Monday, June 25, 2012

All Around the Web: Links For Your Monday - June 25, 2012

Highly Exalted - Southern Baptist Convention - New Orleans, LA 2012 | Here is a great summary of the #SBC12 from a good friend of mine.

1) The dominating historical event was the election of Fred Luter, Jr to the SBC Presidency. The SBC has a rich heritage of leading the protestant world in missions and evangelism, but also has a checkered and sinful past when it comes to cooperating with other races. Luter’s nomination and subsequent election represented a landmark in the history of the SBC. The most electrifying moment came as nearly 8,000 messengers rose to their feet to affirm and officially direct the Recording Secretary to cast the convention ballot for Luter. Amidst the flickering of camera flashes and tears welling, Luter humbly accepted the role. The hard work now begins for Luter as he steers this ship. He will set the tone for the next couple of years. As Luter and Ed Stetzer spoke in a public forum in the Exhibit Hall following the election, Luter maintained that his presidency cannot simply be symbolic or token. The convention needs to ensure we work with like-minded members of other races for the cause of the advance of the kingdom. Luter’s warm, pastoral presence will be an encouragement to those in convention life. Let us pray he will pave the way to increased cooperation for the kingdom.

2) The only contested race was the seat of the 2nd Vice President. Oddly enough it is a position with probably the fewest practical responsibilities. For some time Eric Hankins, Pastor of FBC Oxford, MS, was the only candidate running. Few knew his name until the end of May when he released “A Statement on the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding on God’s Plan for Salvation.” Hankins was the primary impetus behind the document and its preamble, which seemingly put “Calvinists” in their proper place at the SBC family table. He acknowledged their right to be a part of the family, but repudiated the idea that Southern Baptists Calvinists would ever be a majority. His statement lit up the blogosphere with rants, comments, conspiracy theories, and much heat. It even drew a respone from Southern Seminary President, R. Albert Mohler, Jr and counter responses by Jerry Vines and a host of others. Although Hankins’ intent may have been charitable in some degree, the statement that was devised undermines the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and serves to limit cooperation among like-minded Southern Baptists. Hankins lost the election of 2nd Vice President in a runoff with Dave Miller (Pastor in Iowa and operator of SBCVoices.com) handily. Dave Miller is one of the few non-south pastors elected to an office. This shows an increased diversity by going outside of the southeast United States for leadership. Even though Hankins amassed over 700 signatures to the statement, it lacked the fervor at convention necessary to garner momentum and only two current SBC entity heads signed the statement (Chuck Kelley and Paige Patterson, both seminary presidents). The last few weeks just go to show us that the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 is an excellent confession of faith that leaves room for Calvinist and non-Calvinist brethren (although not semi-Pelagian or Pelagian brethren; more on this in another blog post).


Monergism - Inerrancy and Worldview (.pdf book) |  Free book released this year. Don't miss out on this!


Scot McKnight (Jesus Creed) - On Divine Child Abuse | A helpful post in response to the view, articulated by Steve Chalke years ago, that the cross, as understood by penal substitution, is divine child abuse.

About a decade ago it became avant garde theology to contend the classical Christian theory of atonement was nothing less than divine child abuse. That is, the image of a Father punishing a Son, or exacting retribution at the expense of his own Son, or punishing a Son for the good of others — each of these became a way of deconstructing classical atonement theory. Unfortunately, this approach works from a very simplistic image: a father, a son, and a brutal death and attributes intention to the father as one who brutalizes a son. As an image, it connotes abuse. The image, however, abuses the Bible’s image. (Art is from Rebel God.) . . . 


First, this accusation fails to represent the best thinking about how the Father and Son are related in the Bible and Christian theology. . . . 

Second, this accusation fails to see that the Son gave his life, that the Father gave the Son’s life, and the point here is that the cross in the Bible and theology is the freely-chosen, gracious choice and act of the Father, Son and Spirit. . . . 

Third, this accusation fails to comprehend that entering into death, willingly and out of love, is the act of God entering into the fullness of the human condition, including death.


Kevin DeYoung - When Dialogue Avoids Truth | DeYoung quotes Oden here:

The seductions of dialogue typically draw believers toward subjective feelings, mutual congratulation, and institutional horse-trading. They thrive on negotiation or arbitration models of interaction. They thereby draw us far away from the truth that is declared in Jesus Christ in whom all believers are called to participate by faith. So it should not be surprising that classic Christian believers tend to regard undisciplined dialogue as a temptation…

Confessing Christians have a long history of experience with the frustration and futility of such undisciplined dialogue not ordered under the written Word. It less often leads to the question of truth than to the question of how we “feel,” and how we can accommodate or negotiate our competing interests. That is different from the question of truth announced in the gospel, which alone engenders the unity of believers.

