Jim Hamilton Is a Sorry Hog

I love Jim Hamilton. I really do. But today he is a sorry hog. Here’s why.

Today I watched the LSU Tigers put the finishing touches on their abysmal season as they lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks by one point (31-30). It was painful to watch. The Tigers practically gave the game away. Their defense has stunk up the field all season, and tonight was no exception. With major penalties at critical moments during the game, the Tigers managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

After the game was over, I picked up my cell phone, and I see that I have missed a string of calls from my good friend, Jim. I check the messages, and it’s Jim on the other end doing a victory lap on my voicemail. And that’s only the beginning of his sore winners-man-ship. He has now posted the blog equivalent of the superbowl shuffle and has dedicated it to me.

Here’s a guy who has sworn off sports so that he might have more time to read theology, and yet he interrupts his sacred fast just so that he can poke me in the eye. Jim and I have been close friends for many years. But I guess this just shows that hog-red runs thicker than water. Sorr-yyy pig!


Steven Curtis Chapman Thanks President Bush

Steven Curtis Chapman is thankful for President Bush’s service to the country and has written a song saying as much. You can listen to the track at www.StevenCurtisChapman.com. Here’s the message that Chapman posted next to the song:

Good Bye. Mr. President.

Whether you voted for him & love him, or you’ve disagreed with all his policies and dislike him… Could we all agree on this? We owe President Bush a sincere thank you. As the historic Inauguration of President Elect Barack Obama approaches, StevenCurtisChapman.com pauses to thank our outgoing President for his service to our great country. This Thanksgiving weekend, we hope you’ll enjoy a new song by Steven written in President Bush’s honor.

(HT: Tim Challies)

UPDATE: The song has been removed from Steven Curtis Chapman’s website, but I found an item on YouTube with the song in it. Here it is:

Here’s a Facebook page with the same video:


A Roman Catholic Sizes Up Evangelicals

David Mills is the former editor of Touchstone magazine and is one of the most compelling writers I know. He is a Roman Catholic, but I see him about once at year the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). He attends not as a member, but as a sympathetic observer.

If there’s one thing I like about David, it’s that he knows that there are differences between Evangelicals and Catholics and that he thinks we should all be honest about them. In an age in which glossing over such distinctions is the order of the day, I find that kind of clarity refreshing indeed. Continue Reading →


Zane Hodges, RIP (1933-2008)

I just learned that Zane Hodges has passed away. He was well-known for advocating that one need not persevere in the faith in order to be saved. He also favored the Majority Text over eclectic texts of the New Testament.

Dr. Daniel Wallace was one of his students and has posted some fascinating reflections on Hodges’s life. His remarks about Hodges’s relationship to S. L. Johnson are particularly interesting.

“Zane Hodges (1933–2008)” – by Daniel Wallace (Parchement and Pen)


Amend ETS: A Successful Effort

I have been away from the blog for the last week due to a busy schedule at the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). Readers of this blog know that my friend Ray Van Neste and I had co-sponsored an effort to amend the doctrinal basis of the ETS and that the vote on the measure was to take place last week. Now that the meeting and the vote are over, I can tell you what happened and post a few reflections.

In short, we feel that our effort was successful, even though the Society decided not to adopt our specific proposal. The final vote was 130 opposed and 47 in favor (with 177 total votes cast, it was an abysmal turn-out for such an important vote). How can I claim that our effort was a success after we got only 26 percent of the vote? Let me explain. Continue Reading →


Carl Trueman: An Ironic Catalyst to Roman Catholicism

I have been reading Francis Beckwith’s fascinating book about his return to the Roman Catholic Church from Protestant Evangelicalism. On page 83, there is an ironic little anecdote in which Beckwith says that Carl Trueman was a “catalyst” for his conversion to Roman Catholicism. I won’t explain the whole thing here, but in short Trueman had written an essay in which he claimed that Roman Catholicism was the “default” position for the church in the West. Trueman wrote that,

“Rome has a better claim to historical continuity and institutional unity than any Protestant denomination, let alone the strange hybrid that is evangelicalism; in light of these facts, therefore, we need good, solid reasons for not being Catholic” (Carl Trueman quoted by Beckwith).

Beckwith saw in Trueman’s words an insurmountable obstacle, one that would finally lead him to Roman Catholicism. Beckwith writes,

“Professor Trueman’s reasoning would serve as a catalyst for reorienting my sense of whether the Catholic Church or I had the burden in justifying the schism in which I had remained for over thirty years” (p. 83).

Of course, Trueman’s essay was not at all an attempt to draw people into the Catholic church. On the contrary, Trueman’s point was quite the opposite. That is why his place in Beckwith’s story is so ironic.


Correction: Amend ETS on Wednesday Not Thursday!

In my previous post in which I set forth the schedule for the Amendment debate, I posted the wrong date! The discussion and floor debate are scheduled for Wednesday evening, not Thursday evening. The corrected schedule is below. Please spread the word. Thanks.

11/19 – Wednesday

5:20-6:00pm – Van Neste, Burk, and Executive Committee discuss the proposal followed by a Q & A with audience. Rhode Island Convention Center Ballroom E

8:30-9:30pm – Business Meeting: Discussion of the Amendment proposal. Rhode Island Convention Center Ballroom

11/21 – Friday

8:30-9:00am – Business Meeting: Vote on the Amendment proposal. Rhode Island Convention Center Ballroom A


Beckwith’s Book and the ETS Amendment

Francis Beckwith’s new book Return to Rome: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic has just been released. The new book traces his journey back to Roman Catholicism, and the last chapter deals directly with his membership in the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). Beckwith was the President of the ETS when he decided to return to the Roman Catholic Church. Beckwith said then and he contends now that he can still sign the ETS’s doctrinal statement in good conscience. He writes,

“On May 5, 2007, I resigned as president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and two days later I resigned my membership, one I held for over twenty years. . . I did not believe that the ETS doctrinal statement was inconsistent with my Catholic beliefs. . . I still believe the ETS doctrinal statement is broad enough to allow Catholic members” (pp. 118-19). Continue Reading →


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