• Christianity,  Complementarianism,  SBC,  Theology/Bible

    On Women Pastors, Let’s Pray for Renewal Not Inquisition

    When I was a Ph.D. candidate, I had a private conversation over lunch with one of our Theology professors about what it means to be a Baptist. I was green and more naïve than I should have been as a first year doctoral student. During the conversation, I tried to make the point that while believer’s Baptism is essential to being a Baptist, congregationalism isn’t. His response to me was simple, direct, and unperturbed. Congregationalism is just as central to being a Baptist as believer’s baptism. I left that conversation a little put off by what he told me, but I also left with a renewed zeal to find out…

  • Christianity,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    So calling God “Mother” is no big deal after all?

    This week has seen the appearance of two new reviews of Amy Peeler’s controversial book Women and the Gender of God. Both reviews are written by theology professors from Moody Bible Institute—the first by Marcus Johnson in Themelios and the second by John Clark in Touchstone. I reviewed Peeler’s book myself last January, so I read both of these new reviews with a keen interest to see if they saw what I did—that Peeler’s book contains some significant Trinitarian and Christological problems. It turns out that both of them did. That is why I was surprised to see a bit of a meltdown online concerning Johnson’s review in Themelios. No…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    The Innermost Meaning of the Cross

    “But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.” -Isaiah 53:10 “God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation in His blood through faith, in order to demonstrate His righteousness.” -Romans 3:25 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us– for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’” -Galatians 3:13 “It is those who cannot come to terms with any concept of the wrath of God…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    An Open Letter Supporting Women as Pastors

    Earlier today, I saw that Scot McKnight posted an invitation to sign a statement affirming women as pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The group hosting the letter is called Baptist Women in Ministry (BWIM). Although I’m not aware of this group having any meaningful ties to the SBC any longer, this group has a history that was forged during the crucible of the SBC’s conservative resurgence. One early member of the group was Molly Marshall, former professor at Southern Seminary a well-known advocate for female pastors, and an advocate for “theological hospitality” toward those who affirm homosexuality. BWIM tweeted about the letter before its release and gave a…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    A Stimulating Address on the Trinity and EFS

    At the recent Shepherd’s Conference , Pastor Mike Riccardi delivered an excellent address about the Trinity and EFS. It’s an accessible primer on the issue and gets to the theological heart of the debate. You can listen to the audio below or read his manuscript here. Highly recommended. Riccardi’s remarkis are all good and helpful. Really clarifying. My one bit of feedback concerns the pactum salutis. Does Riccardi’s presentation leave room for there to be a pre-temporal eternal covenant between the Father and Son? There is a lot at stake in this question because The Baptist Confession of 1689 is even more explicit about the covenant of redemption than Westminister.…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Beware of Those Who Make a Virtue of Doubt

    Christianity Today has published an article about doubt that, if true, would make Jesus into a sinner. The article is a couple years old, but it just came to my attention a few days ago [but see update #2 below]. In the article, two biblical scholars, A. J. Swoboda and Nijay K. Gupta, argue that “Jesus Was the God-Man, Not the God-Superman.” As such, they argue, Jesus sometimes experienced doubt. By becoming the God-Man, Jesus took on our human nature, “warts and all.” The authors argue that “part of what he received from us in his humanness was our ability to doubt—and doubt he did.” They contend, “Doubt is a…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Josh Butler Tells His Side of the Story

    Preston Sprinkle hosted a fascinating panel discussion with Pastor Josh Butler, author of forthcoming book titled Beautiful Union: How God’s Vision for Sex Points Us to the Good, Unlocks the True, and (Sort of) Explains Everything. Readers may remember that TGC posted an excerpt of the book on their website in early March. Controversy erupted almost immediately, and TGC ended up taking down the excerpt and apologizing for it. You can read my comments on the whole brouhaha here. Unfortunately, in the immediate aftermath of the controversy, Butler wasn’t given an opportunity (or perhaps didn’t take advantage of an opportunity?) to have a reasonable conversation about his views and his…

  • Sermon,  Theology/Bible

    A Voice Plainer Than Thunder – John 1:1-5

    I recently began a new sermon series at our church on the Gospel of John. The first message is on John 1:1-5, and it is titled “A Voice Plainer Than Thunder,” which is a line from John Chrysostom’s first homily on the fourth Gospel. After the message, someone asked me what resources I used to prepare the sermon. The answer is that my main resource is the text itself. I don’t mean that as a “Jesus juke” but as a description of my first and most important stage of sermon prep, which begins in reading and working with the Greek text. After that (sometimes during), I will read some commentaries.…

  • Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    The New Pastor of Saddleback Makes the Case for Female Pastors

    Over the last week or so, Rick Warren and his successor at Saddleback Andy Wood have made public arguments in favor of women serving as pastors. I addressed Rick Warren’s remarks in an article last week, and some readers have asked me to weigh-in on Wood’s remarks as well. Wood recorded a video explaining Saddleback’s decision, and there is a good deal of clarifying information in it (transcript here). To date, it’s probably the fullest explication of Saddleback’s view that I have seen, so that’s good. It’s also good to see that Wood wishes to affirm the authority of Scripture, to reject the transing of the culture, and to lay…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Rick Warren Has Done the SBC a Great Service

    Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to Russell Moore’s provocative interview with Rick Warren, the former pastor of Saddleback Community Church. If you are a Southern Baptist and you haven’t heard it yet, I recommend that you take a listen or read the transcript here. Warren makes it crystal clear that he knows Saddleback is in defiance of the BF&M by ordaining women as pastors. He also says that Saddleback doesn’t need the SBC but that the SBC needs Saddleback. So it would be no skin off his nose to leave the SBC behind. Nevertheless, he’s going to fight Saddleback’s removal in order to make the SBC a…