• 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,  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…

  • 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…