December 24, 2013

Left-Wing Fundamentalism in the Academy

http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2009/11/frustrations-from-the-front-the-myth-of-theological-liberalism/

What Are the Best Books of 2013?

Of all the volumes released in 2013 (those I've read that is), I found these to be the most edifying and/or interesting. I had trouble whittling it down to 10, so here are the top 15. Here they are, in alphabetical order, along with a one-line review of each:

December 12, 2013

K. Scott Oliphint Reviews Christian Philosophy: A Systematic and Narrative Introduction

http://thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/review/christian_philosophy_a_systematic_and_narrative_introduction

Review: A Reasonable Response by William Lane Craig and Joseph Gorra

Craig, William Lane and Joseph E. Gorra. A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity, and the Bible (Moody, 2013). 429 pp.


Over the years, Christian philosopher William Lane Craig has received hundreds of questions from his readers, both believer and non-believer alike. In A Reasonable Response, many of Craig's answers to these questions are collected together and organized in a helpful and readable manner.

December 09, 2013

Why Is So Much Preaching So Awful?

Here is a good explanation of why most "Evangelical" preaching is actually sub- Christian.


In the last two churches of which I was a member (one Southern Baptist and the other Pentecostal), I received a steady diet of this sort of terrible preaching, and my visits to other churches have confirmed that this sort of preaching (all three types) is, unfortunately, quite common within contemporary Evangelicalism.

Two Reviews of From Heaven He Came and Sought Her

http://thegospelcoalition.org/book-reviews/review/from_heaven_he_came_and_sought_her_duesing


The Problem with Spufford's Unapologetic

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2013/12/09/francis-spuffords-brilliant-frustrating-unapologetic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=francis-spuffords-brilliant-frustrating-unapologetic

My Seminary Experience - Systematic Theology Overview




Course: ST 15 - Systematic Theology: A Biblical and Confessional Overview (3 hours)
Professor: Dr. Sam Waldron
Texts: Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem, A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession by Sam Waldron

December 08, 2013

They Went Out from Us . . .

. . . but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us (1 John 2:19).

http://www.dennyburk.com/rob-bell-has-left-the-church-for-a-quasi-intentional-spiritual-community/

December 06, 2013

Some Thoughts on Identity, Insecurity, and the Pressure to Conform

Christians are those who have been given a new identity in Christ. This new identity comes with a new outlook and a radically different set of priorities and puts the Christian in complete opposition to to the unbelieving world. The believer's new identity is grounded in a renewed relationship with God, a relationship characterized by love and obedience—the way man was meant to relate to God. At a very fundamental level, unbelievers are aware (albeit unconsciously) of the gaping hole left by the absence of fellowship with their Creator. In fallen man's rebellion, he refuses to find his identity in joyful submission to the lordship of Christ and searches for it in lesser things—things like careers or money.

Unbelievers, then, simply cannot understand why the Christian does what he does and lives the way he lives. This does not mean that the unbeliever does not know (at some level) that something is missing—that something is terribly wrong. Though he won't admit it (not even to himself), the unbeliever knows that he is building his life on a faulty foundation, and this makes him feel deeply insecure. Consequently, when he sees a believer—someone who has built his life on Christ the solid rock, someone with a radically different, God-honoring set of priorities—he is reminded of his sorry state. He feels terribly guilty, and, often, he will take it out on the believer. The unbeliever wants the believer to conform to the world rather than Christ. Why? Because it makes him feel better about his own worldliness.

Friends, they don't understand us, and, apart from the grace of God, they never will. When they try to pressure us to live and think like them, we shouldn't be surprised. And we shouldn't become angry or bitter. We should pity them, and we should pray for them.

What Is Analytic Philosophy?

Death of a Snake Oil Salesman

December 05, 2013

Jesus or Santa?

http://theblog.founders.org/santa-gospel-church/

Review: How to Talk to a Skeptic by Donald J. Johnson

Johnson, Donald J. How to Talk to a Skeptic: An Easy-to-Follow Guide for Natural Conversations and Effective Apologetics (Bethany House, 2013), 268 pp.

