December 22, 2016

There is much talk about being “gospel-centered” today. I’m thrilled that there is. But what does it mean, precisely, for a pastors to minister in a “gospel-centered” way? Here are three quick thoughts. First, the pastor’s theology is gospel-shaped. In other words, the atoning death and life-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very fountainhead of all the pastor’s thinking. For the glory of God, the pastor labors to make the message of Christ’s finished work known to needy, hell-bound… Read more

November 30, 2016

That is what Buzzfeed and Cosmopolitan would have you believe, anyway: Chip and Joanna Gaines are the problem, not the solution. The Gaineses, an evangelical couple that attends an evangelical church in Texas, are under fire because their pastor preached sermons articulating the sinfulness of same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Now, the two outlets are demanding that Chip and Joanna, a couple beloved for their ultra-popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” answer for their transgressions. The mainstream media wants this couple to repent of believing… Read more

November 29, 2016

Every academic community, I suppose, is a colony of writers. That’s holding true at Midwestern Seminary, where I teach systematic theology. President Jason Allen recently released a very helpful book on the call to ministry. Provost Jason Duesing has just edited a terrific new book on religious liberty and released his scholarly work on early Baptist Henry Jessey, an underappreciated but important figure. Jared Wilson is established as evangelicalism’s go-to voice on the theology of pastoral ministry, and recently published a rich… Read more

November 11, 2016

This is a blistering and fun season for many evangelical scholars. It’s ETS time. Next week, the Evangelical Theological Society meets in San Antonio, Texas (Alamo at right) for its annual conference. I’ve been thankful to be a member of ETS for some time, and I’ll present this year on three separate topics. All three sessions I’m involved in take place on this coming Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 1: A paper on “The Clarity of Complementarity: Transgender in Moral &… Read more

November 2, 2016

It is not uncommon for evangelicals today to lament that the college campus is secularizing. This is not a silly conclusion, considering the drift of modern elite culture. There is much to be troubled by. But I have been reminded of late that God is on the move at the American university. Some folks will recall that two years ago, the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group at Bowdoin, Bowdoin Christian Fellowship, was officially removed as a campus group (I was involved with… Read more

October 25, 2016

Every pastor is a theologian. Not just the nerdy ones. Not just the ones with doctorates from well-known schools. Every pastor. In my 2016 message at For the Church, a conference staged by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, I made this case. (See the video above.) As I contended at FTC, biblical texts like 2 Timothy 1:5-14 show us that the pastor is inescapably, and preeminently, a theologian. How is this so? First, the pastorate is an office created by the… Read more

October 13, 2016

It has been a mind-bending, head-spinning few weeks. We’ve heard and watched Donald Trump say abhorrent things about women; many folks, me included, responded to these comments. Trump has been rightly condemned for his remarks. They are beyond the pale. We should note, however, that Trump’s comments and behavior fit rather well with an amoral, sex-at-the-center kind of age. America has largely vanquished the moral scolds–including many evangelicals–from the public square. Though it is unspeakably fuzzy in nature, many people… Read more

October 7, 2016

My 2015 book on Chuck Colson, The Colson Way, is currently selling for 99 cents on Amazon Kindle (click here to get it). This is obviously an unusual deal, and I’d encourage you to take advantage of it. I’m really thankful for the way The Colson Way has been received. It won an award from Outreach magazine as the Book of the Year (2015) in the “Evangelism” category. Here’s the official citation from Outreach. I was–and am–grateful to the Lord for this commendation. The good folks… Read more

September 2, 2016

I’m excited to announce that Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School will give the inaugural Scudder Lectures on Public Theology on September 22-23, 2016. Dr. Vanhoozer is one of the top theologians of any stripe in the world, and will be lecturing on “The Pastor-Theologian as Minister of the Gospel.” Here is the schedule for Vanhoozer’s visit to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary: Thursday September 22, 2016  6pm: Dinner (at Midwestern Seminary, free) 7pm: Lecture One | “The Pastor-Theologian as Minister… Read more

August 17, 2016

Alan Jacobs has just responded to my piece over at the Center for Public Theology, “Where’s Niebuhr? On Alan Jacobs’s Essay on Christian Intellectuals,” with one of his own. It’s called “A Response to Owen Strachan,” and you should read it. Typical Jacobs: very thoughtful, funny, and challenging on a personal level. In my piece, I made the case that Carl Henry, Harold Ockenga, E. J. Carnell, George Eldon Ladd, and others wanted quite badly to engage their culture, not retreat… Read more

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