Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So Apparently John Piper Read that Christianity Today Article

Recently I posted a link to a CT article that discusses fundamentalism and refers to a 2005 Fundamental Baptist Fellowship resolution that both praises and criticizes John Piper. Piper quotes from this resolution and responds. Here's part of it:
What I want to say about Fundamentalism is that its great gift to the church is precisely the backbone to resist compromise and to make standing for truth and principle a means of love rather than an alternative to it. I am helped by the call for biblical separation, because almost no evangelicals even think about the doctrine.
Here are links (1 2) to my original posts on the resolution.

And here's a HT: Andy Naselli

Monday, October 29, 2007

Here's an Endorsement I Like

Cal Thomas endorses (audio mp3) the novel idea of conservative religious leaders staying out of presidential elections, asserting that attempting to change culture through the means of political power and influence is an anti-biblical trust in princes and kings. It'll take you about a minute to listen.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Here's a Surprising Little Tidbit from Today's Christianity Today E-mail

Collin Hansen examines the increasing dissatisfaction among younger fundamentalists and asks this question:
Fundamentalists have a strategy problem: Do they clamp down on these youngsters, risking a deeper generation gap? Or do they reconsider strict separation and cultural isolation? By choosing the latter, they may save their youth and lose their cause.
The article is too short to provide much insight, but then he really does ask the right question about strategy, doesn't he? Are fundamentalists principled or pragmatic? Will they move the ancient landmarks or lose their youth? Or will they find more effective ways to transfer their values? Or perhaps conclude that the evangelical landscape is radically different from what it was in the 1950s, and it's time for a different approach?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Billy Graham-Robert Schuller Video

A friend from seminary sent me today a heads up on the video of Billy Graham denying the biblical gospel that's quoted in Iain Murray's Evangelicalism Divided. The Graham-Schuller conversation actually starts 1:17 into the video.

And for those who still persist in the belief that John MacArthur signed ECT and supports the BGEA, here are some of MacArthur's own words:

Friday, October 19, 2007

This Topsy-Turvy Ecclesio-Political World

Some have raised questions as to the timing of the BJU community endorsements of Mitt Romney. I felt stupid this morning when it occurred to me that it was perfectly timed to influence this weekend's Values Voters' Summit in DC.

Meanwhile, as fundamentalists endorse Romney, Southern Baptists excoriate him. The newly installed pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas is either persuading his congregation that they don't want Romney or they don't want a Christian in the Oval Office. SBC President Frank Page is skirting anything approaching an endorsement, and apparently prefers to witness to the candidates. And of course, Joel Osteen loves everybody:
I don't think [Romney's Mormon faith] would affect me," Mr. Osteen said. "I've heard him say that he believes Jesus is his savior, just like I do. I've studied it deeply, and maybe people don't agree with me, but I like to look at a person's value and what they stand for.
Finally, a Wall Street Journal opinion piece takes the measure of the new "cosmopolitan evangelicalism," the odd cocktail created by the entrée of the faith community to the halls of power.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Al Mohler on the BJ III Endorsement of Romney

From another Hugh Hewitt post, again courtesy Josh Scheiderer. Here's Mohler:
[T]his is a huge signal. This is like a lighthouse going on, the light shining its beam on Mitt Romney. Not only that, but the argument made by Bob Jones III basically means that not only is he supporting Mitt Romney, he’s basically saying he is the only option so far as he sees it on the Republican side.
No endorsement from Mohler, though. Could this mean mainline fundamentalists are more politically engaged than conservative evangelicals?

Willow Creek Repents?

Read this absolutely fascinating piece on Willow Creek's change of heart after 30 years of market-driven ministry. But what's next? Has Hybels been reading Nine Marks of a Healthy Church? Or is this the first step in a transition to Emerging? Your guess is as good as mine, but before you guess, read the closing kicker from the blog post, from the voice of the Willow Creek executive pastor:
Our dream is that we fundamentally change the way we do church. That we take out a clean sheet of paper and we rethink all of our old assumptions. Replace it with new insights. Insights that are informed by research and rooted in Scripture. Our dream is really to discover what God is doing and how he’s asking us to transform this planet.
My hope is that they throw away the clean sheet of paper, forget about research and new insights, and pull out a 2,000 year-old book with lots of paper on which ancient words have already been printed.

HT: Justin Taylor

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

BJU Statement on Political Endorsements

Distributed in an e-mail this evening, and currently available on the web here:
Over the past two election cycles, Bob Jones University has become much more of a media focus than we would have chosen to be. Given that media fascination, BJU is in the news again—this time with yesterday’s endorsement of Gov. Mitt Romney for president by Dr. Bob Jones III and Dr. Bob Taylor.