In How to Talk to a Skeptic, author Donald Johnson attempts to help his readers "share [their] faith effectively in a cynical and skeptical age." In order to do so, he advocates "a natural, relational approach to evangelism."

November 29, 2013

Some Thoughts on the Recent Driscoll Plagiarism Kerfuffle

My recent review of Mark Driscoll's A Call to Resurgence was nearly completed when the recent plagiarism allegations came to light, so I did not address the subject there. Now, for those interested, here are some relevant links that should shed some light on the matter:

Review: A Call to Resurgence by Mark Driscoll

Driscoll, Mark. A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? (Tyndale, 2013), 328 pp.

Controversial Resurgence leader Mark Driscoll’s new book is intended to be “a clarion call for every believer.” Driscoll wants believers to realize that we “are living in a post-Christian culture,” and that this involves “good and bad news. The good news is that God is still working . . . the bad news is that many believers just don’t get it.”

November 28, 2013

Can an Atheist Celebrate Thanksgiving?

If an atheist says, "Thanks," but there's no one there to hear it, is it still Thanksgiving? Here's theologian Gerald Bray:
One of the most popular American holidays is Thanksgiving Day, which manages to be religious and secular at the same time. The Pilgrim Fathers who first celebrated it did so for religious reasons . . . Today it is a major celebration when people are expected and encouraged to be grateful, but no one specifies to whom thanks should be given. Christians have no problem with this because they thank the God of Jesus Christ, but what about followers of other religions, not to mention atheists and agnostics? You cannot be thankful in the abstract, and most people admit they have received blessings that they have done nothing to deserve, even if they are not clear as to where those blessings have come from. They are usually quite prepared to be grateful for them, though, and this feeling gives Christians an opportunity to talk about God. [1]
This should really go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: you can't be thankful if there's no one there to thank.


1. God is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology (Crossway, 2012), p. 35. Emphasis mine.



You can purchase God is Love at either of these locations:



Disclosure: Faith Seeking Understanding receives compensation for any purchases made using affiliate links.

November 20, 2013

Is New Covenant Prophecy Fallible?

Regardless of how one answers the question of whether or not the gift of prophecy continues today, one must also answer the more basic question of just what prophecy is. Related to that question is this one, "Is New Covenant prophecy fallible?" And make no mistake, this is most definately a separate question.

November 18, 2013

My Seminary Experience - Why MCTS?

Having finished my undergraduate degree in Christian Studies (at Columbia Evangelical Seminary) back in September, I decided to continue my theological education at the Midwest Center for Theological Studies. I am now enrolled in the track two program (the Master of Arts in Theological Studies or MATS for short).  As I progress through my studies, I hope to chronicle my seminary experience on this blog by offering updates and reflections on a (Lord willing) regular basis.

To get started, I thought I'd explain why I decided to study at MCTS rather than one of the many other fine institutions that offer theological education through distance education. So, here's why I chose Midwest:

November 14, 2013

Review: God in Our Midst by Daniel Hyde

Hyde, Daniel R. God in Our Midst: The Tabernacle & Our Relationship with God (Reformation Trust, 2012), 272 pp.

God in Our Midst is pastor Daniel Hyde's commentary on the tabernacle passages in the book of Exodus. It is not, however, a typical Old Testament commentary. How is it different? What makes GIOM such a wonderful and unique commentary is that each chapter not only exalts Christ but is rich with application for the New Covenant believer.

October 29, 2013

October 16, 2013

Did Jonathan Edwards Have Asperger's?

I was planning on writing a post about my theory that Jonathan Edwards had a form of high-functioning autism known as Asperger's Syndrome (now, with the release of the DSM-V, officially known as "autism spectrum disorder").* However, it seems another blogger beat me to it. Here's the link.

