• Theology/Bible

    Concealing the Path to Justice

    Early this morning, CBS News released a video featuring Ibram X. Kendi’s reflections on the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin. You can watch the video at the bottom of this post or read the transcript below. Kendi says, With today’s conviction, we can now formally say that Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. A Minneapolis jury convicted a police officer who knelt on the neck of a handcuffed Black man in a prone position for more than 9 minutes. So now what? Chauvin is headed to jail, but is America headed for justice? Is justice convicting a police officer, or is justice convicting America? When tens of millions…

  • Culture,  News,  Social Justice

    The Verdict

    Earlier today, a jury in Minneapolis delivered three guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who killed George Floyd. The jury deliberations were relatively short, which seemed to signal in advance that guilty verdicts were in the offing. And indeed they were. I was not able to watch the whole trial (who could?), but I did read news coverage as it progressed. I also caught some of the closing arguments from both the defense and the prosecution. From what I saw, it was clear to me that the prosecution was very effective at proving its case. The key features that the trial confirmed were cause of death and…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Do you know what happens to you after you die?

    Several years ago, I was guest-preaching in a church in another state. After I was done I had an interesting confrontation. I preached from 2 Corinthians 1 where Paul talks about his sufferings as an apostle and about how he constantly faced death because of the gospel. On numerous occasions during his ministry, Paul believed that he would surely die. Paul says that when the clouds began to gather and he felt he was about to perish, the thing that got him through was knowing that even if he died, God would raise him up. 2 Corinthians 1:9 “We had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we…

  • Christianity

    Resurrection Hymn

    O Jesus, Savior of my life, My hope, my joy, my sacrifice, I’ve searched and found no other one Who loves me more than you have done. So I denounce my lingering sin Whose power You have broke within My ever weak and faithless frame. Its vigor’s crushed in Jesus name. For your death did at once proclaim, The Father’s glory and my shame. And you did seize my cup of guilt And drank all that the chalice spilled. No condemnation now I dread Because you went for me instead To bear the curse and wrath and rage, To pay the debt I would have paid. Yet your work finished…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Doubt Is a Sin, and Jesus Never Sinned

    The Roman Catholic theologian George Tyrell famously criticized the theological liberalism of Adolf Harnack with these words: “The Christ that Harnack sees… is only the reflection of a Liberal Protestant face, seen at the bottom of a deep well.” Tyrell’s depiction of Harnack’s project stands as a warning against a temptation that we all face whether we realize it or not—the temptation to project our own values and ideals onto Jesus and then to use this man-made Jesus to support those values and ideals.1 In some ways this temptation is understandable. After all, the writer of Hebrews assures us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable…

  • Theology/Bible

    In the aftermath of Atlanta (and now Colorado), some thoughts…

    There has been another mass shooting, this time in Colorado and less than a week after the mass shooting in Atlanta. Perhaps reporters and other commenters might draw some lessons from last week about how to conduct themselves this week. To that end, just a handful of thoughts about last week. 1. The shootings in Atlanta last Tuesday were unspeakable. It was two days after the shooting before I read a detailed report of the events as they unfolded in real time. And that report was truly horrific. I can hardly imagine the terror of those moments and the grief and dismay of those left behind. Grieving the loss and…

  • Christianity,  News

    Southern Baptists Prepare To Expel Gay-affirming Church

    The Associated Press reports on items of controversy facing Southern Baptists at the Executive Committee meeting next week. Among other things, the report states: On the agenda [is] a recommendation that a church in Kennesaw, Georgia, be ousted from the SBC because it accepted LGBTQ people into its congregation, contravening Southern Baptist doctrine… Jim Conrad, the pastor of Towne View Baptist Church in Kennesaw, said he’s at peace with the likelihood that his church will be “disfellowshipped” by the executive committee during its meeting Monday and Tuesday. But Conrad sees broader challenges for the SBC as its stances on various sensitive issues are questioned from inside and outside. “The problem…

  • Culture,  Politics

    Kentucky Doesn’t Need Slot Machines and Casinos

    I want to share a letter that I just received about the Kentucky State Legislature’s plan to bring slot machines and eventually casinos to our state. Anyone who opposes this needs to speak up now by calling their legislators and making their views known. Please read the letter below, and use the information to call your legislator. We must not let this pass. ————— Dear Kentucky Baptists, My name is Andrew Walker and I’m a professor of Christian ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I also serve as the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s legislative agent in Frankfort, where I advocate for policies that Kentucky Baptists support. I’m writing with an…

  • Christianity,  Social Justice

    A Christian Podcast with a Positive Outlook on CRT

    Mike Bird alerted me over the weekend to The Two Cities Podcast dealing with Critical Theory (CT) and its offshoot Critical Race Theory (CRT). I share it not to commend its positive outlook on CT and CRT but to show how Christian defenders of Critical Theory tend to make their case. I don’t think that any of the speakers are proponents of CT/CRT per se. Rather, they seem to be defending CT/CRT against Evangelical “paranoia” about them. For them, Evangelical alarm about CT/CRT is unjustified. Below is a brief summary, which I offer without comment. Obviously, all summaries are reductive, and there is much more to the podcast than what…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  Social Justice

    Can we eat the meat and spit out the bones of CRT?

    I think Todd Pruitt is exactly right about the “eat the meat, spit out the bones” approach to Critical Theory and its offshoots. It’s not that you can never find the occasional insight. It’s that there is no insight there that can only be found there, and it’s a dangerous source to send people to. Pruitt writes: ‘Few (if any) would say that there are no true statements or insights to be found within Critical Theory or its offshoots. The question is whether Critical Race Theory offers unique and helpful insights without being laden with the profound errors of Critical Theory. I say no. Consider the prosperity gospel. Kenneth Copeland says…