September 24, 2014

Leaving Behind Left Behind

Randall Hardman:
Unfortunately, however, while “Left Behind” may prove itself to be a mediocre box office success, it represents a severe misinterpretation of what the Bible actually says about the topic. To put it bluntly, and perhaps to the chagrin of some readers, the idea of a “rapture” is simply not biblically based (and that's where I've lost a third of you!) It represents, instead, a theology based on escapism and in the process does damage to what the Bible really does say about “the last days.”
Read the rest here.

HT: The Aquila Report

Why You Should Read the Biblical Genealogies

This article offers six reasons why you should read the biblical genealogies: 6 Ways to Benefit from Reading Genealogies | The Christward Collective

HT: Tim Challies

September 23, 2014

How a Young Earth Became One of the "Fundamentals"

Jefrey Breshears:
Most Christians assume that young-earth creationism has always been a core tenet of American fundamentalist Christianity—but this linkage is more tenuous than is often presumed. The story of how American fundamentalists—and, by extension, many conservative evangelicals—came to associate young-earth creationism with biblical Christianity is one that all contemporary Christians should understand.
Read the rest here (part 1) and here (part 2).

When It Comes to Corporate Worship, Your Preferences Just Aren't That Important

Scott Aniol:
Most Christians today assume that the styles of music chosen for worship are merely preference, like whether we put in red carpet or blue carpet, and thus accommodation to what is comfortable for various demographics in the church for the sake of unity is better than deciding which styles are best.
Color of the carpet? Yes. Merely preference, so let’s accommodate.
Music? No, because it’s not about comfort or preference but rather about what kinds of music best fit the weight of biblical doctrine, best express the kinds of reverent affections appropriate for expression to God, and best form mature, sober-minded Christians.
Read the rest here: The most significant misconception about music in worship | Religious Affections Ministries

Caucasian Christ

I once asked a black guy (a close friend) if he pictured Jesus as a black man (I honestly have no idea how the topic came up). I was a bit surprised when he answered, "Yes, when I think of Jesus, I picture him as a black man." I remember thinking at the time, "Wow, that's really weird. You know he's not black, right?" (I don't remember if I actually said it out loud, but I was definitely thinking it.)

Something recently occurred to me, however. Jesus wasn't a white guy either. He was a middle-eastern Jew. Yet, I have a really hard time picturing him as anything other than a white dude. Weird.

I'm not using this to illustrate an ethical principle or make a profound theological point. I just thought it was kind of funny. So, there it is.

September 16, 2014

TGC Reviews Crash the Chatterbox

Aaron Armstrong:
We can all agree, I think, about a kind of negativity that’s detrimental to our health and well-being. But Crash the Chatterbox lacks a nuanced view of negative thoughts—that while some are destructive, others are actually good for us. “Don’t put salt in your eye,” “Don’t walk in front of a bus,” and “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3) are negative thoughts, after all, but they’re also good for us. Putting salt in your eye is a bad idea. Getting hit by a bus can kill you. And hell is unspeakably horrific.
Read the rest here.

September 15, 2014

Haters Gonna Hate?

Andrew Quinn:
Whatever your ideology, then—whether it is to ancient redwoods or ancient ethics that you feel we should subjugate our selfishness—it is impossible to survey the scene and conclude that what Americans really need to do is exalt our own selves higher still—higher above preserving the past, higher above safeguarding the future, and higher above our duties to one another.
Impossible, that is, unless you’re a certain female singer.
Read the rest here: Taylor Swift’s New Single Will Make You a Worse Person | The Federalist

Check Your Jesus

Sam Storms:
I’m thoroughly convinced that people who declare their affection for Jesus but not the Church know little if anything about the Jesus they profess to admire. . . . This is the same Jesus who sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost to inaugurate the life of the local church. This Jesus, says the apostle Paul, is himself the head of the church, which is his body.
Read the rest here.

September 11, 2014

Justification by Death Alone

Sam Storms:
. . . the default belief of most Americans is that when someone dies, indeed when anyone dies, he or she is assumed to go to heaven, or some such place. You hear it from athletes around the globe. Following the death of a parent it’s common to hear the football player or golfer declare: “Well, I’m sure dad is looking down on me now and I hope he’s proud of what I’ve done.” Or when a politician passes away after a tumultuous and difficult life, it’s not uncommon for many to say: “At least he is now at rest. He’s in a better place and for that we can all be grateful.” The inescapable fact is that the western world simply assumes the truth of universalism. The suggestion that those who left this life in unrepentant denial of Jesus Christ are eternally separated from God and subject to his judgment is regarded as elitist and inexcusably insensitive.
Read the rest here.

Confessions of a Christian Skeptic

Larry Brown:
I’ll never forget the time I was sitting in a boarding gate waiting area, and the man on my left was telling two ladies sitting with him about how his life was filled with wonder ever since he started praying the Prayer of Jabez daily. I kept my mouth shut.

Don’t even get me started on what I think about people like Benny Hinn and Joel Osteen and the Health and Wealth Prosperity Gospel!

I love my fellow Evangelicals. I only hope that they are diligent in checking their sources and doing the necessary verification so as to protect the credibility of the Evangelical Christian faith.
I feel like I could have written this post myself. Read the rest here.

September 05, 2014

Baptist Bureaucracies

Reformed Baptist pastor Paul Gordon has the following to say about the danger of unqualified leadership in church associations.

It may be objected that there really doesn’t need to be instruction specific to Formal Associations to determine leadership because every Pastor or Elder in good standing in their own churches should be eligible for church leadership and assumed to be fit to serve in associational positions by reason of the commendation of his own local church. My response would be that in a perfect church in a perfect world that would be true, but not in this present evil age, in this present imperfectly sanctified state of the church. As there may be spiritually unhealthy local churches in any Church Association, there may be a significant number of Biblically unqualified Pastors eligible for Association leadership. There is just too much opportunity in Formal Church Associations for men to obtain positions of influence and power far in excess of what their gifts and graces would otherwise call for. All that is really required to take a place of influence and leadership in a Church Association is the desire to do so and the skills of a church politician or parliamentarian.
Gordon's concerns have been realized in my own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, where, from the local associations to the national level, good ol' boy networks seem to be the norm rather than the exception.

Read the rest here.

September 03, 2014

BOLO: Upcoming Commentaries

Be on lookout for these upcoming commentaries:

First up, coming in November, is an abridged version of G. K. Beale's commentary on Revelation.

Then, in February, is Thomas Schreiner's commentary on Hebrews.

HT: Steve Hays

Hail to the Chief

Over at Pulpit & Pen, Gene Clyatt has recently posted a critique of SBC president Ronnie Floyd.

Now, I am the first to admit that I do not know Ronnie Floyd. I’ve never met him, never spoken to him on the phone, and never exchanged emails with him on any subject. Until a few months ago, I’d never even heard of the guy. But is it harsh of me to say that the guy comes across as maybe a little bit self-centered? I mean I can say this, because I’m a Baptist preacher, but a lot of Baptist preachers sure seem to come across as slick, smooth, fast-talkin’ used car salesmen. All the shameless self-promotion does nothing to moderate that stereotype.
Read the rest here.

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