Truro Church— and Mosby's Raiders!

Here is an assortment of shots from my time at Truro Church in Fairfax Va.   The silver tree is actually next to the National Gallery in D.C. but I couldn't get it into the last post.   The shot of Civil War soldiers is of Mosby's Raiders at the Fairfax Courthouse barely a block from Truro Church.  If you look at the main sanctuary picture below and just to the right of it you will see  the William Gunnell house where, the story goes,  General Stanton of the Union army was sleeping one night, whe … [Read more...]

Matthew 10.28 — Why Annihilationism is not Universalism


One of my brightest former students who now pastors in Wisconsin  Facebooked me (that really ought not to be a verb any more than 'friend' is a verb)  asking about Matthew 10.28.   Doesn't this text, he asked, favor the view of eternal torment?   The text literally reads "Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the psuchen. Fear rather the one who is able to destroy  (apolesai) both body and psuchen in Gehenna."    Here we have yet another stern saying of Jesus about Gehenna.   Je … [Read more...]

A Master Class in Art– the New Gauguin and Canalleto Exhibits in the National Gallery


'Ars Longa, vita brevis' goes the old Latin saying--- Art is long, life is short,  or better said, art lasts, but life doesn't.   It doesn't take long to realize the truth of this when you go and study the masters in the National Gallery in D.C.    There are two new excellent exhibits in the Gallery at present,  one on the work of  Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin  (1848-1903), a so-called post- Impressionist painter,  and another on Giovani Antonio Canal (1697-1768)  better known as  Canaletto.    We w … [Read more...]

And Now, Rob Bell's Rebuttal to Some Early Reviews

An alert student of mine, Jason Myers, pointed me to a rebuttal from Mars Hill Church -- you can read it here.I find the endorsement from Eugene Peterson impressive - and Peterson explained his endorsement to Patheos' Timothy Dalrymple. … [Read more...]

Hell? No??


(Hieronymous Bosch painting)The subject of Hell has suddenly become front burner flame-on hot since little bits of news have been leaking out about Rob Bell’s new book  Love Wins. Patheos is just beginning what will be an extended conversation on the book and the issues it raises, in what it hopes will be a charitable and constructive conversation.  See here.I have not read the book yet, but I do know the testimony of the President of Fuller Seminary, Richard Mouw, who says the book is a … [Read more...]

Rob Bell on the Hot Seat

What I find troubling about this video, and with the interview Tuesday night in New York that is also making the rounds on YouTube is that Rob  is evasive in both cases.    This is not the same approach he has taken in the past on a variety of complex issues,  and it is troubling indeed.    Whatever else one can say about generous orthodoxy, it should not include suggesting that polar opposite views about God are equally orthodox,  nor that contradictory views on key Scriptures  are equally … [Read more...]

Shahnama— 1,000 Years of the Book of Persian Kings


After doing the Truro Church event over the weekend, one of our former Asbury students kindly took me downtown to the Mall in D.C.  (no, not the shopping mall) to see the newest exhibitions as the Sackler Museum (part of the Smithsonian), and the two new exhibits at the National Gallery of Art  (on Gaugin and Caneletto).  This post will be about the former of these two exhibits, which was just fascinating.The Persian book of the Kings is a 50,000 line long poem, written in Farsi (the Iranian … [Read more...]

Richard Mouw on Rob Bell's New Book

The following is the President of Fuller Seminary's  blog post today on Rob Bell.   See what you think. The Orthodoxy of Rob BellI told the USA TODAY reporter that Rob Bell’s newly released Love Wins is a fine book and that I basically agree with his theology. I knew that the book was being widely criticized for having crossed the theological bridge from evangelical orthodoxy into universalism. Not true, I told the reporter. Rob Bell is calling us away from a stingy orthodoxy to a gen … [Read more...]

Truro Church Sermon— Sunday March 13


“Justice!”  the man shouted.  I demand justice.  It’s a frequent cry these days in a world of all sorts of injustice, and the temptation is to take the law into our own hands.   But the Bible tells us that will come to no good end.  Indeed the Bible says that God declares “vengeance is mine. I will repay.”  In other words the justice issues should be left by Christians in God’s hands.  But when we think of justice from a Biblical point of view,  we need to always think about it in light of these … [Read more...]