• Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Does the BF&M allow for female pastors?

    There seems to be some confusion recently among Southern Baptists about women in the pastorate. At first blush, it would seem that our formal doctrinal consensus is clear. After all, the Baptist Faith & Message (BF&M) states the matter rather plainly: VI. Church: A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers… Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. Southern Baptists have traditionally understood this to mean that only qualified men are allowed to serve in the office…

  • 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…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    The Trinity in Grudem’s Second Edition

    The long-awaited second edition of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology has just been released. Having sold three-quarters of a million copies, the first edition of this book has been a mainstay among evangelicals. And not just among folks attending seminary or Bible college (although Grudem’s work has certainly been ubiquitous there). This book has connected to countless laypeople in the pews who have wished for a simple introduction to Systematic Theology in a way that connects them directly to Scripture. That is why Grudem’s first edition has proven to be so influential and enduring, and it’s why the second edition likely will be too. One of the key items of interest…

  • Theology/Bible

    The Cajun Night Before Christmas

    If you have never heard of The Cajun Night before Christmas by Trosclair, well, you’re about to! It’s a mainstay where I am from, and my dad read it to us every year on Christmas Eve when I was growing up. Even now, he reads it to my children whenever the family is together for Christmas. I have a good friend with an English accent who picked this book off the shelf in my home one time while he was visiting. He regaled my entire family with his own hilarious attempt at a cajun accent. I won’t embarrass him by revealing his name, but I will say that it rhymes…

  • Book Reviews,  Theology/Bible

    Review of LOGOS 9

    There are some professors of Bible who have an allergy to Bible software. I am not one of them. But those who do object do so mainly because they fear their students may use such a resource as a crutch and as a result may never really learn how to read the Bible in the original languages. Their concern is that students may rely on the software’s instant parsing and glosses so much that they never actually learn how the language works. While I agree that this is a legitimate concern, I do not agree that eschewing Bible software altogether is the answer. Students of Hebrew and Greek do in…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Wisdom from God FOR us or TO us?

    The 72nd annual “meeting” of the Evangelical Theological Society begins on Monday. I put “meeting” in scare-quotes because our in-person gathering in Providence, Rhode Island has become another COVID casualty. Nevertheless, the event organizers have put on a fantastic virtual version of our meeting that in some ways may facilitate more scholarly interaction. I’ve already listened to 8 papers including both sections of the “Evangelicals and Gender” group. I never would have gotten to hear so many papers in the usual format. So this is good. Presenters have already uploaded videos of ourselves to the event website, and anyone who is registered for the meeting can watch the presentations. I…

  • Theology/Bible

    Is this election over or not?

    After the Associated Press reported Saturday that Joe Biden is the President-Elect, President Trump’s lawyers and spokesmen began putting out the news that they would be contesting the results in court. I told a friend earlier this week that we’ll know by the end of the week whether any of these lawsuits have any traction. It’s Friday, and I don’t think they do. If you are primarily following this election via cable news, I recommend that you turn to print journalism. Cable and broadcast news tend to be highly derivative of print journalism. For example, if you want to know what the Today Show or Good Morning America are going…

  • Book Reviews,  Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Why White Fragility Fails

    Earlier this week, I finished Robin Diangelo’s New York Times #1 Bestselling book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People To Talk about Racism (Beacon, 2018). A lot of ink has already been spilled over this book, and I suppose that I have little more to add. I won’t write a full review here. If you want that, I recommend Tim Challies’ three–part series. Nevertheless, I do have some observations that I would like to add to the conversation. The basic gist of the book is this. White people participate in a complex system of privilege and white supremacy. Whether they mean to or not, they are therefore…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  Theology/Bible

    Is “Systemic Racism” a Useful Category for Christians to Use?

    I’ve been watching the misadventures of Matthew Franck’s insightful article criticizing the concept of systemic racism. It originally appeared for two hours yesterday morning at Newsweek online. Apparently the opinion editor fought to have it posted, but the editor-in-chief swooped in to remove it without explanation. Franck explains the behind-the-scenes chicanery at The Public Discourse where the full article is now posted. It’s not encouraging. Is the concept of systemic racism so brittle that it can’t be scrutinized? Or are Newsweek editors too afraid to allow a thoughtful piece questioning the new orthodoxy? Who knows? In any case, it’s a shame that Newsweek would not stand by Franck’s column because…