Tag Archives: justin taylor

Sexual Hysteria: Douglas Wilson Gets Shouted Down at Indiana University

Justin Taylor blogged this yesterday; Denny Burk, my colleague at Boyce College, then posted it on his own blog.  It is nothing less than shocking.  Watch the full lectures for free here, and witness how Douglas Wilson, pastor from Moscow, Idaho, is treated.  Here you see where the cultural elite are going in terms of morality and homosexuality.

Those of us who have grown up in a relatively tolerant country should buckle up.  Things are not going to get easier for Christians in the West who love the gospel and exercise their conscience in public.  Pray hard.  Put on the armor of Christ.  Trust a great God.  Weep for people who are offering themselves as sacrifices to Satan.

And by the way–when you engage sinners lost in their sin, remember Wilson’s example: bold, clear, winsome, witty, and able to take a punch.

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Band of Bloggers 2012 Audio Available: Bethke, Elephant Room & Trayvon

Audio from the 2012 Band of Bloggers panel is now live and listenable.  Justin Taylor, Collin Hansen, Tim Challies, and Timmy Brister all contributed wisdom to a diverse array of topics.  I moderated the panel.  We had a blast.

Here was the event’s central topic:

Six years ago, two movements began to gain significant traction–blogging and the young, restless, and reformed. Additionally, 2006 was the inauguration of the Band of Bloggers fellowship, and since that time God has brought gospel rental in many ways to evangelical life, including the development of organizations like Together for the Gospel and The Gospel Coalition, the upsurge of gospel literature in publishing houses, the growth of church planting and revitalization networks, and continued reformation in local churches. Throughout this period, the role of the internet, blogging, and advances in technology have played no small role. At the 2012 Band of Bloggers gathering, we will take a look back at the past six years and consider the impact–good and bad–of blogging and technology in the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement.

Apparently there’s been some dustup over the panel’s discussion of the Elephant Room.  I’m not sure I see the point, but I’ll invite you to listen in and form your own opinion.  I thought there were many helpful takeaways from the four panelists.

 

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A Startling Word from Mark Dever on False Conversions

Justin Taylor is live-blogging Together for the Gospel, which is quite a feat given the extensive content yielded by this outstanding conference.  Yesterday, he summarized Mark Dever’s message on “False Conversion,” which included the following.  It’s well worth pondering as a pastor and a Christian.

“In reading through the NT, there are five summary truths that were being distorted in NT times and are still being distorted again—on these we must be especially clear on:

  1. God’s judgment is coming (2 Peter 3). You can easily fill a church with people who will follow their own evil desires. Avoiding the doctrine of hell is one step away from denying it altogether.
  2. We should be judged by God. It’s not just out there for someone. We need to feel our own helplessness. God is good and we are not. We need to understand and teach clearly our natural state and indisposition—we love darkness rather than light. This will preserve us from the idea that if we just fiddle with stuff enough, things will be successful. Meditate on Ezekiel 3. Don’t deny or downplay natural human lostness. We cannot deserve—but Someone Else has deserved for us. He who thinks lightly of sin will think lightly of the Savior.
  3. Our only hope is in Christ. We must trust in Christ—who he is and what he is done. We cannot be converted through our own works. The bodily resurrection is an essential part of our message. Without Christ’s person and work, you can make “converts” but you will not have a Christian church. When we get this right, we begin offending and attracting all the right people. Only true converts respond to the truth about Jesus Christ.
  4. We don’t see the fullness of our salvation in this life. Christ’s death and resurrection secure forgiveness—but it’s not true that salvation is mainly for this life only. There is a blessed hope—the glorious appearing. If only for this life we have hope, we are to be pitied for all men (1 Cor. 15:19). Wanting health and happiness is not the same as repentance. We need to see Christ as worth more than all worldly treasure.
  5. We can deceive ourselves and others about our relationship with God. It’s counter-intuitive in our culture, but clear in the Bible. Please teach this! How would your congregation understand 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

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Os Guinness in Chicago, Jonathan Edwards, and Baptist21 Events

Socrates in the City is very cool.  And it’s coming to Chicago on May 6, 2010.

The program is “pre-evangelism”, aimed at cultural influencers interested in thoughtful conversation on matters of faith, the mind, and public life.  Based in New York City and led by evangelical public intellectual Eric Metaxas, the program is utterly unique and highly exciting.  It’s featured speakers like Sir John Polkinghorne, Francis Collins, Alister McGrath, and Robby George.  Basically, it rocks.

