• Christianity

    Resurrection Hymn

    O Jesus, Savior of my life, My hope, my joy, my sacrifice, I’ve searched and found no other one Who loves me more than you have done. So I denounce my lingering sin Whose power You have broke within My ever weak and faithless frame. Its vigor’s crushed in Jesus name. For your death did at once proclaim, The Father’s glory and my shame. And you did seize my cup of guilt And drank all that the chalice spilled. No condemnation now I dread Because you went for me instead To bear the curse and wrath and rage, To pay the debt I would have paid. Yet your work finished…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Doubt Is a Sin, and Jesus Never Sinned

    The Roman Catholic theologian George Tyrell famously criticized the theological liberalism of Adolf Harnack with these words: “The Christ that Harnack sees… is only the reflection of a Liberal Protestant face, seen at the bottom of a deep well.” Tyrell’s depiction of Harnack’s project stands as a warning against a temptation that we all face whether we realize it or not—the temptation to project our own values and ideals onto Jesus and then to use this man-made Jesus to support those values and ideals.1 In some ways this temptation is understandable. After all, the writer of Hebrews assures us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable…

  • Christianity,  News

    Southern Baptists Prepare To Expel Gay-affirming Church

    The Associated Press reports on items of controversy facing Southern Baptists at the Executive Committee meeting next week. Among other things, the report states: On the agenda [is] a recommendation that a church in Kennesaw, Georgia, be ousted from the SBC because it accepted LGBTQ people into its congregation, contravening Southern Baptist doctrine… Jim Conrad, the pastor of Towne View Baptist Church in Kennesaw, said he’s at peace with the likelihood that his church will be “disfellowshipped” by the executive committee during its meeting Monday and Tuesday. But Conrad sees broader challenges for the SBC as its stances on various sensitive issues are questioned from inside and outside. “The problem…

  • Christianity,  Social Justice

    A Christian Podcast with a Positive Outlook on CRT

    Mike Bird alerted me over the weekend to The Two Cities Podcast dealing with Critical Theory (CT) and its offshoot Critical Race Theory (CRT). I share it not to commend its positive outlook on CT and CRT but to show how Christian defenders of Critical Theory tend to make their case. I don’t think that any of the speakers are proponents of CT/CRT per se. Rather, they seem to be defending CT/CRT against Evangelical “paranoia” about them. For them, Evangelical alarm about CT/CRT is unjustified. Below is a brief summary, which I offer without comment. Obviously, all summaries are reductive, and there is much more to the podcast than what…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  Social Justice

    Can we eat the meat and spit out the bones of CRT?

    I think Todd Pruitt is exactly right about the “eat the meat, spit out the bones” approach to Critical Theory and its offshoots. It’s not that you can never find the occasional insight. It’s that there is no insight there that can only be found there, and it’s a dangerous source to send people to. Pruitt writes: ‘Few (if any) would say that there are no true statements or insights to be found within Critical Theory or its offshoots. The question is whether Critical Race Theory offers unique and helpful insights without being laden with the profound errors of Critical Theory. I say no. Consider the prosperity gospel. Kenneth Copeland says…

  • Christianity,  Politics

    Roman Catholic Archbishop Admonishes President Biden over Abortion Policies

    The President of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a pointed letter yesterday aimed at President Biden’s inauguration. After noting that Biden is the first Roman Catholic in 60 years to become President, the letter issues a stern admonition about the President’s plans to pursue pro-abortion policies. The directness of the confrontation is remarkable. Here’s the relevant excerpt: As pastors, the nation’s bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the Gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the Gospel’s truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture. So, I must…

  • Christianity,  Homosexuality,  Politics,  Transgenderism

    Biden’s Promise to Pass “The Equality Act” in His First 100 Days as President

    President Biden promised last year to work on passing The Equality Act during the first 100 days of his presidency. If you are not familiar with “The Equality Act,” you need to be. Until the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision, sexual orientation and gender identity were not protected classes in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But through a tortured reading of the statute, the Court decided to read those protections into the statute. It is a terrible decision that ignores what the authors of the statute meant when they wrote it. Some have argued that the passage of The Equality Act would be a moot point in light of Bostock. They…

  • Christianity,  Politics,  Social Justice

    Assessing Blame for the Insurrection without Partiality

    Christianity Today published an opinion piece on Thursday by Tish Harrison Warren addressing the aftermath of the insurrection at the Capitol. There were a handful of passages in her essay that I believe are worthy of some reflection and critical feedback. Warren writes: For me, the worst part of yesterday’s insurrection is how it represents an utter failure in the American church. This anti-epiphany reveals the horrid outgrowths of Christian nationalism, faulty spiritual formation, false teaching, political idolatry, and overriding ignorance. Though it saddens me deeply, it must be clearly admitted: Yesterday’s atrocity was in large part brought to us by the white, evangelical church in America. Further, The responsibility…

  • Christianity,  Politics

    Grief and Anger on Insurrection Day

    I don’t know if I am more angry or heart-broken after yesterday’s insurrection at the Capitol. I felt my voice rising and cracking when I described to my wife what was unfolding in Washington, D. C. in real time—that a group of insurrectionists incited by the President had overrun security and breached the United States Capitol building. I was both mad as a hornet and sorrowful as a funeral at the desecration of our Capitol—the very seat of our democracy. A day or so after the election, an old friend warned me that this kind of mob violence would be in the offing if the President didn’t concede. I didn’t…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    A Plan to Read through the Bible in 2021

    In years past, my customary mode for reading through the Bible every year involved starting in Genesis and reading right through to Revelation. I estimated that about four chapters per day would get me through in under a year’s time. The method worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t without its problems. Sometimes I would miss a day (or days) and get behind, and I had no way to keep up with my progress. I needed a schedule so that I could keep myself accountable for finishing in a year. In 2009, therefore, I did something I had never done before. I followed a Bible reading plan. I adopted Robert Murray…