Tuesday, December 17, 2013

All Around the Web - December 17, 2013

Koinonia - Evangelical Theology Blog Tour Round-Up | Yours truly participated in this blog tour of which I am grateful to Zondervan for the opportunity.
At the end of October we gave away a number of Michael Bird's new systematic theology book, Evangelical Theology. Reviews are in, and you'll find them below.

Evangelical Theology represents everything Bird himself was searching for in a theology textbook. What's unique about this systematic theology volume is that it's been crafted from the perspective of a biblical scholar with the guiding conviction that the center, boundaries, and "interpretive glue" of the evangelical faith is the evangel, the gospel—as opposed to doctrines like justification by faith or inerrancy.

Here are three videos of Bird introducing his new bookexplaining why a biblical scholar like him would write a systematic theology; and what he says is the point to studying systematic theology in the first place.

Here is a round-up of the reviews from our Blog Tour to give you a taste of Bird's work. We think you'll see from their comments why Bird's book is, as Dr. Michael Williams says, "unique among the current crop of one-volume systematic theologies."

Reformation Theology - Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones on Modern Man and the Gospel

ABC News - Mormon Church Explains Past Ban on Black Priests
After Mormon church leaders lifted the ban on blacks in the priesthood in 1978, church leaders offered little official explanation for the reasons behind the ban, saying only they received a revelation it was time for the change.

In the three decades since, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have struggled to understand the roots of the old ban and grappled with how best to respond to questions about the touchy historical topic.

Even as recently as 2012 — when the issue flared up during Mitt Romney's run for president — the church said it has always welcomed people of all races into the church but that was not known precisely why, how or when the restriction on the priesthood began.

Now, finally, Mormons can point to a new 2,000-word statement posted on the church's website that offers the most comprehensive explanation of why the church previously had barred men of African descent from the lay clergy, and for the first time disavows the ban.

The statement, posted Friday, says the ban was put into place during an era of great racial divide that influenced early teachings of the church. It pins the prohibition on an announcement from church president Brigham Young in 1852. Perhaps most importantly, it addresses the once widely held notion that blacks were spiritually inferior.

"The Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else," the statement read. "Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form."

The Blaze - Rick Warren Stands Up to Piers Morgan: ‘I Fear the Disapproval of God More Than I Fear Your Disapproval’

WORLD Magazine - Treat your spouse like a stranger | This actually isn't bad advice.
I am having extensive and protracted dental work done these days at a university clinic. The “protracted” part means I get to see two dentists on a semi-regular basis, often enough to make observations. What I have observed is that they are both foreigners from the Middle East and both speak Arabic and English and are punctual and thorough and go the extra mile for me, even giving me their cell phone numbers.

The last time I was in the chair I learned something that amazed me. One of their colleagues happened to come by the operatory and ask what the two of them were doing for winter break. The woman doctor replied that they would be going to their home country to visit her parents and their daughter.

My dentist team is married? And I never knew it or even guessed it.

But that is not the most startling part of my tale. What amazes me is this: The reason I never supposed that the two doctors were married is because they are always so careful to be courteous and kind and gentle in the way they speak to each other and serve each other. It is rare to see such care of expression in the marriages I know, where we more commonly find a sloppy familiarity that would never fly in the professional world.

Though there is unfortanetly some suggestive material in the SNL skit below, I post it, not only because it is fairly humorous, but because it illustrates just how far down the President has fallen. This sort of skit would have never been done a year ago.

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