October 30, 2014

What's Up With All the Occult Symbolism in Music Videos?

I haven't watched music videos with any regularity since I was in high school (think Carson Daly on TRL), so I was a bit surprised to discover the recent proliferation of occult imagery in pop music videos. See for yourself:

Jay Z - On to the Next One
Lady Gaga - Alejandro
Kanye West - Power
Ke$ha - Die Young
Katy Perry - Dark Horse

Robin Thicke - Get Her Back

I'm kind of at a loss to explain this (apart from some sort of a far-reaching Satanic conspiracy involving the CIA and the Illuminati). Weird Stuff.

October 20, 2014

Did Good Theology Result in Mark Driscoll's Downfall?

Mark Driscoll recently resigned as pastor of Mars Hill (apparently in order to avoid being disciplined by his fellow elders, see here).

How did it come to this? There seems to be no shortage of corrupt megachurch CEOs guilty of the same sins as Driscoll (like Stephen Furtick and Perry Noble, just to name two). Why, then, is Driscoll the only one to resign in shame? It seems that, in most cases, the only thing that can derail one of these megachurch moguls is a sex scandal. Not Driscoll, though. He was brought down by the same sins (pride, quarrelsomeness, greed) that seem to be routine among the megachurch set.

So, what made the difference? I believe theology made the difference. Unlike most of his peers, Driscoll wears his theological commitments on his sleeve. And those commitments are, by and large, quite orthodox. Driscoll is neither a prosperity gospel charlatan nor a shallow, seeker-sensitive Pelagian. He doesn’t believe in downplaying doctrine because he knows that theology matters. And, obviously, Driscoll’s commitment to sound doctrine trickles down to the members of his church. Consequently, the average member of Mars Hill is much more biblically and theologically literate than the average member of most other multisite megachurches. So, ironically, there are many discerning Mars Hill members who know the Bible well enough to know that something is terribly wrong with the leadership culture at their church.

I’m speculating, obviously. But it seems to me that Driscoll’s greatest strength is the very thing that resulted in his downfall. Yes, theology matters. Driscoll got that part right. But, somewhere along the way, he seems to have forgotten that character matters, too.

October 10, 2014

Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary's New Church Partnership Program

Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary  (formerly known as the Midwest Center for Theological Studies) has recently introduced it's new church partnership program. Read all about it here.


As a student of CBTS, I can't recommended this highly enough.

Leaving Behind Left Behind (#3)

Jeramie Rinne:
But there’s another question we should ask, one that may surprise you: “Is the rapture taught in the Bible?” It may come as a shock to learn that many Bible-believing Christians today doubt the rapture, and that most Christians throughout history had never even heard of it. . . . The doctrine of the secret rapture emerged during the early 19th century through the teachings of John Nelson Darby (1800–1882). Darby was one of the early leaders of the Plymouth Brethren movement, and his teachings became known as “dispensationalism.”
Read the rest here.

October 07, 2014

Leaving Behind Left Behind (#2)

Craig Keener:
Many people in these churches take for granted that this [Left Behind theology] is what the Bible teaches. They may be surprised to discover that no biblical text specifically and unambiguously mentions believers being removed before the final tribulation. . . . Passages in the Bible do teach that Jesus will return, that he will gather his followers, and that he will bring justice by punishing those who chose evil rather than truth. . . . But no unambiguous passage supports Christians being "raptured" before the tribulation.
Read the rest here.

HT: Steve Hays

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