• Christianity,  Culture,  Transgenderism

    Do you know what a woman is? Ketanji Brown Jackson Doesn’t.

    The video at the bottom of this post is queued up to an extraordinary exchange that occurred at yesterday’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Senator Marsha Blackburn asks Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson if she can define what a woman is. Here’s a transcript of what they said, and you’re not going to believe it. Blackburn: Do you agree with Justice Ginsburg that there are physical differences between men and women that are enduring? Jackson: Um, Senator. Respectfully, I’m not familiar with that particular quote or case, so it’s hard for me to comment as to whether… Blackburn: Okay… Do you interpret Justice Ginsburg’s meaning of “men” and “women” as…

  • Christianity,  Culture,  Theology/Bible

    Don’t Deconstruct

    I posted a few sentences on social media a day or two ago that seem to have kicked the proverbial hornet’s nest. Here’s what I wrote: If you think deconstruction is just another name for reformation or revival, you don’t know what deconstruction is. Reformation dispenses with the bad but holds on to the good. Deconstruction tries to destroy both the good and the bad. Don’t deconstruct. Since writing this, there have been a string of fairly harsh denunciations. Just read the the “quote tweets” of what I wrote, and you’ll see what I mean. The basic objection I’ve read is this. “Denny, you don’t understand what deconstruction is. Deconstruction…

  • Culture,  Politics

    Some Thoughts on the Invasion from a Concerned Non-Expert

    I am not a foreign policy expert. I am, however, just as concerned as anyone about the calamity unfolding in Ukraine. Since the invasion began last night, I have been listening to foreign policy experts compare Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. Whether that comparison is apt, I leave to the experts to sort out. But it is more than disconcerting that a major European power has violated the territorial sovereignty of another European nation. Anyone who doesn’t see the possibility of other dominoes falling isn’t being realistic in my view. By any measure, this invasion is a world emergency that may portend a wider…

  • Christianity,  Transgenderism

    The Transgender, Deconstructing, Exvangelical Endorser of “Jesus and John Wayne”

    Yesterday, someone brought to my attention that one of the lead endorsers of Jesus and John Wayne is Chrissy Stroop—a transgender exvangelical who is deconstructing his faith and whose endorsement appears on the cover of the book. Stroop describes himself this way on his website: I am an ex-evangelical–aka exvangelical or exvie–and in that capacity I seek to help build community for those harmed by and alienated from conservative religious groups. Much of my blogging here is dedicated to this end, and this site also hosts an annotated list of resources for those deconstructing and deconstructed from toxic religion. I am convinced of the need to create more spaces for exvies and…

  • Christianity,  Homosexuality,  Theology/Bible,  Transgenderism

    Advocating and Not Merely Adhering

    Last week, Dr. Jason Allen delivered an extraordinary lecture on leadership on the campus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (see video here). In that lecture, he called Southern Baptist leaders to be advocates of their doctrinal commitments rather than mere adherents. He applied that first and foremost to the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, but also to other “clarifying” standards that some SBC institutions use (like the Chicago, Danvers, and Nashville statements). This week, Mike Bird criticized Dr. Allen’s lecture on social media. I think that criticism merits a response. I do not speak for Dr. Allen but only for myself. Having said that, I’m confident that Dr. Allen…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Should We All Be Deconstructing?

    Kirsten Sanders has an interesting definition of deconstruction in an article for Christianity Today. She writes, Deconstruction, by which I mean the struggle to correct or deepen naive belief, is a significant part of learning theology. Christians should engage in the task to move beyond simplistic conceptions to belief in a God who is vaster than they can comprehend. As near as I can tell, this definition of deconstruction is what Christians usually refer to as sanctification. It’s that normal experience of growth whereby the Holy Spirit enables believers to forget what lies behind and to strain toward what lies ahead (Phil. 3:13). It involves repentance from error and growth…

  • Christianity,  Theology/Bible

    Bringing Holiness to Completion

    Earlier this evening, I preached on Sanctification to the students of Boyce College. The text is 2 Corinthians 7:1: “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” There is still sin in the world, and there is still sin in us. It’s power has been broken through Christ so that we are no longer slaves to it, but its remnants are still there. We are to contend against it until glory. That’s what it means to cleanse yourselves. For the rest of the message, see below.

  • Christianity

    Hard Arguments and Soft Words

    “In all probability, sensible conversation will sometimes drift into controversy, and here many a good man runs upon a snag. The sensible minister will be particularly gentle in argument. He, above all men, should not make the mistake of fancying that there is force in temper, and power in speaking angrily. A heathen who stood in a crowd in Calcutta, listening to a missionary disputing with a Brahmin, said he knew which was right though he did not understand the language–he knew that he was in the wrong who lost his temper first. For the most part, that is a very accurate way of judging. Try to avoid debating with…

  • Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Saint Paula Is No Exemplar of the Faith

    I thought it might be helpful to address yet another serious accusation from Beth Allison Barr about my representation of her work. On social media yesterday, she reacted to a critical review of her book that a colleague and I commented about online. The review offers a trenchant critique of Barr’s praise for “Saint Paula,” a medieval catholic woman who abandoned her children. Colin Smothers and I both commented that our jaws hit the floor when we read that part of Barr’s book. Barr’s response was sharp. She writes, Y’all, I’m a kind person. But I’m also a fighter. And I have hit my limit with @DennyBurk & @colinsmo. There…

  • Christianity,  Complementarianism,  Egalitarianism,  Theology/Bible

    Complementarianism as a Second Order Doctrine

    Last week, there was some discussion on social media about complementarianism as a second order doctrine. The issue was brought into focus by a recorded comment that Thabiti Anyabwile delivered about women pastors. He later clarified that he still believes in a qualified male-only eldership. Nevertheless, I think his video statement—if the off-the-cuff remarks accurately reflect his position—would still be problematic because he seemed to imply that having a female pastor would not be sufficient reason to leave a church. That’s much different than reading a book by an egalitarian or acknowledging they are Christians. If your pastor is a female and you are a complementarian, then you necessarily believe…