Here’s the info about the May 6th event in Chicago:

Please join host Eric Metaxas and special guest Dr. Os Guinness, author of The Call and more than twenty other books, who will speak on the topic: “Can Freedom Last Forever?: The Framers’ Forgotten Question and How We Are Doing Today”.

Date: May 6th

Wine and Cheese Reception from 6:30 pm till 7:00 pm

Speaking will begin at 7:00 pm SHARP

Dr. Guinness will sign copies of his books at 8:30 pm

Location: University Club of Chicago

(76 E. Monroe Street)

VPs accepted day of event)

Register for the event here.

So there you have it–Socrates is coming to the Windy City.

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Stephen Nichols on the strange unitive power of Jonathan Edwards.  It’s pretty remarkable when you actually think about the diverse patrons of the Edwardsean mind and ministry…

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Carl Trueman has the sharpest pen in evangelicalism.  In a recent essay (HT: JT) entitled “Life on the Cultic Fringe”, he takes aim at those who worry over what the world thinks about the church.  His words are strong but needed.  Read the whole piece.

Further, if the world finds me and mine ridiculous, then I can only respond by saying that I do not find the world’s views on a whole host of things particularly judicious or impressive either.  I switch on my TV each night and see politicians behaving like cheap backstreet hucksters; I see `celebrities’ living lives that would make a porn star blush and being applauded for so doing; I watch talk shows where people take seriously the soppy psychobabble of numerous numpties; I stand on the touchline at kids’ sporting events and see parents coming to blows over a refereeing decision in a game involving kids, for goodness sake; and I look at the great, self-important, self-righteous contemporary critics of the church and note the contempt they have shown in their own lives for their marriages and for those they were meant to love and honour, and even for those with whom they disagree within their own guilds. None of these things means that everything the world does and thinks is automatically wrong; but it inclines me to take the world’s wisdom with a pinch of salt and not be too worried if they find me `unloving’ or they dismiss my church when she refuses to conform to their view of reality simply because they tell me it is true. That kind of capitulation to powerful personalities and guilds is indeed where cults, on the Trueman definition, begin.

This is a helpful counter to those who suggest that the world has the right to act as some kind of imperious and abstract judge over the church.  That’s simply not the case.

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Timmy Brister has video from Tony Kummer from Band of Bloggers.  The event was really fun and typically well-done.  I continue to submit that it is strange that no one live-blogged it.  It’s like going to a conference on tables without any tables…

(I’ll let you chew on that one for a while.  Deep thoughts.)

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Check out upcoming Baptist21 events.  Exciting stuff…

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Band of Bloggers at Together for the Gospel

Have you heard about the upcoming Band of Bloggers event at Together for the Gospel in just under a month’s time?  Timmy Brister, the event’s planner, recently announced it.  Here’s the essential information:

The theme for this year’s meeting is Internet Idolatry and Gospel Fidelity.” With the advent of new media and the increasing influence of technology on our lives, it is important to address the relationship of the gospel to technology, especially the areas where we are tempted with idolatrous desire (power, identity, influence, acceptance, control, etc.).  While the internet, with all of its platforms (such as blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can be a powerful tool to leverage our lives for the gospel impact, we want to examine our hearts to bring to light the various ways in which the idol factory of our hearts challenges and subverts the very gospel which we long to embrace.

The format for this year’s gathering will be similar to last year.  We will begin with a catered lunch, listen to 4 speakers address a subtopic on the theme, and transition to a moderated panel discussion with questions fielded from attendees.  The guys I have asked to speak this year are: Justin Taylor, Jonathan McIntosh, Trevin Wax, and Jared Wilson. I am thrilled that these guys have agreed to lead the discussion, and I believe you will be blessed and challenged by their contributions to this important topic.

The meeting will take place at The Galt House (the Archibald Room) on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 from 11:00am-12:45pm.  The Galt House is located just two blocks away from the Louisville Convention Center and is connected to the Center via a skywalk.  Due to limited seating, we encourage you to register early as every BoB gathering to date has reached capacity prior to the event. Registration for this gathering is $25 and simply covers the cost of the catered lunch.

This is exciting news.  I’m thrilled to be a small part of this event through moderating the panel.  I’m also looking forward to the free books that Timmy magically procures for this event year-after-year.  I haven’t seen any hard figures, but I’ve heard that those who pay the $25 cover will receive around $200 worth of free books.  If that is not economics working for you, show me what is.

If you’ll be at T4G, make it a part of your plans to come to BoB.  It’s a very fun gathering and is a rare opportunity for the blogging community to get together.  Hope to see you there in a few weeks’ time.

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Christian Hipster Cities, Oxford Scholarships, and Clint Eastwood Movies

I came across a fun and informal piece recently on the “Top Ten Cities for Christian Hipsters”.  A fun read.  The author’s not trying to be scientific.  Number one city?  Chicago.  Figures.

