I will speak at our HSRM conference
Sunday evening, June 27
I will speak at our HSRM conference
Sunday evening, June 27
Linda and I strongly recommend Another Gospel? A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity.
I am doing two workshops on Deconstructing Progressive Christianity.
The first is Wednesday, June 30, Green Lake (Wisconsin), at our HSRM conference.
The second is at Redeemer, Wed., July 7, 6:30 PM. (If you are coming please let me know.)
And, I am submitting a manuscript of my book on Progressive Christianity, Aug. 15, to a publisher who has shown interest. (This does not mean they will accept it. But, they are encouraging me to submit it.)
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures...
1 Corinthians 15:3
I'm enjoying doing Romans for my Summer Bible Study. 51 have joined me! I've taught this book many times. And, as a result, studied and re-studied it over the decades. And, several years ago, I preached verse-by-verse through Romans, over a period of almost two years!
In Romans a number of big biblical themes come forth. Such as the cross, and atonement. And, of course, salvation.
These are particularly important themes for such a time as this, because "progressive" Christians are denying historical, orthodox views of atonement. Many are universalists, and say postmodern things like "Jesus died on a cross, not to pay for our sins, but to 'speak truth to power'." (E.g., progressivists like Rob Bell and William Paul Young, et. al.)
If you are interested in digging deep, check these out.
The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views (essays and responses by Greg Boyd, Joel Green, Bruce Reichenbach, and Thomas Schreiner). I learn much from reading the "Views" books!
What Did the Cross Accomplish: A Conversation About the Atonement, by N. T. Wright and Simon Gathercole (who both hold a variant of penal substitution)
Atonement and the Death of Christ: An Exegetical, Historical, and Philosophical Explanation, by William Lane Craig. (Penal substitution theory [the bane of progressives!])
I recommend, once again, for those who believe that, as much as possible, all sides ought to be studied before making evaluations, Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender, and Identity - And Why This Harms Everybody. Written by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, who are, BTW, atheists (I mention this because of the vast proliferation of all who worship the genetic fallacy).
Postmodernism, they argue, especially dominates certain ideologies, in its intentionality, to the relative exclusion of other ideologies. "Theory" is one of them. (Not all metanarratives are embraced equally.)
Pluckrose and Lindsay write:
"That is what we set out to provide in this book: a guide to the language and customs that are presently widely promoted under the pleasant-sounding moniker “Social Justice.” We are fluent in both the language and culture of Social Justice scholarship and activism, and we plan to guide our readers through this alien world, charting the evolution of these ideas from their origins fifty years ago right up to the present day.
"We begin in the late 1960s, when the group of theoretical concepts clustered around the nature of knowledge, power, and language that came to be known as postmodernism emerged from within several humanities disciplines at once. At its core, postmodernism rejected what it calls metanarratives—broad, cohesive explanations of the world and society. It rejected Christianity and Marxism. It also rejected science, reason, and the pillars of post-Enlightenment Western Democracy. Postmodern ideas have shaped what has since mostly been called Theory—the entity which is, in some sense, the protagonist of this book. In our view, it is crucial to understand the development of Theory from the 1960s until the present day if we are to come to terms with and correct for the rapid shifts we have been experiencing in society ever since its inception, and especially since 2010. Of note, throughout this book, Theory (and related words, such as Theorist and Theoretical) with a capital T will refer to the approach to social philosophy that stems from postmodernism."
Which means, postmodernism is itself a metanarrative, as is Theory. Pluckrose and Lindsay brilliantly bring this out.
See here - click on "Testimonials."
Or... https://quillette.com/2020/07/20/the-truth-according-to-social-justice-a-review-of-cynical-theories/ ("What Cynical Theories expresses is not a paranoid state of mind. It is a genuine concern about the threat that social justice activism, identity politics, and the legacy of postmodernism poses to Enlightenment liberalism and the belief that “disagreement and debate [are] means to getting at the truth.” The book explains how we have arrived at a state in which social justice scholarship treats the principles and themes of postmodernism as The Truth, where no dissent is tolerated, and anyone who disagrees must be cancelled.")
51 people have joined my Summer Romans Bible Study.
One of the Big Words in Romans is "justified."
I'm digging deep into this concept. One resource I just picked up is Justification: Five Views. I just finished the first two chapters. So good that I am going to re-read them!
Note these reviews.
"Of all the multiple views books, this one was needed most. It is also perhaps the best yet: getting Horton, Dunn, Bird, Kärkkäinen, O'Collins and Rafferty all at the table at the same time under the same roof is both a tour de force and a brilliant example of how their interaction can teach each of us. One word is needed most for the justification debate at work among (mostly) evangelicals, the word listen, and if you listen to the pages of this book you will see examples of not listening and listening. The challenge remains for all of us: will we listen again to the Scriptures to hear what it says about justification? Or will we impose our systems of thought on the Bible?" (Scot McKnight, North Park University)
"Beilby and Eddy have raised the bar with regard to this multiple views genre, this time bringing together world-renowned scholars and theologians to engage a very hot topic. Reading Justification: Five Views is like being treated to five books by five masters of their craft, each going deep into the details at times but yet also stepping back to cover the forest ably enough for the less initiated to appreciate what is at stake. A must-read for those interested in the ecumenical implications of the doctrine of justification." (Amos Yong, Regent University School of Divinity)
"No single volume could possibly cover all Christian views of the doctrine of justification. Justification: Five Views courageously selects five contemporary views and helpfully presents and critiques them. Each view is expounded and defended by a leading proponent and then critiqued by other contributors. Anyone interested in the current discussion about this crucial Christian doctrine must read this book. It sheds more light than heat in an area of theology almost burned over by heated polemics. Of all the 'views' books out there, this is one of the best." (Roger E. Olson, professor of theology, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University)
"A wonderfully useful book. After a superb historical survey of the issues to be debated, five influential approaches to the doctrine of justification by faith are presented and defended by credible and engaging representatives. I can think of no better introduction to these important debates than this outstanding volume." (Alister E. McGrath, King's College, London)
On Sunday at Redeemer (6/20/21) I'll teach on Jesus' Temple confrontation with the money exchangers.
I'll refer to this archaeological discovery - a "Warning sign" located in the Court of the Gentiles in Herod's temple.
See here -
Brace yourself. I am going to quote A.W. Tozer. Tozer writes:
"God in His condescending love and kindness often sends a Moses, or maybe a Joshua or an Isaiah, or in latter times a Luther or Wesley to show us that the work of the Lord is not progressing. Times are bad in the kingdom and getting worse. The tendency is to settle into a rut, and we must get out of it...
Someone says, “Let’s form a committee to consider it.” The Baptist preacher Dr. Vance Havner says, “A committee is a company of the incompetent chosen by the unwilling to do the unnecessary.” Perhaps he stated that a little too radically." (Tozer, Rut, Rot, or Revival: The Problem of Change and Breaking Out of the Status Quo, Kindle Locations 174-176)
And yet... I suspect many of my pastoral colleagues, who have inherited Business Model Churches, will agree.
Tozer admits a committee may, under certain circumstances, be helpful. But when times are bad and the church is in a spiritual rut, let's form a committee?
My book on leadership is Leading the Presence-Driven Church.
The alternative to the Business Model Church is the Discerning Community. See Ruth Haley Barton, Pursuing God's Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups.