Tuesday, March 08, 2011

All the Really Good Stuff I've Been Saving up for You

1. I vehemently reject any analogical relationship between the return of Christ and Michigan football.

2. I don't know who this guy is. I'm assuming he's some sort of cross between a hipster and a fundamentalist legalist.

3. This is a fascinating article on hymns in the mainline denominations. The gospel is still proclaimed in song in places where it has long been absent from the pulpit.

4. Great stuff on parachurch ministries from Mack Stiles and Carl Trueman, both of whom are themselves affiliated with parachurch ministries.

5. Fascinating conversation here. I'm hoping Mohler interviews Marsden sooner or later.

6. The SBC is not a confessional organization (surprised?), though it does maintain a confessional basis for cooperation. Whether it should be confessional is a worthwhile question that some have raised. I'm undecided.

7. One of Kevin Bauder's best lines ever:
In today’s debates, hyper-Arminians often prefer to call themselves Biblicists.
8. And last but not least, Russell Moore seems to be muddying a pretty important debate (and this isn't the only example I could cite):
On the other hand, there is still a growing body of Christians who speak as though the kingdom is either wholly future or wholly spiritual. Look at the ongoing efforts to divide concern for evangelism from a concern for justice, the mission of the church in caring for people's souls from caring for their bodies. There are rarely prophecy charts involved anymore, but it is, at heart, the same old dispensationalist hermeneutic involved, seeking to "rightly divide" the parts of Jesus' ministry that apply to us now from those that will only apply later.
Whether the kingdom is inaugurated in the present age is a question related, but not identical to, whether our mission is identical to Jesus' ministry. His argument would be more useful if he were to present his case for mission continuity and identify whom exactly is among this "growing body of Christians."


Joel said...

Enjoyed perusing your really good stuff. I'm shocked that today's news about the Sweater Vest didn't make the list. :)

Ben said...

Joel, I don't really follow football during basketball season, you know? (Especially one this good.)

But I guess if I did, I'd have linked to an article and commented, "Hope you enjoyed the moral high ground while it lasted," or maybe, "Somebody's been hanging out with RichRod too much."

Dave Doran said...


I am curious about your commment that the SBC maintains "a confessional basis for cooperation." What do you mean by that? My understanding, perhaps incorrect, is that cooperation is not limited by the confession, i.e., no church has to agree with it to be in the SBC or give to the SBC. Am I mistaken?

Ben said...


There is no confessional test for churches to contribute to the Cooperative Program or send messengers to the annual meeting. (It is true—if enough Presbyterians or Unitarians contributed throughout the year, they could register messengers. Though if they did that, I expect confessionalism would emerge before they could make any lasting impact.)

There IS a confessional test for the cooperative efforts. All employees and trustees of the various entities must affirm the Baptist Faith and Message. I think I've heard the "confessional basis for cooperation" term used in a technical way to describe that, but I could be wrong.

Josh said...

Item #1 on your list actually reminds me of a certain disputed line from the Apostles' Creed.

Ben said...

Well played.

BE said...

Regarding Moore's muddy waters: I think it's not only important to recognize that the continuity of Jesus mission is not identical to the inauguration of the kingdom, but that the nature of the present kingdom is still an important issue in all of this.

I have yet to see a compelling and consistent case for holistic ministry that is based on the inauguration of the kingdom. People seem to vary on what is already and what is not yet, which in turn affects the relationship between the present kingdom and holistic ministry. And there are plenty of people who believe the inauguration of the kingdom had little to do with holistic ministry outside of the church (i.e., the kingdom is inaugurated inside the church, but that has little to no effect on society at large).


Ben said...

Ben E,

As I understand the issues, Moore has to prove that the kingdom has been inaugurated, AND that the inauguration implies absolute equivalency between Jesus' mission and the church's. If the case for either falls, Moore's thesis fails. So in that sense, I agree with you that the present nature of the kingdom is an issue.

I don't discount that, but I think it's much easier to make the case that the church's mission is not coextensive with Jesus'. The church doesn't make a substitutionary atonement, and it doesn't judge the wicked. Believing that the kingdom is inaugurated doesn't mean that the church consummates it.