N. T. Wright Responds to John Piper

Michael Bird has a preview of N. T. Wright’s response to John Piper on the topic of justification. Wright’s book is titled Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision, and it will be available early next year. Here’s Bird’s description:

“This book is a response to many of Wright’s North American critics and to John Piper’s The Future of Justification in particular. It is not a point for point reply to Piper but a general articulation of what Wright really thinks about justification with some hand-to-hand combat with Piper (as well as others such as Carson and Seifrid) along the way. Wright gives a very forthright defence of his position, but is certainly not acrimonious or uncharitable towards Piper. . . Regardless of whether one gravitates towards Wright’s or Piper’s unpacking of Paul, you cannot help but enjoy the sparks that fly when these two great modern Pastor-Scholars cross swords over the great Apostle.”

Bird also gives an outline of the book, and he quotes I. Howard Marshall’s glowing endorsement. Even though Bird says that the new book has a lot that isn’t new, I’ll be looking forward to reading this volume when it is released.

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Laci and Conner’s Law To Be Tested

The Associated Press is reporting that the 2004 “Laci and Conner’s Law” (which defines a fetus as a “child”) is about to be tested:

“Federal prosecutors in New Mexico believe they may be the first to use a 2004 law to charge someone with killing a fetus while causing the death or injury of the mother. . .

“The Unborn Victims of Violence Act stemmed from the abduction and murder of a pregnant woman, Laci Peterson, in California in 2003. The law makes it a crime to kill a fetus in utero at any stage of development while committing another federal crime; it does not require the perpetrator to know the woman was pregnant.” Continue Reading →

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Louisiana Tech Wins Independence Bowl

On Sunday night, I was privileged to be in Shreveport, Louisiana to see my alma mater Louisiana Tech University defeat Northern Illinois in the Independence Bowl. Even though Tech’s appearance in this bowl was due to the SEC and Big 12’s inability to produce enough bowl eligible teams, I couldn’t be happier that the Bulldogs put together this win. I have followed many disappointing seasons over the years, and this opportunity and victory have been a long time in coming.

Here are some reflections on the game: Continue Reading →

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President Bush’s Reading Habits

Bush ReadingKarl Rove has an interesting essay in the Wall Street Journal in which he describes President Bush’s reading habits. In 2006, Rove says that he and Bush had a contest in which Bush finished the year having read 95 books. After listing some titles that Bush has read, Rove concludes:

“There is a myth perpetuated by Bush critics that he would rather burn a book than read one. Like so many caricatures of the past eight years, this one is not only wrong, but also the opposite of the truth and evidence that bitterness can devour a small-minded critic. Mr. Bush loves books, learns from them, and is intellectually engaged by them.

“For two terms in the White House, Mr. Bush has been in the arena, keeping America safe and facing down enormous challenges, all the while acting with dignity. And when on Jan. 20 he flies from Washington to Texas one last time, he will do so as he arrived — with friends and a book nearby.” Continue Reading →

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The Incarnation

There is hardly anything more mysterious and wonderful to me than the incarnation of Jesus Christ. God became a man. Jesus Christ is at once fully God and fully man. God took on mortal human flesh and became subject to all the things that every other mortal is subject to. He sneezed. He coughed. He got headaches and an upset stomach. Every morning he got up, shook the dust out of His hair, and served His Father faithfully.

Jesus Christ was not only subject to sickness, but also to death. The eternal Son of God was die-able. In fact, he did die. And three days later, what was mortal became swallowed up by immortality in the resurrection.

Even now, the resurrected Christ sits at the right hand of God in glory. As I type these words, the incarnate God intercedes in the flesh for His people before the Father (Romans 8:34). And it all began in a manger 2,000 years ago. No, actually, we have to go 9 months before that—when Jesus Christ was first conceived in by the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary, when the God-Man was an embryo. “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. . . The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:30, 35).

How could any of this be? God is in the flesh now! I cannot get my little pea-brain to comprehend it, yet this is precisely what the Bible teaches. “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

As we ponder the imponderables of God, let us never cease to be amazed at the manifold mercies of God that have come to us through the incarnation of King Jesus. Let every heart prepare Him room.

Merry Christmas!

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Carl Trueman on Being a Christian Academic

Carl Trueman has an outstanding exhortation in the most recent issue of Themelios, and his remarks have a particular punch for academics:

“The title ‘scholar’ is not one that you should ever apply to yourself, and its current profusion among the chatterati on the blogs is a sign of precisely the kind of arrogance and hubris against which we all need to guard ourselves. Call me old-fashioned, but to me the word ‘scholar’ has an honorific ring. It is something that others give to you when, and only when, you have made a consistent and outstanding contribution to a particular scholarly field (and, no, completion of a Ph.D. does not count). To be blunt, the ability to set up your own blog site and having nothing better to do with your time than warble on incessantly about how clever you are and how idiotic are all those with whom you disagree—well, that does not actually make you eligible to be called a scholar. On the contrary, it rather qualifies you to be a self-important nincompoop, and the self-referential use of the title by so many of that ilk is at best absurd, at worst obnoxious.”

Amen to that. Read the rest of this one here.

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