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BLOGWATCHING!!! It’s back too!!

It’s been a minute.  Stuff I found an interesting read……

Grace Online Library has a wonderful article entitled Sexual Purity: Restoring My Heart After Sexual Sin. It’s a good read and hopefully, it’ll be a word of encouragement to any believer in the process of turning from sexual sin.  GOL is one of my old ‘standby’ favorite reformed sites over the years. It was around long before Monergism or any of the other ones.

Speaking of Monergism, in their latest links block on the side, an article from Nicholas Batzig over at Feeding on Christ is up, entitled The Insatiable Quest for Greatness. Perfectly appropriate in an era where everyone wants to be YouTube-famous for 15 minutes.

I found Tim Hopper’s compilation-of-material blog over at ReformedDeacon.com. He’s began gathering a list of documents and materials/readings for those in the diaconate.

R.C. Sproul reminds  us of the goodness of being able to address God as Father.

Finally, Jemar Tisby just presented a session at Together for the Gospel 2016 in Louisville. The session is entitled the A.R.C. of Racial Reconciliation. He summarizes the main points here.

 

That’s it for now.

Yes, I saw James White respond on the Dividing Line. I have skimmed 30 seconds (approximately) of it and heard the whole racial primacy strawman repeated again (‘ethnic gnosticism’ is even in the title of the podcast, so….). He takes about 35 minutes responding to me, it seems (again…haven’t watched/heard the whole thing). Taking care of work things first before I take some time and dissect his response. Afterward, I’ll decide on either a print response or video response.

In addition, I’m also about to upload (A week late…lol) the preview video/trailer for the all-new TBC (Thinking Biblically Commentary Podcast). It’ll be up alongside a newly revamped Theologically Correct dot Com in a little bit.

Off to work…..

New Series on Reformed Theology…..

Posting up a new series on reformed theology on the main site.

http://theologicallycorrect.com/?p=229

Hilarity from Sacred Sandwich

HT to James White for this link:

http://sacredsandwich.com/archives/7412

Over the past 10 years, I can’t tell you how many discussions went exactly this way….

Over on Puritan Board, someone said that the author gave Arminians too much credit – they don’t quote that much scripture.

Appreciating Mark Driscoll and Theo-Cultural Blindness

Last year, John MacArthur (whom I highly respect) blasted Mark Driscoll on some comments he’d made in a previous sermon on the Song of Solomon overseas.  I also found out that in late 08 into 09, Driscoll preached a new series and also did some ‘spring cleaning’ to his website for Mars Hill – including deleting the old sermons.

A few weeks ago, while staying up insanely late grading papers (I’m took off from work today to head to a dentist appointment in 6.5 hours of writing this…which means I got sleep for about 3-4 before I went there), I gave a listen to his sermon on Birth Control.

I think, sometimes, that some well-meaning folks have been misreading Driscoll.  Someone who visited Fourth Friday Fundamentals a while back stated that ‘if you knew what he had to deal with, you’d understand why he talks the way he talks. In Seattle, this isn’t considered ‘edgy’ – it’s normal’.  Listening to one of his (Driscoll’s) comments about how he went into a store and a lady confronted him and asked him why does he have five kids (at which point the lady broke into the overpopulation argument and the lack of food argument…both of which are false), hearing about how people frequently picket his church (mostly feminist groups and homosexual groups), death threats and the like, I understand the man quite a bit more now.

I *am* glad that he’s cleaned up his language over the years.  Earlier in the decade, some of the things coming from his mouth made it pretty impossible for me to recommend him as anything more than a Christian shock-jock.  I’m glad to say (from listening to some of his more recent sermons) that he’s matured a bit, specifically since speaking at the DG Conference on the very issue of language a couple of years ago.

Mark Driscoll isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea.  If you come from a micropresbyterian denomination where you hold strictly to the RPW, don’t do much interaction on social media and/or watch anything other than FoxNews and the History Channel, Mark Driscoll *might* appear worldly to you, since he does something your church tends not to do – interact with the culture, critique it from a biblical standpoint, confront worldliness and persistent sin directly and call it what it is without selling out the gospel (versus simply cursing the darkness from inside the citadel of light you inhabit).  If you are easily offended at someone actually showing passion and emotion in their preaching…. you probably don’t like John Piper. So you probably won’t like Driscoll either.  You probably won’t care for the music at his church either.

That’s okay.   No one’s making it mandatory for you to listen to him.  But I *do* see him attacking from a pastoral perspective, a lot of tough questions and he has a tendency to nail them head on biblically.

Oh wait – now you think he’s all ‘practical’ and not doctrinal. To those folks I’ll simply say….check his sermon archive on the Mars Hill website.  He does a good job of being both biblical and practical, as good preaching should be.