September 30, 2013

BOLO - Beowulf

This one caught me by surprise. Apparently, Doug Wilson has made a new translation of Beowulf. Be on lookout for it because it's out in October from Canon Press. Preorder it here, and, while you're waiting, check out this piece from Wilson where he gives his take on the Anglo-Saxon epic.

September 27, 2013

What is Cultural Christianity?

Our Lord taught us that there are two kinds of people: sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-33). The sheep are his people. They follow Christ. They know him and hear his voice (John 10:3-5, 27). The rest do not (John 10:26). Though the goats will eventually face judgment (Matthew 25:41ff.), they are, even now, intermingling with Christ's sheep (Matthew 13:24-30), bringing grief to God's people and ill-repute to the name of Christ. This dynamic is evident, not only within the world, but within the church, for, in many places (like the American south), the church is largely indistinguishable from the world. When it comes to describing the nominally Christian religion of the Bible-belt, Gerald Bray is spot-on. Here's Bray on cultural Christianity:

September 10, 2013

Review: On the Shoulders of Hobbits by Louis Markos

Markos, Louis. On the Shoulders of Hobbits: On the Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis, (Moody, 2012), 234 pp.

In On the Shoulders of Hobbits, author Louis Markos attempts to help his readers "rediscover the power of stories and the importance of virtue" by pointing out the "real life truth and goodness . . . communicated powerfully through [the] fantastical fiction" of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. The imaginative worlds of Tolkien and Lewis are, Markos says, "stories to steer by." They not only impart much-needed truth to their readers, they also help us "to live in and through and by that truth."

August 27, 2013

The Thing About the Truth Is . . .

The thing about the truth is . . . not everyone likes it.

However, it's not truth that bothers me but error. And, yes, I know that it's not my place to correct everyone. But, if you heard someone loudly and proudly proclaiming, "2 + 2 = 5" wouldn't you correct them? Wouldn't you want to correct them for their own good? Or, perhaps, for the sake of the truth itself? Isn't truth, after all, a good worth pursuing for its own sake? If that's true of a mathematical equation, how much more for the truths of God's Word? Theology is infinitely more important than arithmetic. Our beliefs about God, about sin and salvation, affect every aspect of our lives. The effects reach our very souls. Eternity is at stake. God's glory is at stake. When I hear others casually misrepresenting Scripture, propagating error and passing off lies as truth, no matter how sincere or well-meaning they might be, I feel the need to correct them. For their own good, for the good of those who might be listening to them, and, most importantly, for the glory of the God whose Word they are misunderstanding or misrepresenting. Of course I know that no one likes being told that he is wrong. And I know that there is a right way and a wrong way to go about speaking the truth (see Ephesians 4:15). I also know that there have been times when I said or wrote the right thing in the entirely wrong way

And yet . . . I still get the feeling that, at times, it's not the presentation of the truth that rankles but the truth itself. As if the mere act of disagreeing with someone is an insult. The point I'm getting at, though, is this: if it's the way I said it that offended you, then I sincerely apologize. But . . . if it's the truth itself that bothers you; well, your quarrel isn't with me. So, don't expect an apology. I'll apologize for my lack of humility or compassion. I'll apologize for being rude or abrasive. But apologize for believing and speaking the truth? That I cannot do. 


August 22, 2013

Recommended Resources: Speaking in Tongues

I'm definitely not a Pentecostal/Charismatic, but I'm not really a cessationist either (not strictly speaking, anyway). For those of us who don't completely identify with either side of the spiritual gifts debate, it can be quite hard to find good resources on the subject. I have, however, come across a few good resources on "speaking in tongues." These resources critique the modern practice of "tongues" without resorting to exegetically-tenuous arguments* for the cessation of all the charismata.

August 15, 2013

Review: Unseen by Jack Graham

Graham, Jack. Unseen: What You Need to Know about Angels, Demons, Heaven, and Hell. (Bethany House, 2013), 288 pp.

Angels. Demons. Heaven. Hell. These are topics which tempt many believers to go to extremes. It seems they are either given little or no attention at all or, instead, they become the focus of an unhealthy over-emphasis. Though written mostly with those in the former camp in mind (see pp. 22-30), Unseen is author Jack Graham's attempt to ameliorate this dilemma by offering a balanced, biblical take on the reality and nature of the unseen spiritual forces at work in our lives and all around us.

August 13, 2013

Is God's Grace Sufficient?

Some think there can be a compromise between Calvinism and Arminianism, that there is some way to reconcile these two positions or, at least, come up with a mediating position that avoids the extremes of both. When the issue is framed properly, however, it becomes clear that this isn't the case. How, then, should the debate between Calvinists and Arminians be framed?

August 08, 2013

Responding to the Hebrew Roots Movement

There is a surprising scarcity of available resources on the Hebrew Roots Movement (also called "Sacred Name" theology). Those in this movement believe that the church has been infiltrated by paganism and needs to get back to it's Jewish roots. The problem is that these supposedly pagan beliefs and practices include such benign traditions as celebrating Christmas and Easter as well as common-sense matters like referring to Christ as Jesus instead of Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus). Most seriously, some in this movement even go so far as to deny cardinal doctrines of the faith, doctrines like salvation by grace alone through faith alone and the triune nature of God.

I've encountered believers who've been influenced by this nonsense, so I see a definite need for a biblical response. Unfortunately, many of the resources I've come across are written by other religious nuts and borderline heretics.

This interview, however, is an exception. Check it out here.

August 06, 2013

Review: The Big Story by Justin Buzzard

Buzzard, Justin. The Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense Out of Life. (Moody, 2013), 177 pp.



In The Big Story, author Justin Buzzard gives his readers an overview of redemptive history following the outline of God, Creation, Rebellion, Rescue, and Home. But TBS is more than just an introduction to the storyline of Scripture. It is a defense of the Christian story as the best story, the biggest story, the story that explains and includes all others. The story that you and I, whether we realize it or not, are already a part of. TBS is a call to live our lives in light of this grand narrative, all for the glory of its Author. As Buzzard says, "God is not a character in your story. You are a character in his story" (p. 43). "We each have a big role," he says, a "part to play in shaping this Big Story."

August 02, 2013

Why Are Millennials Leaving the Church?

With all the recent chatter about the mass exodus of millennials from the church (see herehere, and here), I thought I'd throw my hat into the ring. The reason I feel the need to comment is simple: no one seems to be giving the obvious, biblical answer.* And that answer is?

July 30, 2013

Must We Do the Lord's Work in the Lord's Way?

A friend recently posted this on facebook:
Attractional vs missional is a false dichotomy. When a church is driven by the purposes God has given it, you can use any tool short of sin. We can do both come-and-see and go-and-tell. Both are Biblical.
This statement is so typical of most contemporary Evangelicals that I thought it might be helpful to push back a bit. I want to expose some of the unbiblical assumptions behind this statement (and others like it).

July 19, 2013

BOLO - Systematic Theology by John Frame

Be on lookout for John Frame's new Systematic Theology.

I've enjoyed everything I've ever read from Frame. I've found him to be one of the most interesting and insightful of the current crop of Reformed philosopher/theologians. I didn't think he'd ever write a true systematics text (he's already written an introductory level overview of systematic theology, Salvation Belongs to the Lord, as well as the four-volume theology of Lordship series covering theological prolegomena, theology proper, bibliology, and ethics), but it's finally happened.

The full title is Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief. You can preorder it here:

 


This should be a good one. It's out in November from P&R.

Disclosure: Faith Seeking Understanding receives compensation for any purchases made using affiliate links.

July 05, 2013

Review: Chivalry by Zach Hunter

Zach Hunter. Chivalry: The Quest for a Personal Code of Honor in an Unjust World (Tyndale, 2013), 240 pp.
 
In Chivalry, author Zach Hunter presents ten ethical principles (the titular “code of honor”) which he hopes will result “in a code of personal justice that —if we live it out today—will transform us.”


