Sunday, March 20, 2011

"If we wanted to produce legalists, how would we go about it?"

Kevin Bauder:
If we wanted to devise a plan to turn out as many legalists as we could, how would we go about it? One way that we might do it is to offer some sort of of a carnal or this-worldly inducement for performing spiritual exercises. In order to get children to memorize Scripture. In order to get them to read the Bible. In order to get them to spend time in prayer. Offer them rewards, preferably rewards that are going to get them recognized in front of other people, so that they become used to the idea that "the things I'm doing, I'm doing for recognition on the part of other people." Isn't that the essence of legalism?
From his talk, "Shaping Our Affections Towards God," which is available here (along with more talks well worth hearing).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Lied: More Really Good Stuff I've Been Saving up for You (And Some New Stuff Too)

1. M*ark D*ever is a really good bowler.

2. Without a hint of irony, Christianity Today publishes a (biblically valid) warning to bloggers that we will give account for what we publish. Let's make a deal, CT: I'll stop blogging, and you . . . ah, never mind.

3. For whatever reason, this interview with David Saxon of Maranatha suddenly disappeared from its initial home, but it's back online now in a different place.

4. I'm all for figuring out what the Bible really says about Gog and Magog, but sometimes (especially in apocalyptic literature) perhaps we need to consider option #4: The Bible doesn't answer the question we're asking.

5. Mark Driscoll's traveler's guide to the emerging church/morass, with special attention to Rob Bell.

6. Since I opened that can of worms, here's Kevin DeYoung:
Love Wins has ignited such a firestorm of controversy because it’s the current fissure point for a larger fault-line. As younger generations come up against an increasingly hostile cultural environment, they are breaking in one of two directions—back to robust orthodoxy (often Reformed) or back to liberalism. The neo-evangelical consensus is cracking up. Love Wins is simply one of many tremors.
And right on cue, Fuller Seminary President Richard Mouw reminds us which side of that crack he's on.

8. By the way, if you reject any notion of limited atonement, do you really have any justification to be mad at Rob Bell?

9. It might be interesting to know what was going through Kevin Bauder's mind when Mark Minnick proposed [MP3, beginning 6:22 in] that Kevin Bauder had just made the case that BJU's Unusual Films did a great thing in sending people to Hollywood to learn better methods for filmmaking—putting "the red carpet on the sawdust trail." That moment and others [MP3] reminded me that not everyone who wants to preserve the truth—even in a group demonstrating a presumably high level of homogeneity—agrees on what exactly is this truth worth preserving. (Full audio available here.)

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."

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tottering Authority

Both international and ecclesiastical events brought this quote to mind, published in the WSJ a couple years ago:
From Ryszard Kapuscinski's "Shah of Shahs" (1982):

All books about all revolutions begin with a chapter that describes the decay of tottering authority or the misery and sufferings of the people. They should begin with a psychological chapter, one that shows how a harassed, terrified man suddenly breaks his terror, stops being afraid. This unusual process, sometimes accomplished in an instant like a shock or a lustration, demands illuminating. Man gets rid of fear and feels free. Without that there would be no revolution.
And regarding a topic completely unrelated to "tottering authority," Christianity Today reports that someone thinks John Piper is flippant. I think that's ironic. Read that comment thread, then read this salient observation from Phil Johnson:
Bell's latest heresy neither surprises nor interests me. What does intrigue me is the tragic drift of popular, mainstream evangelicalism. Here we see clearly why the evangelical movement is in grave trouble: The passions of today's self-styled evangelicals are easily aroused in defense of someone who makes a career dabbling around the edges of truth. Rob Bell likes to play with damnable heresies as if they were Lego bricks, and yet anyone who points out the glaring errors in Bell's teaching will be met with a wall of angry resistance from young, self-styled Christians who grew up in the evangelical mainstream.