What Is the Old Testament Good For–Doctrinally?

I was recently asked by a student whether there are any important Christian doctrines, beliefs all Christians should embrace and confess, that can be found and supported ONLY in and by the Old Testament.He was not asking about nuggets of spiritual wisdom, inspiring verses, historical events, etc. He was asking me whether there are doctrines to be believed and confessed by all Christians that cannot be found only in and supported by the New Testament but that we must establish from the Old … [Read more...]

Can “Authentic Christianity” Be Found Today?

Can “Authentic Christianity” Be Found Today?Like many Christians I grew up in a church that was committed to restoring the “New Testament church”—as it was in the first century. This impulse is called “restorationism.” (I only capitalize that term when referring to a particular tradition known to scholars as “Restorationism” whose main contemporary offshoots are the Churches of Christ, Independent Christian Churches, and the Disciples of Christ. Except, of course, when the term is first in a … [Read more...]

Confessions of an Egalitarian Complementarian

Confessions of an Egalitarian Complementarian The topic is gender. It’s a minefield. Anyone who dares to step into it must be prepared to be injured. Especially in American academic institutions it’s a minefield. And it is a major point of division among evangelical Christians. I speak from within both contexts. In academia we are in a time of recovery from rampant patriarchalism and that has led to some over reactions. Two trends are noticeable. First, any acknowledgement of real difference be … [Read more...]

The Sin of Tribalism

The Sin of TribalismThere are many things Christians ought to resist among themselves. Not because salvation depends on that but because they are pernicious to a healthy relationship with God and others in the family of God. And because they give Christians and our God a bad name among those who watch us. Christians are aware of some of them but seemingly unaware of others that are rampant and destructive. Tribalism is one too many Christians fall prey to unawares.Tribalism, as I use the … [Read more...]

Another Great “Moderate Baptist” Leader on the Necessity of Doctrines

Another Great “Moderate Baptist” Leader on the Necessity of Doctrines Recently I quoted at length here a statement by moderate Baptist leader and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship founder Cecil Sherman who argued that “the faith once for all delivered” must be preserved and not tampered with or discarded.Another hero of many moderate Baptists (neither out-and-out liberal nor fundamentalist) is Edgar Young Mullins (1860-1928). E. Y. Mullins (as he is usually named) was arguably the m … [Read more...]

What I mean when I say someone is theologically “liberal”

Definitions of "liberal" in theology differ considerably--even among scholars of modern theology. Yale historical theologian (whose special area of scholarship was modern theology) Claude Welch defined it as "maximal acknowledgement of the claims of modernity." Union Theological Seminary theologian (and self-identified theological liberal) Gary Dorrien defines it as recognizing no authority outside the self. (Of course he means no ultimate authority.) Iliff School of Theology theologian Delwin … [Read more...]

A Word from a Founder to All My “Moderate Baptist” Friends

A Word from a Founder to All My “Moderate Baptist” FriendsThis post is intended primarily for Southerners among Baptists who consider themselves “Moderate.” For those of you outside that movement, I’ll explain briefly.Throughout the 1980s and until today many churches and individuals affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention (the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.) felt excluded by the SBC’s leadership because of their embrace of egalitarian beliefs and their denial of “bib … [Read more...]