Rather than focusing on a list of do's and don'ts, Hunter attempts to present a positive ethic based on the pursuit of virtue. He offers helpful discussions about the moral law (pp. 138-141), the necessity of a transformed life (pp. 40-41), and the insidiousness of pride (pp. 48-49). So, the book is not without its merits.

Unfortunately, though, the bad outweighs the good. I won’t nitpick (though there are several smaller issues I could address), because, unfortunately, the problems with Chivalry are deep and pervasive.

July 02, 2013

June 21, 2013

Recommended Reading Roundup

I've recently come across several lists of books recommendations, and I wanted to share the love. Here they are:

Book Briefs - Kevin DeYoung

Books for a Summer Season — Some Recommended Reading - Al Mohler

Brush Up On Your American History: 7 Excellent Books - Trevin Wax

Student Reading for the Summer - Carl Trueman
Several (but not all) of these recommended titles can be found here:



and here:



Disclosure: Faith Seeking Understanding receives compensation for any purchases made using affiliate links.

June 15, 2013

Denny Burk on the Slippery Slope Toward Plural Marriage

Get ready. If this whole gay "marriage" thing goes forward, then plural marriage won't be too far behind.

Here's Denny Burk:
The redefinition of legal marriage in our culture will not end with same sex “marriage.” The polygamists are waiting in the wings for the opportunity to make their case—a case that will be all the more compelling as arguments for gay “marriage” take hold across the country. If marriage becomes defined as legal recognition of whoever it is that you love, on what basis will the polygamists be excluded?
And here's the link.

June 13, 2013

Why I'm Not a Premilliennialist

Is Premillennialism consistent with biblical hermeneutics? Zach Maxcey, a graduate of Providence Theological Seminary says no, and I agree.

Here's the link.

And, while I'm at it, here's some recommended reading:
  • A Case for Amillennialism by Kim Riddlebarger
  • The End Times Made Simple by Sam Waldron
  • Four Views on the Book of Revelation edited by C. Marvin Pate
  • Kingdom Come by Sam Storms
  • More of the End Times Made Simple by Sam Waldron
  • Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond edited by Darrell Bock
any of which can be purchased here:



or here:



Disclosure: Faith Seeking Understanding receives compensation for any purchases made using affiliate links.

June 08, 2013

Review: Worship by John MacArthur

John MacArthur. Worship: The Ultimate Priority. Moody, 2012. 211 pp.

In this book, John MacArthur makes one point over and over again. Worship is about more than music. It is a life lived to the glory of God, and, for the believer, it is the highest priority. The book is necessary, MacArthur says, because "much of what is done in the name of worship nowadays actually dishonors Christ" (p. 51).

June 06, 2013

June 04, 2013

Recommended Resources: Christian Philosophy

As I began my theological education in earnest a few years back, I was surprised to find myself becoming increasingly interested in the discipline of philosophy. While it started as a corollary of my interest in theology and apologetics, it soon became an interest in its own right.

Though I've only just begun my study of philosophy, I've already found several great resources. Each of these books covers philosophy from a distinctively Christian perspective:

June 01, 2013

Why Does the Church Exist?

Why does the church exist?

It seems to me that every congregation answers this question in one of three ways.

May 30, 2013

Shallow and Pragmatic: Creating Churches Unsaved People Love to Attend

Carl Trueman has written a scathing review of Andy Stanley's new book, Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend. Check it out here.

If for some reason you still want to purchase Deep and Wide, it's available here:



But, in this blogger's humble opinion, you'd be much better off going here and purchasing one of Carl Trueman's books instead:



Disclosure: Faith Seeking Understanding receives compensation for any purchases made using affiliate links.

May 16, 2013

My Ten Favorite Textbooks

After about three years of work, I'm very close to completing my Bachelor degree in Christian Studies (with a major in Biblical Studies and a healthy dose of electives in theology) from Columbia Evangelical Seminary. I started out my studies at Southern Evangelical Seminary but transferred to CES shortly afterward. Along the way, I've done a lot of writing and even more reading. I've learned a tremendous amount and grown considerably as an interpreter/teacher of Scripture. These are the ten books that I found the most helpful along the way.

