Ben Witherington: Piper Has Unbiblical View of God

Ben Witherington enters the theodicy discussion that began with John Piper and that continues in the comments section on this blog. Witherington contests John Piper’s understanding of God’s sovereignty over calamities, saying that Piper is

“just guilty of having an unBiblical view of God, that ironically is closer to the fatalistic one found in the Koran, than the Biblical one found in the New Testament.”

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Amend ETS in the News

In July I wrote about my participation in an effort to amend the doctrinal basis of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). Just yesterday, the Baptist Press wrote a little story about the proposal, and you can read it here: “Profs seek change in ETS statement.”

I was happy to read the endorsement given by Dr. David Dockery, the President of Union University:

“I commend . . . efforts to provide a more full-orbed confession for the Evangelical Theological Society. When the society was formed, there was an assumption that a commitment to inerrancy brought with it a commitment to other orthodox and evangelical doctrinal distinctives. But that may not be the case anymore. [The amendment] will help safeguard the mission of the society in the 21st century.”

New Website for CBMW

The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) launched a new website over the weekend. If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to check it out: There are many resources available for free, including every single back issue of the Journal for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood. There is even a “Gender Blog” to which you can subscribe. Also, don’t miss the sermon audio section.

The Wonder Years: Nostalgic about Nostalgia

I’m a sucker for nostalgia. That’s why I got so hooked on the television show “The Wonder Years” back in the late ’80’s. It was a collage of laughter and bittersweet Americana. The characters were familiar and so were their stories. I loved it.

The show ran for six years, but as the main character Kevin Arnold began to grow up, I eventually lost interest. When I noticed this summer that reruns of “The Wonders Years” had been showing on channel 26 here in Dallas, I wondered how the story had ended. In particular, I wondered how the central piece of the plot was resolved. Did Kevin and Winnie ever get together—for good?

That’s when I discovered that A&E did an episode of Biography covering the life of the series. To hear the whole story of “The Wonder Years” from beginning to end, you have to watch this one. The whole thing is on YouTube, and I link it here for my fellow suckers for nostalgia. What could be more nostalgic than being nostalgic about nostalgia?

A&E’s Biography of “The Wonder Years” (Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3), (Part 4), (Part 5)

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‘Confessions of a Pastor’ in Defense of Mohler

When I was a candidate for the Ph.D. at Southern Seminary, I spent the vast majority of my time with faculty who were specialists in the New Testament. As a result, I missed out on getting to know some of the faculty representing other disciplines. One of the men that I didn’t get to know very well was Dr. Hershael York, Professor of Preaching.

I think we have met a couple of times, but in reality I hardly know Dr. York personally. But let me say that I love him nevertheless. He keeps a blog called “Confessions of a Pastor” that is one of the most enjoyable blogs that I read (even when I disagree with him). I subscribe to “Confessions of a Pastor” and read it whenever he posts something new (which is not frequent enough!).

His latest post is a defense of his boss against the scurrilous and cowardly allegations of an anonymous critic. His bottom line is right on target:

“Little men with lots of time find it easy to discover faults in great men with little time.”

You can read the full essay here:

“Mohler’s Motives and Ministry” – by Hershael York (Confessions of a Pastor)

Review of The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views

James Beilby and Paul R. Eddy, eds. The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006. 208pp. $20.

It is no accident that Intervarsity has chosen to publish a “four views” book on the meaning of Christ’s atonement. The topic is very much in dispute right now, even among those who are associated with the evangelical movement. Not long ago, the consensus among evangelicals consisted more or less of an affirmation of the penal substitutionary view, but this is no longer the case. As evangelicalism has splintered, so has its tacit orthodoxy concerning atonement. Now, we are not surprised to hear certain pastors and theologians castigating the old consensus as an affirmation of “divine child abuse.” Continue Reading →

September 11, 2001

Of course I’ll never forget where I was on September 11, 2001. My wife and I were in our second year of marriage, and we were living in Louisville, Kentucky while I was working on my Ph.D. On the morning of the attacks, I was in our apartment, and she called me from work to tell me to turn the television on. I think both buildings had already been struck by the time I tuned in, but I was watching live television as both of them eventually crumbled to the ground.

The emotion of that day has left an indelible mark on me. The uncertainty. The questions. The very real concern that more attacks were imminent. The threat of a larger war. The horror of watching all those people die. I think everyone felt something like that, and that is why the churches across America were filled on Sunday September 16. Continue Reading →

General Betray Us?

Politics reached a new low in the run-up to General Petreaus’ testimony before Congress yesterday. The editors at The Wall Street Journal excoriated the slanderous tactics used against Petreaus and have called for congressional Democrats to repudiate’s full-page ad in The New York Times which renamed the general “General Betray Us.”

Norman Podhoretz gives a good account of the “Vietnam syndrome” that has given birth to the cynicism that seems to be the order of the day in politics. In “America the Ugly,” he writes:

“It is impossible at this point to predict how and when the battle of Iraq will end. But from the vitriolic debates it has unleashed we can already say for certain that the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, did not do to the Vietnam syndrome what Pearl Harbor did to the old isolationism. The Vietnam syndrome is back and it means to have its way. But is it strong enough in its present incarnation to do what it did to the honor of this country in 1975? Well acquainted though I am with its malignant power, I still believe that it will ultimately be overcome by the forces opposed to it in the war at home. Even so, I cannot deny that this question still hangs ominously in the air and will not be answered before more damage is done to the long struggle against Islamofascism into which we were blasted six years ago and that I persist in calling World War IV.”

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