• Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    A Plan to Read through the Bible in 2022

    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…

  • Christianity

    Let every heart prepare Him room!

    How could there possibly be anything more mysterious and wonderful than the incarnation of Jesus Christ? God became a man. God took on mortal human flesh. Even though he himself was unfallen, he subjected himself to the brokenness of this fallen world. He sneezed. He coughed. He got headaches and an upset stomach. Every morning he got up, shook the dust out of His hair, and put his hand to the plow in his Father’s field. The incarnate Son of God was obedient even to the point of death. And three days later, what was mortal became swallowed up by immortality in the resurrection. Even now, the resurrected Christ sits…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  Social Justice

    The 2021 Word of the Year – “Allyship”

    Dictionary.com has an annual tradition of naming a “word of the year,” and this year’s winner is the term allyship. Here is the definition: allyship (noun): the status or role of a person who advocates and actively works for the inclusion of a marginalized or politicized group in all areas of society, not as a member of that group but in solidarity with its struggle and point of view and under its leadership. At first blush, the definition appears to be a positive concept. After all, what decent person doesn’t want to lend a helping hand to those who need it? Didn’t even Jesus himself say something along these lines?…

  • Christianity

    The Comprehensive Ocean of My Business

    In A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge has a startling conversation with the ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley. Jacob is damned in death for his misdeeds in life, and he appears to warn Scrooge that he is headed for the same fate. Scrooge resists the suggestion that Jacob’s life was damnable. Scrooge understands that if Jacob’s life is damnable, then so is his own. So this exchange ensues: “But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself. “Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing his hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business;…

  • Christianity,  Culture

    My Thoughts on “Woke Racism”

    Over the weekend, I began and completed John McWhorter’s new book Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America. I will not offer a full review here but wish simply to offer some reflections on what I discovered there. The basic thesis of the book can be summarized as a syllogism, and it goes like this. All religions are irrational. Wokeness is a religion. Therefore, wokeness is irrational. McWhorter spends the rest of the book defining his terms and filling out the implications of this thesis. Religious beliefs are those convictions which are not subject to rational inquiry or empirical verification. The claims of religion are intellectually vacuous,…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Against an elder receive not an accusation

    John Calvin’s commentaries on Scripture are always so insightful and practical. Today I was reading his comments on 1 Timothy 5:19, which says this: “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.” Calvin explains why it is so important for there to be no presumption of guilt but a presumption of innocence unless or until adequate evidence is brought forth to prove the charge against the elder. Calvin also points out that Paul’s instructions for disciplining an elder are in fact the same as the Bible’s instructions for disciplining any member of the congregation. This high bar of proof is not…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    How To Recognize an Abusive Leader

    Jonathan Leeman has some wise words about how to recognize abusive leadership in a church: All of us, at times, will be called to endure humbly a leader’s mistakes and sins. Nonetheless, should you find yourself in a church where the leadership is characteristically abusive, I would, in most cases, encourage you to flee. Flee to protect your discipleship, to protect your family, to set a good example for the members left behind, and to serve non-Christian neighbors by not lending credibility to the church’s ministry. How do you recognize abusive leadership? Paul requires two witnesses for a charge to be leveled against an elder (1 Tim. 5:19), probably because…

  • Christianity,  Homosexuality,  Theology/Bible

    Engaging CT’s Piece on “Side B Christians”

    Christianity Today has published an article by a “Side B Christian” named Bekah Mason. For those unfamiliar with this terminology, so-called “Side A Christians” are those who believe that they can follow Christ while affirming homosexual identity and practice. “Side B Christians” are those who believe that following Christ means affirming gay identity while eschewing gay sexual behavior. Mason’s article is about the plight of “Side B Christians” who feel rejected both by LGBT folks on their left and by “orthodox churches” on their right. Mason argues that “Side B Christians are not a threat but an asset to orthodox churches.” Readers would do well to reckon not only with…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Homosexuality,  Theology/Bible

    Crucial Questions with Kristin Kobes Du Mez

    Over the weekend, I had an important exchange with Kristin Kobes Du Mez on social media. I won’t rehash the entire back and forth here. Some of it is linked below for your reference if you are interested in following the threads. If you boil it all down, she asked me a question, and I asked her one. She asked me whether I thought her book Jesus and John Wayne contains false teaching (to which I answered “yes”), and I asked her if she believes that homosexuality is sinful (to which she answered that she doesn’t know yet). In this post, I simply want to comment on her answer to…

  • 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…