It’s interesting to play this off of a recent post by an Acts29 pastor featured on the blog of Justin Taylor that wondered out loud why more young guys aren’t targeting broken cities and aging demographics.  There’s something to be said for that.  I like the whole “cities drive culture and are very important thing”; I may end up ministering in a city–who knows?  But everyone needs the gospel, right?  Desperately, right?  Detroit needs the gospel; Cleveland needs the gospel; all of the Rust Belt does.  Everyone everywhere does (with unreached peoples taking priority, hopefully).

Bill Streger’s blog is worth quoting and chewing on:

It’s amazing how many young pastors feel that they are distinctly called to reach the upwardly-mobile, young, culture-shaping professionals and artists. Can we just be honest? Young, upper-middle-class urban professionals have become the new “Saddleback Sam”.

It can’t completely surprise many of us hard-driving, culture-engaging church guys that we, want to reach, well, upwardly mobile culture-makers, can it?  This doesn’t mean we discontinue or sneer at the new evangelical urbanism; far from it.  It does mean, though, that we think critically about it, in my opinion.

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Oxford University is offering a sweet three-year PhD fellowship in theology.  Check that baby out, ambitious young would-be Christian scholars.  Thanks to the Oxford don (and sage blogger and Jonathan Edwards buff) Michael McLenahan for the link.

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The New Yorker takes a look at the films of Clint Eastwood.  I found Gran Torino quite moving.  My wife did too, though she thought Dirty Harry’s cinematic vision was a little dark.  It is.

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Do you want to live in Tokyo?  Do you have $750,000?  I have just the place for you.

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Must-read piece by Nicholas Kristof on how an eight-year-old Yemeni girl was forced into marriage.  There are some foundational differences between societies possessing, in some form or manner, Christian roots, and those possessing Islamic roots.  While we’re on must-read NYT columns, David Brooks has a marvelous column up about the remarkable spirit of Norwegians.  If that is not a tantalizing hook, just trust me and read it.

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John Piper Tunes in and So Can You: The Henry Center Website Report

Piper-Carson 066

An update from the Henry Center on its website.  We’ve been pushing the site in recent days, and it’s great to give a very brief public report:

What do folks like John Piper, Justin Taylor, Millard Erickson, and Thabiti Anyabwile have in common?

Answer: They all check the HCTU website and listen to its content.

Plenty of other folks have been, too. Let us give you some exciting stats that show how successful the year has been for the Center:

  • Over 100 people tuned in via webcast for the Ravi Zacharias lecture
  • Top five pages on the HCTU site in the last year: 1) Media, 2) Blog, 3) Trinity Debates, 4) Piper-Carson, 5) Scripture & Ministry
  • In the last year, between 15,000 and 20,000 unique visitors have browsed the site (!)
  • Traffic on the site in general is up nearly 200% from previous years
  • Over 1000 people watched the Ware-Grudem debate from one year ago, including people from Australia, Germany, China, and numerous other countries

There’s a snapshot for you.  We at the Center want you to know that we are committed to providing excellent content, offered for free, that will benefit the Lord’s church as it seeks knowledge of God, understanding of the Almighty, in pursuit of His maximal glory.

So please–keep checking the site, and encourage others to do the same.  We’re thankful that folks like John Piper, Justin Taylor, Millard Erickson, Thabiti Anyabwile, and you are doing just that.

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Plenty more to come in coming days: a Rich Mouw lecture, a debate on evangelism of the Jewish community, and a conference in July 2010 in Tokyo, among many other things.

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The Link 10.24.09: Evangel, Warren Buffett’s Money, and Vanhoozer on Pastor-Theologians

1. First Things is now hosting a cool blog of evangelicals talking about public square issues in an accessible way.  It’s called evangel, and it features folks like Justin Taylor, Russ Moore, and more.

2. A NYT profile of Warren Buffett’s son Howard, who is presently finding ways to spend billions of dollars for philanthropic causes.

3. Kevin Vanhoozer recently dropped the following gem at the Renewing the Evangelical Mission conference at Gordon-Conwell (HT: JT):

Seminary faculties need the courage to be evangelically Protestant for the sake of forming theological interpreters of Scripture able to preach and minister the word. The preacher is a “man on a wire,” whose sermons must walk the tightrope between Scripture and the contemporary situation. I believe that we should preparing our best students for this gospel ministry. The pastor-theologian, I submit, should be evangelicalism’s default public intellectual, with preaching the preferred public mode of theological interpretation of Scripture. 