Bob Jones University has never officially endorsed political candidates, and that policy remains unchanged. Each of us as U.S. citizens has the privilege and responsibility before God to examine the candidates and come to a decision of conscience about how we will cast our vote. It is in that role as private citizens that Dr. Jones III and Dr. Bob Taylor have chosen to cast their vote for Mitt Romney. Other faculty, staff and administrators will choose otherwise. In each case, however, their decision reflects only their personal choice and does not represent BJU as an organization.

When They Discuss Fundamentalism at Trinity

Andy Naselli has posted his review of Rolland McCune's Promise Unfulfilled: The Failed Strategy of Modern Evangelicalism, which he delivered yesterday in a class at Trinity.

I read the book over the summer, posted on it once, and intend to post more on it, but I've been intending to for a while. For now, let me merely associate myself with Naselli's thorough and insightful analysis and make two comments:

1. I thought the documentation in Iain Murray's Evangelicalism Divided and George Marden's Reforming Fundamentalism offered all the possible documentation of why the new evangelical strategies of ecumenical evangelism and recovery of apostate denominations were bad ideas. I was wrong. McCune goes far beyond them. I simply cannot comprehend how anyone who believes and loves the gospel could conclude that this strategy has been wise, fruitful, or faithful. Yet some seemingly do.

2. As fundamentalists frequently do, McCune criticizes Al Mohler for taking "a lead role in the Billy Graham Louisville ecumenical evangelistic crusade a few years back." Now, I've disagreed with Mohler often, and I certainly don't intend to try to justify this choice, but I think it's worthwhile to point out that Mohler only did so on the condition that no Roman Catholics or liberal Protestants participate in the crusade leadership. This was a significant concession for the Graham camp, even if one is not convinced that it vindicates Mohler. Personally, I'll be far more inclined to accept this fundamentalist criticism as valid when a 32 year-old separatist fundamentalist successfully recovers a theological seminary from the absolute pits of liberalism and transforms it into a conservative bastion and the largest seminary in the world without forming any alliances that could be reasonably questioned.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hey, Forget that Last Post.

Bob Jones III just endorsed Romney.

Here's perhaps the key comment:
Asked whether Romney’s religion was a stumbling block for him, Jones replied, "What is the alternative, Hillary’s lack of religion or an erroneous religion?"
I think I get Jones' point here, and I think it's true politically, in the sense that he intended it. Theologically? Not so much.

BJU Dean to Endorse Romney

I suspect Bob Taylor will catch some heat from the traditional BJU constituency over this report in the Wall Street Journal. Of course, read the story and you'll see that this will be no surprise to Taylor. BJU has allowed Roman Catholics (such as Pat Buchanan) to speak in non-religious convocations in the past, and even some on campus were pretty upset when that happened during my student days.

I like Taylor's statement that we're electing a president, not a pastor. And while I'm fairly convinced that Mike Huckabee is closer ideologically and certainly far closer theologically to the stance of BJU, this seems like a matter in which a little pragmatism is appropriate. Not to concede, of course, that I'm at all comfortable with Taylor's stated intention to use his prominence in the Religious Right to pull others along with him. But that's another discussion.

[Update: Read an alternative view from Mike Huckabee here.]

Saturday, October 13, 2007

As Long As I'm at It . . .

Hugh Hewitt usually drives me nuts. He offers a bit too much of a marriage of politics and some mutation of faith for my taste. To each his own , I suppose. And all those pictures of Ann Coulter plastered all over the place . . . It's just enough to make my stomach turn.

Nevertheless, I thought this post on the upcoming Republican primaries, mostly a quotation from a PR executive's "memo to evangelicals," was thought-provoking.

I need and want to HT someone here. (After all, I wouldn't want anyone to think I actually RSS this stuff.) But sadly, I can't remember whom to credit.

Let Me Just Put All My Cards on the Table

I don't think you can call yourself an evangelical, let alone a fundamentalist, if you preach a different gospel from the one Dave Doran expounds here from Matthew 6:24.
At some point, if the only reason you ever turned to God was so that you would get heaven, then you may not have gotten the point. It's about God, not about you ending up in heaven. It's not about you finding a way to get something for yourself through God. It is that you came to see that there is such a fundamental distinction between the one who made everything and what was made, that in no way can we give to what was made what only belongs to the one who made it. He alone deserves to be worshiped and served and loved and devoted to and feared.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Yeah, Yeah, You've Heard This Before

This offer from DGM is a terrific way to spread the gospel as the holidays draw near. Or if you want to help me get free books, you can click here (and pay full price).

Monday, October 01, 2007

Lions, Water Buffalo, and a Surprise

This video has everything. Why link to it? I'm sure someone could do some great work talking about God's creativity or the effects of the Fall. I just think it's an astounding video, and the 4:31 mark is laugh-out-loud funny.

Spoiler below . . .

Best wishes to the little guy.