Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
The second book is also a collection of essays titled John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology, another great book about the great Geneva reformer. Of particular interest is chapter two, by Derek Thomas, which is a biography of Calvin that answers the question, "Who was John Calvin?" This book stands out from the multitude of recent Calvin titles in that it was written for the layperson. Listen to us discuss these two books with Burk here.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
As the saints leave their houses each and every Lord's Day morning and assemble with the rest of God's people, both on earth and in heaven, they are making a much louder statement to the world than a fish emblem on their bumpers ever will (even one that is swallowing the Darwin fish with legs). Our goal, then, must be the exact opposite of what many churches -- both evangelical and liberal -- are attempting to do: "The [church's] theological task is not merely the interpretive matter of translating Jesus into modern categories but rather to translate the world to him. The theologian's job is not to make the gospel credible to the modern world, but to make the modern world credible to the gospel. And that's new."
Could it be, therefore, that when the faithfully-preached gospel of our dying and rising God seems irrelevant to modern man, it is man, and not God, who is irrelevant?
HT: Chris Larson
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Scholars have concluded that union with Christ is centrally important to Calvin's thought. But how does this idea actually function in his theology? In three wide-ranging case studies Mark A. Garcia explores this question.
After a discussion of historical and theological background, Garcia explains the way Calvin understands the Apostle Paul to connect good works to eternal life in the context of union with Christ. The next study then turns to the relationship of Christology and pneumatology in sacramental union or communion with Christ. In the third study the author investigates the role of Christ, the Spirit, and the Eucharist in Calvin's critique of Andreas Osiander's views of justifying union with Christ. The result is a comprehensive and yet focused analysis.
This book attempts to explains not only the distinctive nature of Calvin's response to Rome on justification, but why this response must be carefully distinguished from that of his Lutheran counterparts. The fruit of these investigations is the first extensive demonstration that Calvin's exposition of union with Christ in relating justification and sanctification points to an emerging Reformed theology of justification that diverges from the Lutheran tradition. Calvin's exegetical and theological model of union with Christ accents the importance in the early Reformed tradition of the relationship between Christology and salvation.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I have frequently heard well meaning ministers and theologians discourage young theological students by insisting that they must understand that they are not of the caliber of the great theologians of church history...John Calvin was only 27 when he published his first edition of the Institutes, and he had been a Christian for just one year. If we say, “Yes, but that was John Calvin,” are we not trusting the man rather than to the One who gives gifts to men? Young men must be humble, but, by all means, they must use the gifts God has given them for the building up of the church. The apostle Paul certainly taught accordingly when he wrote to Timothy, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1 Tim 4:12).” It is incumbent upon older ministers and theologians to actively promote the gifts they see, however seemingly small they may be, in younger ministers.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
After a long (I am told) stretch of heavy-drinking and thinking things over, he seems to have tired of making sense of the world from his old Christian perspective - in the words of his song "Bearing Witness":
Too full of fear and prophecy to seeBazan's first solo album since disbanding Pedro the Lion is a fascinating picture, really. Whether you are a believer or an agnostic, as Bazan claims to have become, the album gives a rare glimpse inside the heart and mind of someone who has given up believing in something - or more properly, someone - whom most of his life was built upon. Many of his fans are heartily applauding Bazan's decision to "come out" as it were and make his unbelief publicly known. But many others, it seems, appear to be in a great deal of denial because they still like the thought that they're listening to a Christian singer/songwriter.
The revelation right in front of me
So sick and tired of trying to make the pieces fit
Cause it's not what bearing witness is
In many respects, the problems Bazan expresses with his old Christian way of thinking seem to be with the weightier and more difficult questions which many have wrestled with. In his song appropriately titled "When We Fell":
With the threat of hellThis question Bazan is wrestling with here refers to the Fall and the ultimate question of how it happened. In the last line quoted, Bazan seems to be casting an accusation God's way, implying that the Fall may have been rigged and caused by God. John Gerstner has called this an "unsolvable" question, and even referred to it as "the greatest theological problem in the entire Word of God." This is a question I have wrestled with, myself. Without saying too much, I am convinced that a question like this has acceptable or unacceptable answers, depending on your presuppositions.
Hanging over my head like a halo
I was meant to believe in a couple of beautiful truths
That eventually had the effect of completely unraveling
A powerful curse put on me by you
When you set the table
When you chose the scale
Did you write a riddle
That you knew they would fail?
Did you make them tremble
So they would tell the tale
Did you push us when we fell?
Other times, Bazan's problem is as simple as just not believing what the Bible says.
I clung to miracles I have not seenMusically, the album is very exciting; the first half of the album was not at all what I was expecting. I mean, it's not as major of a departure from the norm as Derek Webb's new album was for him, but I certainly was surprised by the steep contrast between the weighty subject matter and the pleasantly upbeat (for the most part) songs. With bright Beach Boys-esque melodies and triumhant synths, this album will please those looking for something more than a slow-core plod through the mud. But there's also plenty of slower numbers for those who hate to see their favorite artist depart too far from the norm (esp. "Curse Your Branches" and "Harmless Sparks").
From ancient autographs I cannot read
And though I've repented I'm still tempted, I admit
But it's not what bearing witness is
In the end, though Bazan is now officially "out" as an agnostic, it seems that he is still unable to entirely able to remove God from the picture; after all, he has a daughter, and she has questions:
I might as well admit it
Like I've even got a choice
The crew have killed the captain
But they still can hear his voice
A shadow on the water
A whisper in the wind
On long walks my with daughter
Who is lately full of questions
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
When the TNIV first surfaced, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood emphatically criticized the CBT's translation choices in numerous places, especially relating to gender-neutral language. We believe that a flawed translation philosophy resulted in the TNIV presenting English readers with an unjustified rendering of the gender language of the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of the Bible. It is our sincere hope that this new revision of the NIV will do better. We await the new product of the CBT with expectancy. And when we have the opportunity, we will review it for the larger Christian public with rigor and charity.
I especially appreciate that Zondervan and Biblica have both privately and publically acknowledged that they made serious mistakes of process, and that the CBT has committed itself to re-examine the gender-related changes that appeared in the TNIV. This is a welcome and humble approach.
Dr. D. G. Hart has the following to say about this new book from Reformation Trust.
The subject of Christ and culture has never been as popular among conservative Protestants in the United States as it is today, and the topic has never needed as much attention from the perspective of the church. It gets that attention in this important book by Jason Stellman. Dual Citizens will certainly upset those used to thinking of Christ as mainly the transformer of culture. But for genuine wisdom not only on the culture wars, but on the culture, ways, and habits of the church, Stellman's discussion is the place to go.