February 5, 2019

The training of pastors has changed a great deal over the years. Here’s a quick narratival arc for you: once pastors were the best-educated members of their community (17th and 18th centuries in America), then the pastorate broke from formal education (19th and 20 centuries), and now many pastors are reclaiming the former model (in the 21st century). They were told they didn’t need training, they didn’t need “book learning,” they just needed a warm heart and a good church-growth… Read more

January 25, 2019

The recent scandal surrounding the treatment of a boy from Covington Catholic (Kentucky) has prompted much rumination on social-media usage. I just wrote an essay on this shameful cultural moment for the Center for Public Theology; what follows is an attempt to make more practical my response. Basically, I am arguing for the treatment of other human beings as conditioned by their image-bearing nature (Gen. 1:26-27). The doctrine of the imago dei, in other words, necessitates that we as the church… Read more

December 6, 2018

Recently, Lauren Daigle made headlines when she was asked about her position on homosexuality. Here’s what she said when asked if homosexuality is sinful: “I can’t honestly answer on that, in the sense of I have too many people that I love and they are homosexuals. I can’t say one way or the other, I’m not God. When people ask questions like that, I just say, ‘Read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out let… Read more

October 5, 2018

Jordan Peterson is far and away the most consequential public intellectual in America right now. Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life has sold over 2 million copies; he draws over $80,000 of monthly support on Patreon; he is essentially a one-man movement, though he visits the mysterious back rooms of the Intellectual Dark Web as well. In an age when “diversity” typically means holding to one viewpoint, and “free speech” means shutting down evangelical campus groups, and “tolerance” means shouting politicians… Read more

August 9, 2018

Just a few weeks ago, expert historian Douglas Sweeney and I published a book on Jonathan Edwards. Our goal: to provide readers with an accessible summary of the theology and ministry of America’s greatest theologian. The Essential Jonathan Edwards: An Introduction to the Life and Teachings of America’s Greatest Theologian is out, and I just got word that it is on sale for all of $11 today, and today alone. There is a trend away from writing lengthy books on doctrine… Read more

July 12, 2018

Doubt is back in the news. We’ve all heard a great deal about postmodernism over the years; one of the ways it continues to influence us as a culture is to make us prize uncertainty and distrust certainty. It seems more authentic, more truly human, even more virtuous, to live in gray areas than it is does to traffic in certitudes. You could sum up the spirit of the age like this: we’re being encouraged to have faith in doubt…. Read more

July 10, 2018

The greatest need of God’s church today is this: sound doctrine. Sound doctrine grows the sheep, blesses the church, warns the wolves, and glorifies the Lord. If this is true, then the greatest imperative of God’s church today is this: we need to train agents of sound doctrine. We need to produce a massive harvest of faithful theologians and pastors who will teach and preach sound doctrine. There are numerous ways to stimulate such a movement. Here is one: to… Read more

July 5, 2018

A workshop that will take place at the upcoming Revoice conference has drawn serious scrutiny. (Revoice in general has drawn major attention–here’s coverage in The Federalist, the Christian Post, a very helpful Al Mohler podcast on it, and a great Public Discourse article by Denny Burk and Rosaria Butterfield.) The workshop in question is entitled “Redeeming Queer Culture: An Adventure,” and is led by a young man named Grant Hartley. Here is the slice of the workshop description that caught my eye: “So… Read more

June 1, 2018

The Revoice conference has caused a stir in evangelical circles in recent days. Basically, it is a conference that stands for the idea that a person can faithfully affirm both Christian identity and a homosexual identity. This is not a new view–see Matthew Vines’s work as one example–but this particular conference charts new territory by looping in numerous figures associated with Covenant Seminary and the Presbyterian Church in America, among other institutions and churches. Covenant and the PCA are complementarian… Read more

May 7, 2018

I just published an academic article on the pastor-theologian for the Journal of Biblical Studies. It’s entitled “Light from the Third Great Awakening: Harold Ockenga and the Call to Future Pastor-Theologians.” In the article, I argue that what took place in the neo-evangelical era under Harold Ockenga, Billy Graham, and Carl Henry was actually the “Third Great Awakening.” This is a big claim, and it will take further academic work to substantiate it, but I believe it to be true. (If… Read more

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