• Theology/Bible

    The Veggie Tale Gospel vs. Teaching the Whole Counsel of God

    I used to do the strangest thing during church services when I was a kid growing up in my home church of DeRidder, Louisiana. I made a regular habit of taking out the pew Bible during the sermon and reading the Old Testament stories that I thought were “cool.” I was fascinated by the biblical stories and their often stark portrayals of war, violence, and intrigue. I can remember reading about Amnon’s treachery against his half-sister Tamar (2 Samuel 13) and the 200 Philistine foreskins that David paid Saul so that he could become the king’s son-in-law (1 Samuel 18). Stories like these became my friends when I couldn’t get…

  • Personal,  Theology/Bible

    Eulogy for My Uncle: Hoy Dickerson

    My Uncle Hoy went home to be with the Lord last Thursday, April 7, 2005 (click here to read his obituary in the Dallas Morning News). It was very difficult for our family to say goodbye to him now, as we will greatly miss him. The following is the eulogy that I gave at his funeral service last Sunday. My prayer is that the hope of the resurrection will sustain all of us and help us to face life and death with courage. ___________________________EULOGY FOR HOY DICKERSON April 10, 2005 INTRODCTION What do you say on an occasion like this? It’s always best at a time like this to do…

  • Culture,  Music,  Theology/Bible

    An Easter Hymn

    by Denny Burk 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. (John 15:13) So I denounce my lingering sin Whose power You have broke within (Rom 6:14) My ever weak and faithless frame. (Rom 7:14) Its vigor’s crushed in Jesus name. For your death did at once proclaim, The Father’s glory and my shame. (Rom 3:25-26) And you did seize my cup of guilt (Luke 22:42) And drank all that the chalice spilled. (1 Cor 5:21) No condemnation now I dread Because you went for me instead To bear the Father’s…

  • Culture,  Theology/Bible

    Peggy Noonan Writes on Ashley Smith

    Peggy Noonan My favorite columnist, Peggy Noonan, wrote about Ashley Smith’s seven hours with murderer Brian Nichols. Noonan’s piece is the best I’ve read yet on Ashley Smith’s encounter with the killer, and I think you should read it too. She includes the entire transcript of Smith’s testimony to reporters after the event. Noonan’s article is titled “Flannery O’Connor Country.” Go read this one. You will be glad that you did.

  • Culture,  Theology/Bible

    A Ransom to Satan?

    Paul Harvey I preached in my home church of DeRidder, Louisiana this morning, and I chose to preach a very traditional Palm Sunday sermon. I addressed the topic of “the innermost meaning of the cross” from Romans 3:21-26. It would seem that this kind of a message would be “old hat” among mature Christians, the basic substance of our faith. Yet I find that popular misconceptions about the meaning of Christ’s death still abound. I heard Paul Harvey share the following story on his radio program on the Saturday before Easter, March 30, 2002. It’s a sweet story, but it represents a fairly common misunderstanding of Jesus’ atoning work on…

  • Theology/Bible

    The Death of a Postmodern Theologian

    Stanley J. Grenz, 1950-2005 I was shocked to learn this week of Stanley Grenz’s death. He died very suddenly on Saturday, March 12 as a result of a massive aneurism. I cannot improve upon David Dockery’s review of Grenz’s life and career as an ‘evangelical’ theologian. So I recommend that you read Dockery’s very personal appraisal of Grenz: ‘When Piety Is Not Enough.’ I was introduced to Grenz’s theology in 1998 while working on my Master’s in Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. I read Grenz’s Primer on Postmodernism, and my mind began to understand for the first time the philosophical and theological roots of postmodernity. Until his book, I had…

  • Theology/Bible

    Puritan or Separatist? To Leave or Not To Leave

    A person recently asked me what I though about the “downgrade controversy,” which was a doctrinal dispute that C. H. Spurgeon had with liberal members of his denomination. Ultimately, Spurgeon decided that separation from the doctrinal “downgrade” of his denomination was the best course. The question arises for us as to when it is appropriate to separate from a church or a denomination over doctrinal issues. For us as for Spurgeon, I think that the question is all about when it is proper to stop being puritans to become separatists (for the difference between the two, click here). Spurgeon believed that his denomination had become so compromised doctrinally that he…

  • Theology/Bible

    “Theological Triage”: Recognizing Doctrinal Priorities

    For many students of theology, one of the last lessons to be mastered is the ability to discern how and when to engage in theological debate. On the one hand, some simply don’t know how to disagree amicably with those who have different perspectives. Too often, students become so abrasive and caustic that no one wants to listen to them, no matter what they are saying. When I was a student at Dallas Theological Seminary, I remember seeing three students arguing over the so-called “lordship salvation” controversy. One of the “free grace” advocates became so incensed at his opponent that he nearly punched the “lordship” advocate in the face. Though…

  • Personal,  Theology/Bible

    To My Students: A Word of Exhortation

    My writing today is dedicated especially to my students at the Criswell College. I am happy to hear that so many have been stopping by to read what I have posted, so I have all of you in mind as I write today. There is a short essay by B. B. Warfield that I read when I first began my trek in theological education many years ago. What Warfield wrote in this essay radically changed the way that I had been thinking about the task that I had before me. He argues with passion and vigor that there should be no bifurcation between the “head” and the “heart” when one…

  • Culture,  Theology/Bible

    The Sloan Resignation: “Vision Minus the Visionary”

    Several weeks ago I wrote about the resignation of Robert Sloan from the presidency of Baylor University in a blog titled, “The Demise of Sloan and the Fortunes of ‘Baylor 2012’.” In that essay I concluded with the following: “I fear that the vision of ‘Baylor 2012’ will have a whole different character or be perhaps entirely lost without Sloan at the helm. However, I am reminded by a good friend that the glass may not be half empty, but half full . . . I will be hoping and praying that my friend is right.” According to an article in the March issue of Christianity Today, the glass may…