• Theology/Bible

    Church Discipline and Purging the Church Roles

    Hat tip to Justin Taylor for bringing our attention to Tim Challies’ summary of Jim Ellif’s article: Southern Baptists: An Unregenerate Denomination. Challies’ summary and Ellif’s article deal with the widely known fact that the membership roles of Southern Baptist churches are woefully inflated. Many Southern Baptists have simply grown accustomed to the fact that only about 37% of the names listed on their church’s role actually shows up regularly for worship. This statistic reveals how far Baptists have drifted from their tradition as Baptists. Historically, Baptists have been a people who adhere to a regenerate church membership. That is, we believe that the only people who are allowed to…

  • Politics

    Conservatives Rally Against Gonzales

    Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at his swearing-in ceremony at the Justice Department in February. -Doug Mills/The New York Times The New York Times and the Washington Post report this morning that conservatives are rallying against the possible appointment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to the Supreme Court to replace Sandra Day O’Connor. This is good news, and no doubt the president will get the message.

  • Politics

    Crunch Time

    Retiring Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor If you thought the 2004 presidential campaign was a difficult, bitter, acrimonious, blood-earnest fight to finish, you have not seen anything yet. The Bush-Kerry battle royal was a battle royal because of their sharp ideological differences with respect to the culture war. In this war, the most prized territory to occupy is the Supreme Court, and now that territory is up for grabs. Now that Sandra Day O’Connor has announced her resignation, we are about to witness a fight that will make the 2004 presidential campaign look like ring-around-the-rosy. As Tom Goldstein said today after O’Connor’s announcement, “Now the gloves are entirely off.…

  • Politics

    Peggy Noonan Strikes Again

    Peggy Noonan offers a biting critique of the hubris of Washington politicians in her weekly column in the Wall Street Journal. The title pretty much says it all: “Conceit of Government: Why are our politicians so full of themselves?” One of the great things about this essay is that she is an equal opportunity criticizer—that is, she directs her censure at both sides of the aisle. What she writes is harsh, but I think it is sorely needed. There seem to be less and less statesmen in Washington and more and more men who like to state their own virtue.

  • Culture,  Theology/Bible

    Joel Osteen Apologizes for Larry King Interview

    I am so very thankful to learn that Joel Osteen has apologized for the remarks that he made in his recent interview with Larry King. I wrote about the interview last week and was very disappointed with Osteen’s failure to present a clear and unambiguous declaration of the Gospel. But he has retracted his statements in the interview and has apologized for giving the impression that there is any other way to be saved other than through Jesus Christ. You can read his apology on his website (click here to read it). Osteen writes, “I hope that you accept my deepest apology and see it in your heart to extend…

  • Culture,  Theology/Bible

    Disappointed with Osteen

    One of Larry King’s recent interviews has been very disappointing. In this case, the interviewer is not the one disappointing me, but the interviewee, Rev. Joel Osteen. I think it is unfortunate that Osteen, having voiced his agreement with the prosperity-gospel, is still put forward as a spokesman for evangelicalism. Moreover, Osteen makes remarks that I don’t know how to interpret except as a flat out rejection of the exclusivity of the Gospel message. The following is from Larry King’s interview with Joel Osteen. I hope that Osteen just misspoke and will retract some of this. The end is especially troubling. OSTEEN: My message, I wanted to reach the mainstream.…

  • Culture,  Theology/Bible

    Evangelicals from Mars?

    Members of the Korean American Presbyterian Church of Queens. Koreans are among those swelling the ranks of evangelical Christians. – James Estrin/The New York Times An interesting story in today’s New York Times talks about the population of evangelicals living in New York City. So how do New Yorkers, by and large, feel about evangelicals in there midst? “Still, the prevailing culture of this city is still unsure of what to make of evangelical Christians, most churchgoers interviewed agreed. They can be treated with contempt and other times curiosity. Mickey H. Sanchez, 26, who works for a city councilman and attends Redeemer Presbyterian Church, said he finds that people are…

  • Theology/Bible

    Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air?

    Howard Hendricks, his wife Jeanne, my wife Susan, and me at a DTS post-graduation party, May 7, 2005. “Have you ever left a bible study feeling like you have your feet firmly planted in mid-air?” That is the question that Dr. Howard Hendricks used to ask when I was one of his Hermeneutics[1] students during my first semester at Dallas Theological Seminary. He knew, as most of the rest of us knew, how so many small-group bible studies are racked with superficiality and are “bible studies” in name only. How many times had I myself sat in a bible-study circle of earnest young believers where the leader reads a text…

  • Culture,  Politics,  Theology/Bible

    Stomping Your Baby To Death: Just or Unjust?

    There are at least 30 states “that recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in at least some circumstances.” The laws that forbid such killing have come to be known as “Fetal Homicide Laws.” There is a situation brewing now in Lufkin, Texas that might call some of these laws into question from a constitutional perspective. A 19-year-old young man in Lufkin, Texas was just sentenced to life in prison for ending his girlfriend’s pregnancy (source). The man was accused of stepping on his girlfriend’s stomach and causing her to miscarry. The hitch here is that he did this deed with the apparent consent of his girlfriend…

  • Politics

    Chuck Colson vs. Mark Felt: Who’s the Hero?

    Did you know that Chuck Colson went to prison for the very thing that “Deep Throat” is being lauded as a hero (click here)? Both men broke the law by leaking confidential FBI files to reporters. Both men’s crimes eventually came to light. Yet Colson went to prison, while “Deep Throat” (a.k.a. Mark Felt) got a pension. It seems so strange, therefore, that the big question on everybody’s mind is whether Mark Felt is a hero. Hardly. In this Jan. 20, 1958 picture, Salt Lake FBI chief Mark Felt shows off his pistol skills. Breaking a silence of 30 years, Felt stepped forward Tuesday, March 31, 2005, as Deep Throat,…