Saturday, December 31, 2005

Jeopardy No. 1

Carrie Newcomer's Regulars and Refugees.
Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage.
J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

What was in my bag as I left Borders this afternoon?

Friday, December 30, 2005

Dabney review: Reformation 21

There is a new review of my Robert Lewis Dabney at Reformation 21, the on-line magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. The review, written by Stephen R. Berry, a recent grad from Duke's Ph.D. program in historical theology, is very generous and kind.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Is the Reformation Over?

This is one of the books that I intend to finish over Christmas break, in between all the grading I have to do. I've gotten through the first three chapters and have found it fairly disappointing. One of the best reviews that I've read on this book is one by my friend and Westminster Seminary prof, Carl Trueman.

What makes Carl's review so intriguing is the larger issues of Christian (and Presbyterian and Reformed) identity that it raises. One of the problems with the "evangelical" construct--when viewed outside of historic denominations--is that there is no shared creed or rituals to define oneself over against a historic body such as Roman Catholicism. As a result, as Carl's points out, comparing "evangelicalism" over against "Catholicism" really is comparing apples and oranges.

What this cries out for is a renewed emphasis upon Presbyterian (and Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist) identity. Only as we well-learn our own historic confessional and liturgical positions will be able to dialogue meaningfully with other communions. Even more, as we learn our historic commitments, we will be able to see points of continuity and contrast in the larger historical development of the Christian tradition in ways that will give a new sense of charity as well as a better position of critique.

If I have more thoughts on the book when I'm done reading it, I may come back and post further...

James Dungy's death

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Dungy family upon the death of their son, James. He was the 18 year-old son of Indianapolis Colts' head coach, Tony Dungy. Every one who knows about Coach Dungy knows about his strong Christian testimony, his long involvement with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and his ministry in the communities of both Tampa and Indy.

Even more, to lose a child in this fashion--by suicide--can only be devestating. As we come near Christmas day, one cannot help but think of Matthew 2 and the weeping of Bethlehem's mothers because of Herod's slaughter of their children. The Gospel writer quotes the OT, "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more" (Matthew 2:18). The weeping that these mothers knew is the kind of weeping the Dungys know now.

It's my prayer that the Dungy family will find the consolation of the Christ child, who came to bind up wounded hearts and set prisoners free.

An especially moving piece on this situation is Bob Kravitz's column in the Indy Star.

New blog

Well, I decided to come back into the blogosphere as part of my new website. I'm not sure how often I'll post, but I wanted at least to get this going. Please check back or bookmark me and I'll try to have some things to say.