If the central question of Christian unity for classic Christian believers is the truth of the gospel, then the apostolic testimony made known in Jesus Christ is the first step toward unity. All other dialogue, however altruistic it may appear, is truly a diversion, a pretension of searching for truth, a ruse that substitutes narcissistic talk for integrity. What seems an innocent and generous invitation to dialogue actually amounts to a disposed predetermination to replace the truth question with what we “feel” about our own experience. In this way dialogue becomes an instrument of manipulation already shaped by the wrong premises. Global orthodox believers seek unity in the truth, no unity apart from truth, not unity as a substitute for the truth, but unity in the truth of the revealed Word. (Turning Around the Mainline, 66-67).


Ligonier Ministries - The Age of the Universe and Genesis 1 — A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture | The answer is, "I don't know" as the answer to the age of the earth. To a certain extent I agree with this, but I'm not sure Scripture is as ambiguous as is presented here. Furthermore, the problem many young earth creationists have is that in order to believe in an old earth, you almost have to adopt some form of evolution not to mention questions of the historicity of Adam and Eve (which raises the question of original sin) and other important issues.

It is also wiser to say, “I don’t know,” than it is to make ultimatums that may be based on a misinterpretation of Scripture and/or God’s created works. I have encountered Christians who have said that they would renounce Christianity if they were convinced that the earth moves around the sun because it would mean that the Bible is not true. I have also encountered Christians who have argued that any believer who is convinced that the universe has been proven to be billions of years old should abandon Christianity because it would mean that the Bible is not true. No. As Dr. Sproul implied, something like this would merely mean that a particular interpretation of Scripture was mistaken. It says absolutely nothing about the truth of God’s Word itself. If the universe turns out to be 6000 years old, that fact will not ultimately conflict with what Scripture actually teaches. If the universe turns out to be billions of years old, that fact will not ultimately conflict with what Scripture actually teaches.ii We do not need to renounce Christianity in either case. Only if Christ is not risen from the dead is our faith in vain (1 Cor. 15:14).

What about the age of the universe then? If students of general revelation (i.e. scientists) contribute to our understanding of special revelation as Dr. Sproul has explained, then those of us who do not have the training to expertly evaluate the evidence ourselves are dependent to one degree or another on those who are trained in order to help us understand the evidence for and against the different claims. A problem arises, however, when different Christians look to different specialists and those different specialists themselves present us with conflicting conclusions. We end up with Christians who have an equal commitment to the authority of Scripture coming to different conclusions about the evidence. This then affects our reading of special revelation. . . . 


The debate over the age of the universe and the days of Genesis has also played out as numerous books have been written in the last century and a half by Reformed theologians presenting evidence for one view or another.iii The Calendar Day view was held by Reformed theologians such as Robert L. Dabney and Louis Berkhof.iv It has recently been defended by Douglas F. Kelly, James B. Jordan, Joseph Pipa, and David Hall.v The Day Age view was held by Reformed theologians such as Charles Hodge, B. B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, and E. J. Young.vi More recently, this view has been defended by Francis Schaeffer and James Montgomery Boice.vii The Framework view has been defended by Reformed theologians such as Meredith Kline, Mark Futato, and Henri Blocher.viii A version of the Analogical Day view was held by William G. T. Shedd.ix More recently, this view has been defended by Reformed theologians such as C. John Collins and W. Robert Godfrey.x In short, Reformed Christians are still sorting through the issues.


Desiring God - When Homosexuality Became a Man | I really enjoyed this article

Then in 1985, through the patient, persistent, pursuing love of a Christian friend, Joe heard the voice of Jesus and left “the lifestyle” to follow him.  

But nine months later the doctor spoke the nightmare words: “your blood test was positive.” Joe had full-blown AIDS. In 1986, the prognosis was two years, maybe. Joe believed life was over.

But Jesus didn’t. In fact, what Joe saw as a scorched place God intended to turn into a watered garden (Isaiah 58:11).

God gave him a church family at Bethlehem Baptist and a supportive family in Outpost Ministries' men’s group. Rather than shriveling, Joe flourished, growing in grace and truth and leadership. Soon he was asked to be Outpost’s Ministry Director. An excellent writer and compelling speaker, Joe increasingly found himself publicly preaching the gospel, championing God’s good design in human sexuality, equipping the church to serve the homosexually broken, and comforting the suffering. 

Year after year this went on. Joe stopped expecting to die. There was too much kingdom work to do. So much that he recruited me to help him. One night in 1991, he called me. “I need some help at Outpost. The guys I work with need to be around spiritually mature men who don’t struggle with homosexuality. They have to stop seeing themselves as freaks, but as men. Would you help me?” I said yes.



Real Clear Politics - Mitt Romney's Sons Make Appearance on Conan |





A sneak peak at the new Spiderman.


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