Archives for June 2012

Some random thoughts on Father’s Day

So another Father's Day has come and will go without much real change in American society's attitudes toward fatherhood and men in general.First, the requisite admission: many fathers are bad models and many men are abusive, oppressive and stupid.Second, an obvious observation: our society doesn't help when the mass media portray men as stupid, silly, sinister and violent. (Nor is the current spate of movies portraying women as violent help women or society, either.)We all know how … [Read more...]

Conversion stories in recent fiction and film

Conversion stories in recent fiction and filmI’m usually reading or listening to three novels at the same time. By “at the same time” I mean concurrently, of course, not literally temporally. And, believe it or not, I occasionally watch a movie. In fact, movie-watching at home has become more frequent as television entertainment has become increasingly bland, boring or offensive.Maybe it’s divine providence or just coincidence, but recently I’ve read (or listened to) some outstanding nove … [Read more...]

Thoughts about the terms “heresy” and “heretic”

The recent "dust up" over possible semi-Pelagianism among certain Baptists has given rise to the usual confusion about terms like "heresy" and "heretic." So let's clear things up a little (hopefully).What makes a belief "heresy?" Well, there's no easy answer to that unless it is within a church or denomination that has a formal magisterium. Such as the Roman Catholic Church. Some beliefs have been formally "anathematized" by a council or a pope. Then they are heresies. Somewhere, several … [Read more...]

Further thoughts on why “inerrancy” is problematic

Notice I put "inerrancy" in "scare quotes." That's to indicate that what I am talking about is the term, not precisely the concept. Or, to put it another way, my concern is that the term is used for many different concepts and therefore, without definition, is virtually meaningless.Now I am going to quote a leading evangelical theologian's definition of biblical inerrancy. I'm not revealing his name first; his identity as the definition's author is below it. I challenge you to read the … [Read more...]

What does “inerrancy” actually do?

What does “inerrancy” actually do?During this week’s brouhaha over possible semi-Pelagianism among Southern Baptist theologians (see the previous two posts and the comments here), one response has stuck in my mind and given me reason to worry. It worries me more than the possibility of semi-Pelagianism in the ranks of the theologians.I confess that throughout this budding controversy I have occasionally broken a personal policy. Normally I do not go to other blogs to see what others are s … [Read more...]

Prevenient Grace: Why It Matters

Prevenient Grace: Why It MattersThis is a follow up to my earlier post regarding the statement of the traditional Southern Baptist view of salvation by certain Southern Baptist non-Calvinist, non-Arminian pastors and theologians. If you have not read that post, go back and read it before reading this one. Here I am picking up where I left off there and taking some comments subsequent to it into account.Also, here, I am not delving into the debate between Calvinists and Arminians over the … [Read more...]

Thoughts about “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.”

Thoughts about “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation.”Recently a group of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists wrote and signed “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.” I certainly have no objection to a group of non-Calvinists pushing back against the tidal wave of Calvinism surging over contemporary evangelical and Baptist life in the U.S. (and other places).Let me say first that among the … [Read more...]