May 14, 2013

The Problem with Small Group Bible Study

In the current Evangelical climate, questioning the legitimacy of the small group Bible study is liable to get one labeled a heretic. And yet, I've always had an uneasiness with the practice. I've felt this same uneasiness as both a leader of and a participant in such groups.

The problem is that there often seems to be an unspoken assumption that every interpretation is created equal, that the insights of each member are equally valid. This just isn't so.

May 09, 2013

Here's a Quick Thought

Until you realize that God loves his own glory more than he loves you, you will not understand the Bible properly.

(Don't believe me? Check this out.)

April 19, 2013

You Always Think You're Right

"You always think you're right!"

Yeah, I do. And so do you. And so does everybody else.

There's a difference between always thinking you're right, and thinking you're always right. I always think I'm right, but I know that I'm not always right.

April 04, 2013

You Might Be a Philosopher...

If you often think about the ontological status of abstract concepts. . . . You might be a philosopher.

If you got excited when you realized that the theory of agent causation was compatible with a compatibilist account of free will. . . . You might be a philosopher.

If you sometimes characterize yourself as a realist in a world full of nominalists. . . . You might be a philosopher.

If you understood any of the above sentences. . . . You might be a philosopher.

March 29, 2013

A Common Sense Argument Against Same-Sex "Marriage"

In the currently raging controversy over "marriage equality" one simple fact seems to have been overlooked:

Homosexuals already have the right to get married. . . . They just don't want to.

A gay man can marry any woman he chooses. A lesbian can marry any man she wants. They simply don't want to get married. Because that's what marriage is: a union between a man and a woman. Homosexuals don't want marriage. They want something else entirely, and they want the rest of us (the government in particular) to treat this union as if it were a marriage. This is utter nonsense.

March 25, 2013

The New Liberalism

I recently finished reading J. Gresham Machen's landmark book Christianity and Liberalism. It was written in 1923 during the fundamentalist/modernist controversy. For those who don't know, the controversy was essentially a battle between Christian conservatives and their theologically liberal counterparts. Machen wrote in response to the theological liberalism (or modernism) that had crept into many institutions which had once been solidly orthodox. Bible-believing Christians were being crowded out of the very churches and schools they had founded, institutions which were started in order to propagate the historic Christian faith. Machen argued that this new theological modernism wasn't merely a new species of Christianity, or even a refurbishing of the old faith. It was, rather, a new religion entirely. The liberals weren't Christians at all, but they had taken the Church by surprise because they sounded oh so very Christian. The liberals, Machen said, were using the "reassuring employment of traditional phrases . . . [in order] to maintain an appearance of conformity to the past." [1] As my pastor is fond of pointing out, just because we have the same vocabulary, doesn't mean we're using the same dictionary.

March 18, 2013

Should Christians Read Fiction?

I recently stumbled across this interview with Russell Moore on the value of reading good fiction and literature. As someone who reads (a lot) I've often wrestled with my priorities in reading. How much time should I devote to reading? Should I read fiction, or focus all my time on non-fiction books that will help me to understand and apply Scripture? Should I be spending more time reading Scripture instead of books about Scripture? As those who've been commanded to "redeem the time" (Ephesians 5:16), all Christians should be asking these kinds of questions about their hobbies. (How can I best use my time to bring glory to God?) But reading is particularly important for the believer. We are, after all, people of The Book. Reading well in general helps us to read God's Word well in particular. As someone who has reflected on this quite a bit, a lot of what Moore has to say resonated with me. He says it much better than I can, so, in his own words, here are some of the best bits

February 28, 2013

The Gospel and False Teaching

Here are a couple of quick quotes from Kevin T. Bauder:

"The Gospel is the essential of Christian unity. Where the gospel is denied, no such unity exists."

"Christians who make a habit of encouraging apostate teachers are hardly models of Christian discernment. We should treat them as people who have a share in the evil of apostasy." 

