Thursday, January 31, 2008

A couple o' links

One of my former teachers, Sam Logan, is now a faculty member and special counsel to the seminary president at Biblical Seminary.

This was a fascinating article on church discipline in the Wall Street Journal (HT: JT).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Carl Trueman on evangelicalism

Brilliant. Again. The key section:

I refuse the binary opposition which makes me either an evangelical first, last and only; or a denominationalist who sits in his study taking supercilious potshots at those who do their best to share the gospel with those who need to hear it. Bog standard evangelicalism: I love it; I owe almost everything to it; and I am saddened at the way it has slowly but surely been evacuated of all of its basic and beautiful theology by those who are interested in drawing pay checks and power from its institutions, and performing on its stages, while at the same time dripping spittle on its theological heritage, from the doctrine of the Trinity to justification by grace through faith as understood by the Protestant confessional consensus to basic biblical teaching on homosexuality. And, of course, the problem with these charlatans is not simply a lack of theology; it is a lack of integrity.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Rich Get Richer, no. 2

The Mets apparently land Johann Santana from the Twins in exchange four prospects. This hurts worse than Duke Divinity School getting all that money.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Rich Get Richer, no. 1

Duke Divinity School gets $14 million for a new program on sustaining leaders.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tony Dungy's Back

While the Colts fan in me rejoiced that Tony Dungy's coming back for another season as head coach, Bob Kravitz's column in today's Indianapolis Star raises some good questions--is Dungy being hypocritical in trying to commute between Indianapolis and Tampa to make his family's life work? Of course, one could ask the question whether being a head coach of a NFL team--a demanding position that has twice forced Joe Gibbs into retirement and seems to have wrecked havoc in Andy Reid's family--is really conducive to being a good father, period.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Southern Baptist Evangelists on "Calvinism"

I thought this was an interesting article for two reasons: 1) the article claims that LifeWay Research suggests that 29% of recent SBC seminary grads self-identify as Calvinists; 2) the evangelists are bother both by Calvinism and "Willow Creek-style evangelism" (whatever that is).

What I think these brothers should really be concerned about is that their style of "mass evangelism" is going the way of the buggy whip, eight-track cassette, and floppy disk.

When 29% of all Covenant Seminary grads plant churches as the most effective means of evangelism, and when the PCA has 160 mission churches in existence at any one time, what is suggests is that Calvinists (or at least Presbyterian Calvinists) "do evangelism," but they evangelize in connection with the local church and new church development. It would be interesting to see if these figures (and rationales) are similar for these recent SBC seminary grads.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sad Times

As readers of this blog know, I am an Indianapolis Colts fan and a huge Scott Rolen fan. That's why the past weekend was so sad: first to see the Colts throw and fumble away a chance to play their eternal nemeses, the Pats and Captain Hoody; then to receive the final news that the Cardinals have traded away Rolen to the Toronto Blue Jays for Troy Glaus.

The Colts' loss was inexplicable to me on so many levels--they dominated the game on the offensive side of the ball, but repeatedly failed to punch it into the end zone; they came in with the 3rd best pass defense in the NFL and let Billy Volek beat them on the final drive; they wasted an excellent game from Peyton when their receivers couldn't manage to catch key passes (looking at you, Dallas Clark).

The Rolen trade was more excplicable, but only on the level of the Rolen-LaRussa feud. This is the second time Rolen has been traded because he couldn't get along with the manager (in Philly, it was Larry Bowa). While these managers seem to bear a similar personality type (i.e. hard-charging, no-nonesense, pain in the, um, necks), still Rolen's job is to go out and play. To lose a defensive player of Rolen's ability is going to be larger than my favorite Cards website thinks. Glaus has not exactly been the man of steel throughout his career either (although he has a little help from Mr. Ste' Roid at times); how will the Cards feel about playing Brendan Ryan at 3rd for a good chunk of the season if/when Glaus goes down? Granting the same concerns about Rolen, still the devil you know...

The Pyramid of Success?

This news demonstrates that the NCAA has simply way too much time on their hands. Perhaps they'll investigate me next.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Should be children be taught to pray?

This is an interesting set of reflections from John Piper. They actually strike me as providing a pretty strong case for applying the sign of the covenant (baptism) to a child.

After all, if you are going to 1) admit that you cannot know when a child is regenerate; and 2) treat the child as though they have covenant responsibilities which arise from belonging to a Christian family (or in Piper's language "treat them as a believer"); then 3) applying the sign of entrance into the covenant community (i.e. baptism), a sign that authenticates (or "seals") God's gospel promises for him and invites him to respond by faith, makes a whole lot of biblical sense.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Most influential biographies

Michael Haykin has posted an interesting thought exercise. I thought it was interesting how similar and how different some of our choices would be. Here is my list of nine (in order):

1. D. G. Hart, Defending the Faith (an intellectual biography of J. Gresham Machen)
2. Iain Murray, Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography.
3. Andrew Dallimore, George Whitefield, 2 vols.
4. Iain Murray, D. Martryn Lloyd-Jones, 2 vols.
5. J. I. Robertson, Jr., Stonewall Jackson.
6. Michael Hall, The Last American Puritan (a biography of Increase Mather)
7. Rudolph Nelson, The Making and Unmaking of an Evangelical Mind (an intellectual biography of E. J. Carnell)
8. H. G. C. Moule, Charles Simeon
9. A. T. Robertson, Life and Letters of John A. Broadus

It is interesting to me that I couldn't, in good conscience, listed a number of academic biographies that I enjoyed, but that didn't impact me (I'm thinking here particularly of Harry Stout's A Divine Dramatist and George Marsden's Jonathan Edwards: A Life). Since I've read all the books I've listed multiple times, I would consider these my most impactful, influential, and important. And I still believe that D. G. Hart's biography on Machen is simply the finest book I have ever read--a model intellectual biography in every sense of the word.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008