• Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Should Christians Cuss?

    For some time now, I have had a growing pastoral concern about Christians using foul language. This concern has been driven in no small part by well-known pastors who commend the use of foul language and who do so based on foul language that they perceive to be in scripture. They acknowledge that the Bible says that we should not be using certain kinds of language: “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Eph. 5:4). But they also allege that the Bible itself elsewhere uses the very language that it prohibits in Ephesians 5:4. While…

  • Christianity,  Culture

    How a Christian Patriot Might Love His Wayward Country

    I love G. K. Chesterton’s reflections on what it means to be a Christian patriot. If you have never read it, I encourage you to read “The Flag of the World” in his classic work Orthodoxy. Chesterton contends that love of one’s homeland is not like house-hunting—an experience in which you weigh the pros and cons of a place and choose accordingly. He writes: A man belongs to this world before he begins to ask if it is nice to belong to it. He has fought for the flag, and often won heroic victories for the flag long before he has ever enlisted. To put shortly what seems the essential…

  • Christianity,  Devotion

    Self-Deprecation

    I love Arthur Bennett’s Puritan prayer book The Valley of Vision. These prayers are a regular part of my devotional life, and sometimes I bring them to corporate prayer in my church as well. One one of the prayers of confession has been particularly meaningful to me for about twenty years now. It is titled “Self-Deprecation,” and I led our congregation in prayer with it last Sunday morning. As I said, this one has meant a lot to me over the years. I pray it will to you as well. _______________ SELF-DEPRECATION My every sense, member, faculty, affection is a snare to me, I can scarce open my eyes but…

  • Christianity

    Why I opposed an anti-abortion resolution at the SBC

    Two weeks ago, I thought the most important resolution coming before the Southern Baptist Convention would be about Critical Race Theory. I need to give up my prognosticating, because I turned out to be epically wrong in that prediction. That resolution didn’t even come close to being the most important resolution before the messengers. I made that prediction not knowing what I know now—that the convention would pass a resolution that amounts to a repudiation of the pro-life movement. In fact, this resolution is a break with every single pro-life resolution that the SBC has passed in the last 41 years.  How could such a thing happen in a denomination…

  • Christianity,  Social Justice

    Dealing with Resolution 9… or not?

    Last month, I made a prediction that we wouldn’t leave the SBC in Nashville without a resolution making it absolutely clear how Southern Baptists feel about CRT. How has that prediction turned out? It’s hard to say now because we still have more to debate and discuss tomorrow. Most notably, the Committee on Order of Business will report tomorrow on a motion to rescind Resolution 9 passed at 2019 SBC. If we are able to vote on that motion and rescind, it would serve the same purpose as a strong resolution. I suspect, however, that the motion will be ruled out of order and that we will not have the…

  • Theology/Bible

    Looking ahead to the SBC in Nashville

    Today Ronnie Floyd — the President of the SBC Executive Committee — announced that over 16,000 messengers have pre-registered for the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Over 16,000 pre-registered messengers for #SBC21 https://t.co/TVniU8bLrB — Ronnie Floyd (@ronniefloyd) June 9, 2021 To put this number in perspective, you have to keep in mind that 16,000 is about twice the attendance that we had at our last meeting. In fact, we haven’t had this many people show up for an annual meeting since 1995 in Atlanta (see stats at bottom). From the looks of things, this is shaping up to be a watershed convention. From the presidential election to debates…

  • Theology/Bible

    The first to plead his case seems just…

    Proverbs 18:17, “The first to plead his case seems just, Until another comes and examines him.” “Hearers enthralled by a good speech in court can easily forget that they have heard only one side of the argument. More information is needed before a verdict can be reached. When the other party speaks in refutation, people realize they have heard only one side. The experience at court offers a lesson to all who make judgments about others. Truth appears gradually; one must listen to all sides. The old Latin axiom is relevant: audiatur et altera pars, ‘Let the other side be heard too.’ Protagoras in the fifth century B.C.E. said, ‘There…

  • Christianity,  Social Justice

    Dealing with Resolution 9 at the SBC

    I am pre-registered as a messenger from my church to the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville next month. Because of the aftermath of 2019’s infamous “Resolution 9,” one of the most important items of business before the Convention will no doubt be a resolution relating to Critical Race Theory (CRT). I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet. So I could be wildly off in this prediction, but I anticipate that we won’t leave Nashville without a strong resolution against Critical Race Theory. I won’t even try to predict the path from point A to point B, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to get to point…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    No Hedging. No Paternalism. Just obedience.

    Hannah Anderson has an essay at Christianity Today warning against “paternalism” among complementarians. She says that paternalism occurs among complementarians whenever “policies and practices” are put into place “that restrict both the freedom and the responsibilities of women who do not hold the authority associated with pastors and husbands.” In other words, it’s not men in authority per se that are the problem. It’s those who misuse their authority to limit women under their charge. She then says that “The challenge for complementarians, then, is to create policies and practices that don’t unnecessarily limit the freedom or the responsibilities of women as co-heirs of the gospel of life.” Anderson cites…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    How To Turn Complementarians into Egalitarians

    Mike Bird and Devi Abraham recently interviewed authors Kristin DuMez, Beth Allison Barr, and Aimee Byrd (see video below). All three of these authors have written books condemning complementarianism. Both DuMez and Barr are convinced egalitarians. While I have never heard Byrd own that label, she has said in her book that she is not a complementarian. In any case, it’s difficult to detect any daylight between Byrd’s position and that of the two egalitarians in this interview. They all three are very much opposed to complementarian theology, which is denigrated as abusive patriarchy in this interview. One thing that they all three seem to agree on is the need…