Ryken’s Defining Challenge for Evangelicals

Christianity Today asked Philip Ryken last week what he expects “to be Wheaton’s greatest ‘identity challenge’ in relating to trends in American culture?” His answer:

“I think the issue of homosexuality will for the foreseeable future be a defining challenge for the evangelical church generally, and, therefore, also for the college.”

He calls homosexuality a “defining challenge” not just for Wheaton, but for all of evangelicalism. There are a number of reasons that I agree with this assessment, but let me just give you a few thoughts to consider. Continue Reading →


David Platt in SBTS Chapel

I believe David Platt (@plattdavid) to be the most passionate and compelling missions-mobilizer in Southern Baptist life today. He brought a powerful and convicting message in Southern Seminary’s chapel service that I think everyone needs to hear. His text is Luke 9:57-62, a text which he argues presents us with three questions about our priorities:

1. Are we going to choose comfort or the cross? (Luke 9:57-58)
2. Are we going to settle for maintenance or are we going to sacrifice for mission? (Luke 9:59-60)
3. Are our lives and ministries going to be marked by indecisive minds or undivided hearts? (Luke 9:61-62)

Don’t listen to this if you don’t want your world shaken-up. Don’t miss this one.

Audio of Sermon:


Take Heed Lest You Fall

I preached a message on 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 in Southern Seminary’s chapel yesterday. Video above, and audio below.

Take Heed Lest You Fall

In my conclusion, I referred to an old sermon titled “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection,” and I mispoke by attributing the sermon to Thomas Cranmer. I meant to say that the sermon comes from Thomas Chalmers. If you are interested in reading it, you can do so here. Chalmers’ sermon is a meditation on 1 John 2:15. His basic point is this:

The best way of casting out an impure affection is to admit a pure one; and by the love of what is good to expel the love of what is evil.

I couldn’t agree more. May God give is the grace to replace the love of our idols with the love of Christ.


GCR Report Now Online

Here’s a pre-recorded version of the Great Commission Resurgence interim report that Pastor Ronnie Floyd delivered tonight to the SBC Executive Committee. You can download the text version of Floyd’s address here. This is only an interim report, and the final report is not due until May. Nevertheless, it is clear that the work of the GCR Task Force promises to be epoch-making for Southern Baptists.

The report warns Southern Baptists that we have two options:

“Die a painful death, or live a painful change. . . What our convention chooses to do will determine what God does with this denomination. . . Wilderness wanderings or Canaan conquests.”

We all need to pray that Southern Baptists make the right decision this summer in Orlando.


View GCR Report Online

Last summer, the messengers of the 2009 Southern Baptist Convention appointed a task force to study how Southern Baptists can work more faithfully and effectively together in serving Christ through the Great Commission. The final report will be given at the SBC in Orlando this summer, but Ronnie Floyd will present an interim report to the SBC Executive Committee tonight. So all eyes are on Nashville.

At about 10:30pm EST, you will be able to see a video of Floyd’s report and a downloadable manuscript of his remarks at www.pray4gcr.com. Be sure to take a look. And be sure to pray for their work. (HT: Ronnie Floyd)


Did I get married too young?

David Lapp got married last year when he was 22 years old and his wife was 21. By today’s standards, that is really young. But in today’s Wall Street Journal, Lapp makes the case for early marriage. He writes:

“Did I get married too young? I may not have the freedom to globetrot at my own leisure or to carouse at a bar late into the night. But when I step into our 500-square-foot one-bedroom apartment, warmly lighted and smelling of fresh flowers and baked bread, I do have the freedom to kiss my beautiful wife and best friend—the woman I pledged to always love and cherish, and to raise a family with. I have no regrets.”

After you finish reading Lapp’s article, go read Albert Mohler’s take-away on this subject for Christians. He writes:

“The delay of marriage is a huge problem, and Christians should be in the forefront of seeing and understanding the problem — and countering the arguments against early marriage. Churches and parents need to ask why we are not getting young adults ready for marriage. Abdication to the ‘hooking up’ culture of young adulthood is just not an option.”

Read the rest here.


Kevin DeYoung Pillories McLaren Book

Kevin DeYoung has begun a multi-part pillorying of Brian McLaren’s new book A New Kind of Christianity. This will be a more extensive treatment than the Challies review that I highlighted yesterday, though equally as critical. You can read it here.

UPDATE: The rest of DeYoung’s review is now available. You can read it here or download a PDF of the entire review. I encourage the latter.


He Loves Jesus but Hates God

Tim Challies delivers an appropriately stinging review of Brian McLaren’s new book A New Kind of Christianity. Among other things, Challies observes that McLaren loves Jesus but hates God. In fact, Challies is convinced that this book is a de-conversion narrative that shows that McLaren has unambiguously apostatized from the Christian faith. He writes:

‘He denies the Fall, he denies original sin, he denies human depravity, he denies hell…

‘Here, in A New Kind of Christianity it’s as if McLaren is screaming “I hate God!” at the top of his lungs. And swarms of Christians are looking at him with admiration and saying, “See how that guy loves God?” I don’t know what McLaren could do to make the situation more clear. In fact, his book is nearly indistinguishable from many of the de-conversion narratives that are all the rage today. Compare it with Bart Ehrman’s God’s Problem and you’ll see many of the same arguments and the same misgivings; you’ll find, though, that Ehrman is at least more honest. He at least has the integrity to walk away from faith altogether rather than reinventing God in his own image.

‘McLaren says he would prefer atheism over belief in the God so many of us see in Scripture. Well, he is not far off. This new kind of Extreme Makeover: God Edition Christianity is no Christianity at all. It is not a faith made in the image of Jesus Christ, but a faith made in the image of a man who despises God and who is hell-bent on dragging others along with him as he becomes his own god.’

I’ve read part of McLaren’s book, but now I’m wondering if I’ll spend precious time to read the rest of it. From what I’ve read, Challies has not overstated his case. Read the rest of Challies’ review here.


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