan Jacobs is a professor of English at Wheaton College, and he has written a pointed critique of “An Evangelical Manifesto” for The Wall Street Journal. His take on the document is clarifying:

‘The Manifesto is a very American document, the product of an election year, and a strong reaction against a quarter-century of evangelical identification with the Republican Party. . .

‘A purpose finally emerges with the appearance of a word never mentioned by its predecessor: “fundamentalism.” The Manifesto sets a course for evangelicalism that steers between the twin dangers of liberalism and fundamentalism. Few words are needed to distinguish evangelicalism from liberalism, but the authors, while they admit that “the fundamentalist tendency is . . . closer to Evangelicalism” than liberalism, are clearly troubled that “in the eyes of many, the two overlap.” So it turns out that the chief goal of this document is to establish the differences between evangelicalism and fundamentalism. Continue Reading →

NPR Interview with Richard Mouw

Richard Mouw is on the steering committee that drafted “An Evangelical Manifesto.” Yesterday, NPR interviewed him about the “Manifesto,” and the audio is available here. Or you can listen to it below. The interview begins at 27:20.

I am not yet ready to post all of my reflections on the document, though I can tell you now that my review will be mixed. One of the reasons for my skepticism is confirmed in this interview. As everyone knows, leading evangelicals like James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Charles Colson, Albert Mohler, and others have not signed on to support the “Manifesto.” Mouw tells NPR that many of those who haven’t signed “have a vested interest in promoting and using their religious leadership to promote a certain kind of political agenda.” Is Mouw suggesting that the abstainers are abstaining because of some personal benefit that they derive from partisan politics? Does this suggest that the abstainers care more about their “vested interest” than about affirming the gospel? Continue Reading →

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