An Invitation to Hear Me Speak…with Bill Gaither

I have no sense of how many of my readers live within easy driving distance of the location of this event, but I would be pleased if the attendance were very strong. So I invite you to come and spread the word to others who may be able and interested in coming.On Tuesday, September 15 (2015) I will be delivering a message entitled "Certainty Not" in the weekly chapel service ("community gathering for worship") at Baylor's Truett Seminary. The chapel service will include an appearance by and … [Read more...]

Discussion of “Malestrom” by Carolyn Custis James (Part Four)

Discussion of Malestrom by Carolyn Custis James (Part Four)Here I will be responding to Chapters 4 and 5 of Malestrom: “The Rise of Women” and “The Power of Power” respectively. Some of what I say here may not make sense unless you have read the chapters and my previous responses to Malestrom in parts one through three (Introduction through chapter three).Again, I find myself in general hearty agreement with James. In Chapter 4 she skillfully examines the Old Testament story of Deborah an … [Read more...]

Can a Pastor Baptize an Infant and Remain Baptist? (Some Thoughts about Identities)

Can a Pastor Baptize an Infant and Remain Baptist? (Some Thoughts about Identities)Recently the pastor of an Ohio downtown First Baptist Church (American Baptist Churches, U.S.A.) baptized an infant. As one might expect, it caused a stir among Baptists of all kinds. This would be like a Lutheran pastor refusing to baptize an infant—advising the Lutheran parents to wait until the child is mature enough to decide for himself/herself whether to be baptized. Or it would be like a Presbyterian p … [Read more...]

Discussion of “Malestrom” by Carolyn Custis James (Part Three)

Discussion of Malestrom by Carolyn Custis James (Part Three)Here I will be responding to Chapters 2 and 3 of Malestrom: “Patriarchy Matters” and “The Father Wound” respectively. Some of what I say may not make sense unless you’ve read the book’s Introduction and Chapter 1 and my responses to those in Parts One and Two of this series.I couldn’t agree more with the main thesis of Chapter 2: “Patriarchy Matters”: “Illusions of superiority and inferiority have no place in the kingdom of God.” … [Read more...]

Please Remove National Flags from Your Christian Worship Spaces: A Plea on Behalf of the Flag

Please Remove National Flags from Your Christian Worship Spaces: A Plea on Behalf of the FlagNotice I didn’t say “American flags.” However, my main concern here is about the prevalence of American flags in American Christian worship spaces. I recently visited a large Baptist church that not only had the American flag hanging on a pole on the platform (that’s what Baptists typically call the chancel area); it also had a large American flag hanging from the ceiling above the pulpit and communi … [Read more...]

Discussion of “Malestrom” by Carolyn Custis James (Part Two)

Discussion of Malestrom by Carolyn Custis James (Part Two)In Chapter 1, “The Genesis of the Malestrom,” Carolyn Custis James explains what I have long believed—that men and women share the image of God equally and that patriarchy is a result of the fall, not part of the intended pattern of creation. Also, contrary to belief that “this is a man’s world” (intended prescriptively, not only descriptively), Christians ought to recognize and live out the truth that this is God’s world. It does not … [Read more...]

Over Reactions and the Search for Balance

I'm a historical theologian and I tell my students that the history of Christian theology is a series of pendulum swings--reactions that are often over reactions to events, movements, etc. I think this is true of cultural history in general. Let me give some examples.The second century Christian bishops' response to Montanism was an over reaction that had extremely negative consequences. Instead of the church being where the Spirit is, the church became defined as where the bishop … [Read more...]


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