Both are taken from Bauder's essay in Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism.

February 25, 2013

Did You Know?

Did you know that the Moonies control approximately 1/3rd of the U. S. fishing industry? Listen to this interview (part 1 and part 2) and find out lots of other interesting stuff about Sun Myung Moon and his followers (aka, the cult formerly known as The Unification Church).

February 23, 2013

God Doesn't Believe in Atheists

"The only theory which accounts for the universe with all its phenomena is that which asserts that it has proceeded from [God]." [1]

In other words: in order for anything to be, God must be. What a staggering claim. The sheer dogmatism is astounding. You may have been able to get away with a statement like that in 1887, but who would actually make such a claim in this day and age? What kind of person actually believes that every right-thinking individual must believe in God? So intolerant. No one can know the truth anyway. (Hmm... Is that true? Heh.) The fact is: God exists, and everyone knows it. James P. Boyce, on the universal knowledge of God's existence, writes

February 21, 2013

Cultural Holiness

"Many Christians have what we might call a 'cultural holiness.' They adapt to the character and behavior pattern of Christians around them. As the Christian culture around them is more or less holy, so these Christians are more or less holy." - Jerry Bridges

from The Pursuit of Holiness (NavPress, 2006), p. 21

February 19, 2013

BOLO

Be on lookout for this new one from Josh Harris. It's called Humble Orthodoxy. Here's the blurb:
We don’t get to choose between humility and orthodoxy. We need both. Orthodoxy, for the faithful, evokes what’s cherished and beautiful and eternal. Yet in our day, orthodoxy is too often wielded like a weapon, used to bludgeon others with differing points of view. The word has become associated with behavior like argumentative, annoying, and arrogant. It’s time for God’s people to demonstrate both right thinking and right attitudes. We are called to embrace and defend biblical truth. But that truth includes repeated commands to love our neighbor, love our enemy, and be clothed in gentleness and respect. In Humble Orthodoxy, bestselling author Joshua Harris examines New Testament teachings about the calling of believers to a love-infused courage that ignores foolish controversies, patiently endures evil, and champions truth with generosity of spirit. Without this kind of humility, Harris asserts, we become like the Pharisees—right in our doctrine, but ultimately destroying the cause of truth with our pride.
It's out in April.

February 11, 2013

Why I Hate Revivalism

I have a confession to make. I hate revivalism. Please don't misunderstand me. I don't hate revival. I pray for revival daily. It's revivalism I hate. My hatred for revivalism results not merely from personal distaste but from the fact that I truly believe God hates it as well. That's because I'm convinced that revivalism is an enemy of true revival. It is a man-centered counterfeit of the God-glorifying original. So what is revivalism? Here's Kevin Bauder's definition:

February 07, 2013

Did You Know?

Did you know that Gandhi was a racist? Listen to this interview with G. B. Singh where he reveals some little-known truths about the real Gandhi. I hear Gandhi spoken of and quoted favorably by evangelicals quite often, but the truth is that he was not the saint he is often portrayed as. He's certainly not someone evangelicals ought to revere. You can send your hate-mail to cboyd1534@yahoo.com.

January 17, 2013

BOLO

Lots of good books coming out soon. These are just a few. Be on lookout for:

The new one from J. D. Greear called Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart. It's out next month (though I've already seen it on the shelves in LifeWay). Here's the description from the publisher:

January 11, 2013

Why Did God Save You?

Why did God save you? Whenever I ask someone this question, the answer is inevitably something like "because God loves me." It's true that God saves his people out of his love for them, but this answer is insufficient because we're then left with another question: Why does God set his saving love on his people? What is the purpose of salvation? Kevin DeYoung is helpful here:

January 05, 2013

The Postmodern Prosperity Gospel

Has the Evangelical emphasis on a personal relationship with Christ turned sour? Jonathan Leeman thinks so. What used to be a biblical emphasis on the necessity of conversion has now turned (in many cases) into a culturally accomodated emphasis on "having a relationship with Jesus." Here's what Leeman has to say:

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