The SBC and Integrity in Church Membership

Yesterday I guest hosted the radio program “Jerry Johnson Live” with Mark Overstreet (download podcast or mp3). We interviewed Dr. Tom Ascol about the resolution that he has recently submitted to the Southern Baptist Convention. His resolution calls on Southern Baptists “to repent of our failure to maintain responsible church membership, and . . . to repent of the widespread failure among us to obey Jesus Christ in the practice of lovingly correcting wayward church members.” Continue Reading →

Missions and Masturbation

John Piper is known for provocative titles. Who can forget books and articles with titles like “Don’t Waste Your Life,” “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ,” “Don’t Waste Your Cancer,” and many others. But as I was browsing the front page of the Desiring God website today, I think I found the title that wins the award for provocativeness: “Missions and Masturbation.” Now how do you pass up reading an article with a title like that? Continue Reading →

How the Prayer of Jabez Killed Caedmon’s Call

I just finished listening to a fascinating interview with Derek Webb in which he gives some of the reasons for the break-up of Caedmon’s Call. Believe it or not, Derek says that Bruce Wilkinson and The Prayer of Jabez were in part to blame for the band’s demise!

Derek explains that his first solo album was inspired by an encounter that Caedmon’s Call had with Bruce Wilkinson at a trade event. At this event, Wilkinson was supposed to speak for about 20-30 minutes, and then Caedmon’s was to perform a few songs when he finished. Wilkinson held forth for about an hour and a half telling the crowd that if they would pray the prayer of Jabez, then God would bless them. According to Derek, Wilkinson never once mentioned Christ or the gospel. Derek was so outraged, that he wanted to speak out against the gospel-free message of Bruce Wilkinson. When the rest of the band demurred, Derek struck out on his own.

Maybe this story is common knowledge, but I had never heard it before. But don’t take my word for it. Go listen to Derek tell the story himself in this interview with the RUF director at Belmont University: Derek Webb episode 12 (from the Derek Webb podcast). Continue Reading →

Derek Webb Reunites with Caedmon’s Call

I think Caedmon’s Call lost big time when Derek Webb left the band in 2003. Even though the band went on without him, for many fans, it was as if the band had broken up. Caedmon’s Call 1.0 gave way to Caedmon’s call 2.0, and it marked the end of an era of great music.

So I’ll bet I’m not the only one who’s happy to hear that Derek is reuniting with the band. Here’s what Cliff Young said in a recent press-release: Continue Reading →

The Gospel Coalition: Foundational Documents

Last week I followed Justin Taylor’s live-blogging of the first conference of the “Gospel Coalition.” On Sunday, Justin sent me the authorized version of the Coalition’s foundational documents. You can download them here.

According to Mark Driscoll, the Gospel Coalition began as a theological colloquium led by Dr. D. A. Carson and Dr. Tim Keller. The colloquium has been meeting for the past few years and has focused its efforts on drafting “a new evangelical reformed confession of faith.” Members of this colloquium included Alistair Begg, Kent Hughes, Philip Ryken, Mark Dever, Ray Ortlund, Ligon Duncan, and representatives from organizations such as The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Desiring God, Together for the Gospel, 9Marks, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Sovereign Grace Ministries, and Acts 29.

The final product was drafted by Dr. Carson with a preamble composed by Dr. Keller. Driscoll writes, “The colloquium was arranged in order to help hone the statements into an agreeable final draft. The hope was to redefine a clear center for evangelicalism more akin to that previously articulated by men such as Francis Schaeffer, John Stott, and Billy Graham.”

The Gospel Coalition has a website that is still unfinished: I think the finished version of the site is set to launch in June. Until then, you can download the Coalition’s foundational document here: “Gospel Coalition Foundational Documents.”

Interview with the Widow of a Turkish Martyr

Last month, I posted a week-long series on the three men who were martyred for Christ in Turkey. Recently, Father Jonathan Morris interviewed Shemza Aydin, widow of martyr Necati Aydin. Morris met with the widow in her home in Turkey and was able to speak with her and her children. You can read the interview here, or you can watch video excerpts from the interview here.

Please pray for this dear family. And be encouraged that God is sustaining this widow and her children with His amazing grace. I think you can see that this is so in the following exchange, especially the very last sentence from Shemza: Continue Reading →

Who’s tougher on tongues: DTS or the SBC?

USA Today drew a contrast yesterday between Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in alleging that DTS is more open to the charismatic gift of tongues than the SBC. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

A major battle over tongues has roiled the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest group of American Protestants. The SBC’s International Mission Board does not accept international missionaries who speak in tongues in public worship because it is not recognized as a part of Baptist identity, says spokesperson Wendy Norvelle. Next month, at the SBC’s annual convention, a group of pastors will ask the SBC to officially determine whether tongue-speaking adheres to Baptist principles. . .

Continue Reading →

The Season Finale of “Lost”

There was a lull in the storyline of “Lost” this season, and I was about to give up on the show altogether. But my relationship to the “Lost” series can be compared to Michael Corleone’s relationship to the mafia: “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!” All I can say now is that after the season finale, my attention to this story has been totally reinvigorated.

“Lost” is a fascinating show with a host of religious and philosophical undertones. Characters are named after famous philosophers (e.g., John Locke, Desmond David Hume), storylines are mistaken for religious narratives (e.g., the theory that the island is purgatory), and classic metaphysical dilemmas appear throughout (e.g., fate versus free-will in Desmond’s prognostications). Continue Reading →

Regenerate Church Membership

John Hammett is a professor of theology at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he has presented a lecture on regenerate church membership that you need to hear. The title of the lecture is “Regenerate Church Membership: The Baptist Mark of the Church.” Hammett explains how Southern Baptists have lost sight of this ideal and have acquiesced to membership consisting of both believers and unbelievers. He describes the problem this way: Continue Reading →

Stick a Fork in Giuliani

You can stick a fork in Mayor Rudy Giuliani because he’s done. At least that’s the judgment that James Dobson has made, and I fundamentally agree with him. In case you missed it last week, Dobson said this:

The jig is up. Rudy Giuliani finally admitted in a speech at Houston Baptist University last week that he is an unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand. That revelation came as no great shock to those of us in the pro-life movement. His public pronouncements as mayor of New York, together with his more recent tap dances on the campaign trail, have told a very clear story.

Continue Reading →

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