4. Speaking of the conference mentioned above, the Washington Post wrote it up.  Worth reading.

5. One journeyman NBA player’s travels.  Fun to read about.

–Have a great weekend, all.

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The Link 9.4.09: 16 Straight Field Goals, Health Care, and 36 Hours in Zagreb

crawford

Got alot of good stuff for you today:

1,I’m pretty sure that you’ve never seen anything like this.  16 STRAIGHT FIELD GOALS by Jamal Crawford back in 2007.  It is a masterpiece performance by a supremely talented but enigmatic performer.

2. Speaking of Crawford, check out his dribbling skill.  He comes into the video somewhere around the 2:00 mark, and though he’s taking it easy, his “handle” is incredible.

3. Now that I have lulled you with masterful basketball videos, I proceed to up the ante.  Justin Taylor linked to this excellent piece on the problems with universal health care.  It’s long, sad, and devastating to the case for UHC.  Remember: it is good for Christians to think about these things.  We don’t care just about the afterlife (though it is central).  It’s good to think hard about difficult things.  We need to train ourselves to do so.

4. Unemployment is slowing.  Just thought you might want to know. 

5. 36 hours in Zagreb, Croatia.  Sounds pretty cool. 

6. My family and I were almost hit by a driver texting on their phone yesterday.  The NYT has an article up on a new PSA video that’s taking the web by storm.  Let me say it here, publicly: if you hit my car and injure my child because you’re texting on your phone, there will be consequences…

7. The Henry Center is webcasting the Kantzer Lectures in Revealed Theology with Stephen Williams this coming week.  If you like heady theology, you will want to tune in.  You can also follow HCTU Hansen Fellow Andy Naselli’s live-blogging on the ramped-up HCTU blog.

8. Mike Anderson has a good series over at The Resurgence going on the mission of Jesus.  Mike, as with alot of the Resurgence/Mars Hill Church/Acts29 guys, writes with clarity and punch.  Good stuff.

9. Collin Hansen has a typically thoughtful piece on young evangelicals and their approach to culture.  Check it out.

–Have a great weekend, all.  If you get a little free time, work on your dribbling.

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Sweeney’s “Jonathan Edwards”: Must-Buy

sweeneyedwardsThe Director of the Henry Center, Doug Sweeney, a friend and mentor, has authored an important text entitled Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word (InterVarsity, July 2009). The book covers the life and Word-centered ministry of the colonial pastor-theologian, a subject area in which Sweeney has already produced numerous important works, including Volume Twenty-Three of the prestigious Yale Works of Edwards series.

The text’s 200 pages stretch over seven chapters that each address an aspect of Edwards’s biblically based ministry.  The writing style is characteristically Sweeney: clear, thick, vivid, and doxological.  Readers of all kinds–pastors, laypeople, Edwards devotees, and even the uninitiated–will benefit greatly from Sweeney’s comprehensive grasp of the Edwardsean corpus and his ability to distill that knowledge for readers.

This is historical theology for the church.  The book succeeds in repositioning Edwards as, first and foremost, a minister of the Word.  Sweeney calls for an Edwardsean conception of the pastorate–that is, a rich pulpit ministry centered on the Bible that cannot help but fill ordinary Christian living with the glory and grandeur of the gospel.

This is an important book, one that promises to transform modern conceptions of the pastorate.  The text will also permanently affect one’s understanding of both Jonathan Edwards and the Christian life.  Aside from George Marsden’s momentous Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale, 2003), Sweeney’s text is my favorite Edwards book.  In fact, I would actually rank this as the superior abridged treatment of Edwards over Marsden’s recent A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards (Eerdmans, 2008), a fine book in its own right.

I love Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word. I encourage anyone who cares about theology, the church, and church history to buy it.  It is the product of a distinguished scholar who loves God’s church and has devoted his own theological ministry to it.  Here’s hoping that many will purchase this text, and that a whole generation will embrace the Edwardsean model of the ministry, seeking not to be Edwards, but to be like him in his love for the Word and his concern for the spiritual transformation of his people.

Readers can purchase Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word from InterVarsity Press or Amazon.  Justin Taylor recently posted about the text.  In addition, a diverse and distinguished group of commentators has praised the text.  Selections below:

A “masterful analysis”–Harry Stout, Yale

“Admirable” and “authoritative”–George Marsden, Notre Dame

“Nourishing and tasty”–Gerald McDermott, Roanoke College

A “blessing to pastors, preachers, and spiritual leaders”–Kenneth Minkema, Yale

A “vibrant portrayal”–Sam Storms, Brideway Church

“Accessible and accurate”–Mark Dever, Capitol Hill Baptist Church

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