• Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible,  Transgenderism

    What happened at the ETS?

    Well, another annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) is now in the books. I returned home late Thursday night from Fort Worth, TX, where this year’s gathering was held. For those of you who don’t know, the ETS is a society of theologians and biblical scholars who are dedicated to biblical inerrancy and a belief in the Trinity. At the annual meeting, members come together to present academic papers, meet with publishers, and catch up with old friends. Keep in mind that I only experienced a narrow slice of things, but here are my reflections on what I saw nonetheless. 1. Fort Worth and Nostalgia I confess that…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible,  Transgenderism

    Elite Evangelicalism’s Allergy to Complementarianism

    Former editor of Christianity Today, Mark Galli, wrote a jaw-dropping column last week. Galli’s essay discusses where the next generation of evangelical leadership is going to emerge from. Will it be from among “elite evangelicalism” (e.g., Fuller Seminary, CT, Intervarsity Press, World Vision, etc.), or will it be from among the constellation of “reactionary Reformed conservatives” (e.g., Doug Wilson)? Galli then goes on to talk about his tenure at Christianity Today and what it revealed to him about the priorities of “elite evangelicalism.” He writes, Elite evangelicalism (represented by CT, IVPress, World Vision, Fuller Seminary, and a host of other establishment organizations) is too often “a form of cultural accommodation…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Summary Judgments on Social Media Contradict Scripture

    John Frame, The Doctrine of the Christian Life (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2008), 843: Many theological controversialists today set themselves up as Internet gurus, declaring brothers and sisters to be excommunicate on their say-so alone, showing contempt for the authority of the church, which alone has been authorized by God to make such judgments, and violating God’s standards requiring protection of the accused. Many of these have no scruples about spreading lies to anybody who will listen. It never occurs to them that they have a responsibility to protect the reputations of fellow Christians, even those with whom they disagree.

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    John Murray on Truth and Bearing False Witness

    John Murray, Principles of Conduct (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 1957), 134-35: No warning or plea is more germane to the question of truth than that we cultivate the reserve and exercise the caution whereby we shall be preserved from rash and precipitate judgments and from the vice of peddling reports that are not authenticated by the proper evidence. And we must also strive to be blinded by no prejudice, nor impeded by the remissness of sloth and indifference, which render us impervious to the force of compelling evidence with which we are confronted. Jealously for truth and for the conviction that is correspondent will make us alert to evidence when it…

  • Christianity,  Educational,  Theology/Bible

    Do seminaries really need to require biblical languages?

    Last Wednesday, Dr. Rob Plummer delivered a really important faculty address titled “The Necessity of Biblical Languages in Ministerial Training.” In his lecture, Dr. Plummer takes dead aim at the recent push in some seminaries to do away with biblical language requirements. He shows that this is a horrible idea driven not by concern for the best way to train pastors but by educators who wish to make it easier to get through seminary. It’s a pragmatic carelessness about the core competencies of a pastor. Dr. Plummer masterfully explains why this reasoning fails and why we need to retain the languages in seminary curricula. He says, “Reading the Bible in…

  • Christianity,  Social Justice,  Theology/Bible

    Biblical Justice vs. Mob Justice

    One of the most vicious characters in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is a woman name Madame Defarge. In the beginning, she appears as a diminutive woman who passively spends her time knitting as French nobility commit great injustices against commoners. The reader comes to find out that this woman is storing up bitter resentments and bloody plans for vengeance against her aristocratic persecutors. Through years of oppression, she is quietly knitting a “hit list” of aristocrats whose blood must be spilled in the coming revolution. Her bloodlust becomes so intense that she begins to sew names on her list that don’t deserve her condemnation. At one crucial…

  • Book Reviews,  Christianity

    Overwhelmed by Great Expectations and Joe Gargery

    I just finished what has to be one of the greatest novels of all time, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. I am fairly overwhelmed by it, to be honest. Probably because I identify so much with Pip, especially his defects of character. I daresay that some of those very same defects were so pronounced in my own life in earlier days that I could not have read and benefited from this book had I read it in high school. Had I read it then, I probably would have thought it a tragedy rather than a comedy. I am embarrassed to say that, but I think it’s true. There was too much…

  • Christianity,  News

    Lisa Beamer Shares Candidly Twenty Years On

    Every now and again, I will think about Lisa Beamer and wonder how she and her children are doing. It’s usually around the 9/11 anniversary that I will remember her husband Todd and then recall her. More than once, I have searched on the internet for news or an interview. But there really isn’t much there. What is there is really dated. It’s like she disappeared. But then earlier this evening out of nowhere, I learned that she spoke at Wheaton College to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11. It is great to see her again and to hear her share so candidly. Don’t miss this one. You can watch…

  • Christianity,  News

    Lisa Beamer’s Account of Todd Beamer on Flight 93

    Todd Beamer was an evangelical Christian and one of the heroes of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. His last conversation with a telephone operator named Lisa Jefferson bears witness to great courage and grace. The account below is from Lisa Beamer’s 2002 book Let’s Roll! Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage (Tyndale House). Todd Beamer left behind a pregnant wife and two children. Read every bit of this, and remember. Lisa Jefferson indicated to me that at several points during their fifteen-minute phone call, Todd put the phone down, moved around the plane to talk with other passengers, and then returned to their conversation. Lisa told me, “If I hadn’t known it was…

  • Christianity,  News

    A Meditation on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

    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 had a seminar later that day, and I was in our apartment when she called me from her 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 the towers eventually crumbled to the ground. Americans were horrified by what we saw that day. As the flames engulfed…