April 28, 2011

According to news reports, David Wilkerson, author of The Cross and the Switchblade, died in a car accident in Texas on Wednesday, April 27.  May he find peace and bliss in paradise with his Lord. When I was a Pentecostal preacher’s kid and a student in a very secularized high school (where I was the object of much ridicule for being openly a believer) David Wilkerson’s book and the movie based on it gave me great comfort and some ammunition. … Read more

April 27, 2011

Some students (current and former) and I have been reading and discussing a new book entitled Church in the Present Tense: A Candid Look at What’s Emerging by Scot McKnight, Peter Rollins, Kevin Corcoran (editor) and Jason Clark (Brazos Press).  It’s an enlightening and stimulating volume of essays related to the concept of “emerging church.” My favorite essay so far is by Jason Clark who is coordinator of the Emergent UK online resource network, pastor of Vineyard Church Sutton (UK) and… Read more

April 24, 2011

It was my intention to move on from the controversy about capital punishment that resulted from my post “Capital punishment is sin.”  However, I just viewed Saturday evening’s episode of the TV show “48 Hours” (April 23).  (I wasn’t able to watch it when it aired because we attended a wonderful Easter concert that included many songs about the cross and the atonement as well as the resurrection.  We tried not to be distracted by the fact that we were… Read more

April 24, 2011

A recent Associate Press article out of North Carolina reported on wild fires that burned homes and churches.  My local newspaper published a “box” highlighting the following quote by a member of a church that burned: “There is nothing that happens that God does not intend to happen.” I went to the internet attempting to discover if the church is Reformed and was unable to establish that.  However, I have reason to doubt it.  The church SEEMS to be African-American… Read more

April 22, 2011

Today is Good Friday and an appropriate time to return to a theme I’ve dealt with before here–the gradual disappearance of the cross in American Christianity (including among evangelicals). I can understand theologically liberal Protestants wanting to downplay the cross as it is offensive to modern sensibilities and liberal theology is “maximal acknowledgment of the claims of modernity.”  The cross, properly, biblically understood and not reduced to a martyrdom, is scandalous.  But it is a scandal central to the gospel… Read more

April 20, 2011

It seems to me some who have responded to my earlier post regarding capital punishment as slavery have overlooked the parallel with slavery.  The logic goes: the Bible supports capital punishment, so we must support capital punishment.  The same logic was used by supporters of slavery during the abolition debates in Great Britain and America in the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries.  We now all (hopefully!) agree that slavery is a sin.  But the Bible most… Read more

April 19, 2011

Some time ago I wrote here about two important theological decisions the Bible does not help us solve.  The first one was nominalism/voluntarism versus realism (with regard to whether God has a nature) and the second one was whether the church of the New Testament was the church in embryo or the mature church.  Where a person comes down on these issues inevitably influences much of his or her theology, but the Bible does not directly (or perhaps even indirectly)… Read more

April 17, 2011

A controversy is raging over capital punishment in Texas–a state that executes upwards of 30 to 35 people (almost all men and disproportionately African-American and poor) annually.  Most Texas Christians favor capital punishment even though it has been shown repeatedly not to be a deterrant to crime.  Life in prison serves just as well for that. In 1991 a house fire killed three children in a small Texas town.  The father, Cameron Todd Willingham, by most accounts not a particularly… Read more

April 15, 2011

I have a close acquaintance who belongs to an Evangelical Free Church in the Midwest that is currently showing a video series about the “Christian worldview.”  My acquaintance is attending each showing of the film series and taking notes and doing his best to absorb it while thinking critically about it at the same time. I have not seen this series and I doubt that I have time to watch it all.  But I have been hearing more and more about… Read more

April 15, 2011

Two diseases of disposition seem to infect and derail many good theological discussions: hardening of the categories and theological absolutism. So many theological discussions become unnecessarily heated by failure to recognize that many of our dearest theological categories cannot be precisely pinned down.  People assume a particular definition of, say “inclusivism,” and disallow anyone from thinking of it differently than they do.  I’ve been reading in that subjective widely and deeply for years and find that there is no one, universally… Read more

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