Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yes, you can trust the Bible...

Michael Kruger is continuing his helpful series of posts entitled Does the Bible Ever Get it Wrong. These posts are in response to a series by Peter Enns denying the historical reliability and theological unity of the Bible. Dr. Kruger has assembled a team of world-class scholars to address various questions concerning the Bible's reliability.

Here they are so far:
Greg Beale  
Craig Blomberg 
Darrel Bock 

Dating or Courtship?

The latest edition of Mortification of Spin: Bully Pulpit is up and running. For this program we chose a topic over which there are no strong opinions...
Dating? Courtship? What do those words mean? Do they even matter in today's hook-up culture? What is the best option? Always ready to ruffle some feathers, the gang takes this subject head-on and, in usual Spin fashion, doesn't pull any punches. Their discussion centers around the Duggar family's world of courting rules and regulations. Though Aimee & Todd are the only hosts with daughters, Carl tries hard to throw in his two cents: "Just have sons." Listen in to this casual conversation as the crew destroys the spin once again.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sunday's Sermon

On Sunday I wrapped up our series through Job. It is entitled “Blessing Comes in the End” and can be listened to or downloaded HERE.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Your Best Life Then...

Our culture has come to value only things that are practical, things that work. Every idea or conviction is judged by its utility: Will it help me raise my kids, build a successful marriage, live a healthy life? When an idea or conviction doesn’t come through, we find it easy to move on to another product. So often, when people come to Christ, they are promised ‘victory in Jesus.’ Smiling people tell about how they once were unhappy, but now they are filled with buoyant exultation. Broken marriages are fixed, wayward children are returned to the straight and narrow, and depression is banished. 
God nowhere promises us temporal prosperity, but the way he has redeemed us makes all of our trials cruciform, that is, shaped not by the circumstances themselves but by suffering and victory of Christ…The message we are given to proclaim is not that God has come to make our lives better, more interesting, more influential, more virtuous, or more successful, but to bury us and make us alive. 

Michael Horton from A Place for Weakness (pp 46-47)

The Triumph of Sentimentality

I recently began reading Homespun Gospel: The Triumph of Sentimentality in Contemporary American Evangelicalism by Todd Brenneman. Dr. Brenneman is Assistant Professor of Christian History at Faulkner University. His knowledge of the sentimental heart of American evangelicalism is, I'm sure, quite extensive given the fact that his PhD dissertation focused on the work of Max Lucado.

I am not very far into my reading at this point and it is clear that I will take issue with some of Dr. Brenneman's presuppositions. However, it is also clear that Brenneman understands a great deal about what drives contemporary evangelicalism. One particular passage in the introduction affirms (excruciatingly so) my own experience in a "broadly evangelical" church.
[Evangelicals] have looked for ways to construct a sense of community among those who participate in their culture, primarily through the rhetoric of affect. Evangelicals like those examined in this work conceptualize "the social world as an affective space where people ought to be legitimated because they have feelings and because there is an intelligence in what they feel that knows something about the world that, if it were listened to, could make things better." They live in an aesthetic world where emotion is the currency to interact not only with other human beings but also with God. They produce commodities that enable themselves to "feel as though it expresses what is common among them" without recognizing the differences that exist among even evangelicals about what constitutes the appropriate way to follow God's commands and expectations.

Modern evangelical literature and practice appear to be outlets to habituate practitioners to a culture of simplicity that reduces the practice of religion to the creation of feeling. In such a mind-set, human beings complicate life, but God offers something more straightforward. Doctrinal division, intellectual inquiry, and elaborate constructs of religiosity all move humanity farther from God, whereas emotionality can move them closer...[The] work of evangelical culture is to sentimentally reconstruct the details of history, biblical interpretation, and theology to craft a vague or simple version of the religion.

Eerily familiar.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Phil Johnson on Spurgeon

The latest Mortification of Spin is up and running. On this episode we interview Phil Johnson of Grace To You, the original Pyromaniac, and resident expert on all things Charles Spurgeon.
This just in: "Polite Society" has banished Carl, Aimee, and Todd to live on Leper Island! While exploring the island they found another outcast,  one who was marooned long ago - Phil Johnson. Phil, of the self-proclaimed Pyromaniacs, chats with the gang about starting fires with Frank "The Turk" and "Dispy" Dan Phillips, Charles Spurgeon's prolific preaching, the cult of celebrity pastors, and proper forms of worship. The conversation moves from levity to depth, with all the pomp, circumstance, and pizazz you've come to expect from the spinners. Listen as the crew mortify the spin as only they can.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sunday's Sermon

On Sunday I preached part 10 of our series through Job. It is taken from chapters 38-41 and is entitled "God Answers." You can listen to or download it HERE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Beloved Bandwagons...

The latest Mortification of Spin: Bully Pulpit is up and running.
Today our Reformed trifecta considers hopping on the ol' evangelical bandwagon. The gang highlights some understated dangers of churches whose leadership present an alluring faux intimacy and show lack of integrity. They also give loyalty to said leaders and their man-made standards over loyalty to God's standards. With the continued kerfuffle surrounding some well-known pastors, the gang raises an important question: Why don't we speak up before things blow up?  Join today's conversation to heed what well-known pastor, blogger, professor, and all-around big-time Christian celebrity, Carl Trueman, and two other people, have to say on this hot topic.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday's Sermon

On Sunday I preached part 9 in our series through Job. It is entitled "Speaking Up For God" and is taken from Job chapters 32-37. You can listen or download it HERE.

Unbelief is not a virtue

I really like Michael Kruger.

Dr. Krueger is a Professor of New Testament and President of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. He is also author of the enormously helpful Canon Revisited and The Question of Canon. In addition he is proprietor of one of the best blogs going - Canon Fodder.

Recently, Dr. Kruger began a series of posts in response to Dr. Pete Enns' series over at Petheos. Dr. Enns, formerly of Westminster Seminary is now teaching at Eastern University (presumably more amenable to a lack of confidence in the Scriptures). It is a sad thing to see the devolution of a man's faith played out on social media. Appropriately, Dr. Enns entitled his corner at Patheos "Rethinking Biblical Christianity." Once you get past the stunning hubris of the title, it is clear that Dr. Enns' project is not merely to deny the inerrancy of Scripture but to change the way we think about Christianity itself. I suppose he deserves credit for understanding that once you throw out confidence in Scripture, a redefinition of Christianity becomes necessary.

I am thankful that men like Michael Kruger, Greg Beale, Darrell Bock, Andreas Kostenberger, and others are not content to sit back and yawn at a fellow scholar's zeal to popularize skepticism and unbelief among ill informed evangelicals.