Anyway, that’s my present take on the issue. I can recommend Driscoll now, even while I don’t agree with everything he does at MHC.  If his preaching is reflective of the life of the church, then Driscoll’s church is a healthy church.

No, they aren’t consistently confessional.  No, they aren’t cessationists. No, their worship doesn’t look like 1647.  At the same time, they aren’t filled with false fire (aka happy clappy), doctrinally they are within the reformed tradition and you will definitely hear the gospel every week at this church. All these things are good.

I think we forget sometimes – church men in all eras make mistakes.  The thing is, we all don’t make (or aren’t prone to make) the same mistakes.  Think for a moment if Edwards or Dabney were alive. Would you support their owning of slaves ?  No, but a lot of ‘reformed’ folks have a tendency to show grace to these men by passing off their mistakes in these areas as blind spots, the men simply being ‘products of their time’.   Their works are still recommended, read and proliferated.  Yet, these men committed heinous sins by being engaged in American (key word) slavery.  A black man considered 3/5 of a person (versus Lev. 19:18) ?

What will people from future generations look back at this generation’s Christians and say “What in the WORLD were they thinking about when they did that ?”  People look at the RPW (at least the Exclusive Psalmody aspect of it) now and think that very same thing.  People look back at Geneva and wonder what convinced the city legislature that they had the authority to execute folk for blasphemy.

Just some thoughts.

Tim Challies weighs in on Conferencegate 2010….

Tim Challies has always been a cool guy.  At T4G 08, he still gave me 2 minutes on camera, even though he normally doesn’t do video.

This is his take on the issue.  He doesn’t agree that Piper should’ve invited Warren, but he also sees a lot of the same things I do with regard to how people have been reacting to the issue…including stating that we shouldn’t ‘separate’ from Piper has some have already claimed they’d be doing.

http://www.challies.com/church/why-john-piper-should-not-have-invited-rick-warren

We also get a bit more info from Tim – he’s known about this since September 2009 (don’t you love being early in the news ?).

I’ll admit – since blogging earlier, I’ve become less enthused with the idea of Warren as speaker at the DG conference.  I still have a ‘wait and see’ attitude on the whole thing.  I think Piper has enough integrity (doctrinal) to do exactly what Tim thinks he’d do if Warren gets up there and fudges it.  Maybe I’m hoping for the best on it a bit too much and giving too much weight to what I think will happen with Warren.

On John Piper, Sabbaticals and Rick Warren

Okay, so reading the comments on John Piper’s video where he invites Rick Warren to speak at the 2010 DG National Conference, Piper already predicted a firestorm of controversy for his decision.

Boy was he right.

This happens to come right on the heels of him announcing a nine-month sabbatical to work on his marriage and devote more time to his family. So some people are suspecting it’s a combination of poor judgement in all areas of his life which are leading to the ‘step down’ (just read the comments onthe video above).

Some, like Lane Chaplin, have expressed no further desire to support JP.

Others are simply decrying the decision as poor judgement.

Some are ready to toss Piper to the wolves, as they’ve been calling Piper things such as a ‘Trojan Horse‘ for years now.

I find it a bit interesting that Piper’s topic at Together for the Gospel 2010 (which I won’t be attending) is “Did Jesus Preach the Gospel of Evangelicalism ?“, which, in light of the theme of The Unadjusted Gospel, seems rather contradictory.  Why invite a man to speak at your national conference who actually preaches the very thing that you’re going to be speaking against at T4G ?

Upon giving Piper a listen, I *think* I have a fair idea of what Piper is up to.  It’s real simple.

Listen carefully to what he says to Rick Warren and what he asks Rick Warren to preach on.

When I wrote him, here’s what I said. And he’ll probably watch this video too. I said, “The conference is called ‘THINK: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. I want you to come. You are the most well-known pragmatist pastor in the world. I don’t think you are a pragmatist at root. Come and tell us why thinking biblically matters to you in your amazingly pragmatic approach to ministry.” I want him to lay his cards on the table. I want him to tell us what makes him tick, because he does come across in much of what he says and does as very results oriented and pragmatic and not theologically driven. And yet, I met him for the first time last year at Ralph Winter’s funeral in Pasadena. And we sat beside each other on the platform for three hours. I like him because he sings. And he sings badly. And anybody who’s willing to sing and sings badly — I like him. And we were talkin’ beforehand and he said to me, “I’m reading all the works of Jonathan Edwards this year. I pick a great theologian every year and I read all of his collected works. I’m on volume 17 of the Yale series of Jonathan Edward’s works.” You’ve got to be kidding me. Nothin’ you have ever said would incline me to think . . . *CROWD LAUGHTER – TEE HEE!* So, these guys are gonna go interview him tomorrow, I think. So you can quote some of these things. I do think he is deeply theological. He is a brilliant man. He wouldn’t have the church he does or the PEACE plan or, uh, all the influence he does and of course the greatest sentence in the Purpose Driven Life is the first one, isn’t it? “It’s not about you; it’s about God.” The glory of God. So, I don’t think he’s emergent. At root I believe he is theological, and doctrinal, and sound. And, what makes him tick? Actively in doing church? Uh, I intend to find out. So, I like him. And I’m frustrated by some of his stuff.”

Folks like Michael Horton have interacted with Warren in the past and share the same theological concerns that Piper does in his last sentence here.

What was Piper thinking ?

I’m guessing the following:

1. For all the people who say Piper’s lost it, think for a moment.  The man has written the best present-day exegetical defense of Romans 9:1-23.  As a single author, he’s probably devoted more work toward answering the errors of N.T. Wright regarding the New Perspective.  He’s not stupid.   So when John Piper says “I think he’s sound”, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and not try to disown him as some have tried to do in their talks.  Piper wouldn’t invite, for example, Joel Osteen to speak at DG.  Why ? Simple – Osteen wouldn’t quote from the WCF.  Osteen also wouldn’t read Edwards (or any other theologian for that matter). Warren at least has degrees from Fuller (when it was still moderately biblical) and Southwestern.  So he has demonstrated the very thing Piper says he suspects of him.   Of course, he’s also contradicted the bulk of that in many of his talks, which brings me to point #2:

2. Piper’s question and speaking topic are HEAVILY loaded and quite blatant.  If Warren answers them honestly and from the suspected ‘theological’ basis sitting underneath of what he claims to privately believe, then he will end up refuting a good 99% of what he’s written in Purpose Driven Church and at least 80% of Purpose Driven Life.

3. Piper’s opening up larger dialogue with Warren and challenging him to grow here. He’s doing what some people say they would do if they had the chance.  He’s doing the opposite of simply spitting and cursing at the darkness – he’s lighting a candle here.

I think it’s a brilliant move and a brilliant gamble on Piper’s part.    Having 2-3 extra days to think on it, I’m not sure it will work, as Warren has proven himself to be a bit of a chameleon (and I’ve been around some of his disciples who do the same).  Part of the reason for that, of course, is that they never stop to think deeply about the implications of the doctrines of grace (or theology in general) and simply file away doctrinal truths as facts.

Piper’s invitation cuts to the heart of that sort of thinking.  I’m waiting to see what the outcome will be in Warren’s speech.

Meanwhile, instead of damning Pastor John as some have done, take the time and pray for him.  Ministry is a hard job and many armchair theologians are a bit too quick to hit the ‘submit’ button on their blogs, but not submit their thinking to a theology of grace regarding others.   At worst, treat him as a brother caught in sin and pray for his repentance.  At best, pray that his intentions for inviting Warren have the desired effect and help to bring Warren face to face with bankruptcy of his own pragmatism.

Blogwatching: Everyone’s a Minister ? Really ?

R. Scott Clark of WTS-California thinks not.  Here’s why:

http://heidelblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/15/ministers-all/

This can even kinda make me rethink the existence of this website (and others like it).

Blogwatching: The Manhattan Declaration….Signing It…or Not ?

I haven’t done a blogwatching in a LONG time.

Two very well respected men (Al Mohler and John MacArthur) have come down on opposite sides of the fence on the issue of the Manhanttan Declaration.

For those hiding under a rock, read it here:
http://manhattandeclaration.org/images/content/ManhattanDeclaration.pdf

The document calls for cultural co-beligerency between Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants to deal with three major social ills that are symptomatic of our present society’s downfall (at least in the US and most of the west).

MacArthur: Why I didn’t sign it

Mohler: Why I signed it

So far, quite a few of my favorite folks….. have both signed and abstained. I’m waiting to hear from John Piper on the issue.

Meanwhile, we’re talking it up on LDM. Come join us. Would YOU sign the document ? Why or why not ?

T4G 2008 and Band of Bloggers 08′

I’ve been buried underneath of grad school stuff so much recently that I haven’t had a chance to even talk about my anticipation of attending Together for the Gospel 08‘ and Band of Bloggers 08‘. They’ve added Thabiti Anyabwile as a speaker, which was (in my opinion) an excellent choice.  I don’t think they would’ve went wrong with either Sherard Burns, Voddie Bachum or Anthony Carter as well.

I’m currently reading Thabiti’s latest work, The Decline of African-American Theology.  If you haven’t seen it, check out the links to reviews for it on Thabiti’s site.  Nice historical overview of how the black church has ended up where it currently is as well as a good review (historical and theological) of where it came from.  I’m not that far into the book yet, but it is excellent and easy reading for whatever level of understanding you’re at in terms of theological discussion.

Off to sleep for a bit.  The days are running shorter (especially since I *LOSE* an hour with daylight savings time this weekend….).

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