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Leadership Interview with Bruce Winter – 9Marks

I love it when I meet a new, biblically astute theologian.  By “new” I don’t mean someone who has freshly emerged from seminary, but rather a scholar who, up until this point, was unknown to me.  

And so it was when I downloaded the latest 9Marks interview about a week or so ago, that I met Dr. Bruce Winter, a NT scholar residing at Tyndale House.  Being a man thoroughly acquainted with ancient history, especially the often bizarre and exotic culture of Corinth, Mr. Winter was able to shed much light on Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians.  Much light. 

This made for an excellent interview.  A number of tasty tidbits could be highlighted, but I’ll simply entice you with the word “leader.”  What’s so enticing about that?  Well, Mr. Winter doesn’t at all like the term “Christian leader.”  He feels it is misleading, if not wrong.  And he makes a good case.

Desiring God Interview with Tim Keller

While situated in a black leather chair in the comfort of his living room, Pastor Tim Keller answers a host of questions about his life and latest book.  It’s an interesting hour and a half.  Everything from his conversion to his early ministry to the beginnings of Redeemer is discussed.  His mild manner and approachability are certainly evident throughout, which makes for a good listen.

In the second segment, which is approximately 45 minutes long, his newest book, “Generous Justice,” is taken up.  Issues including the nature of justice, social justice, and mercy ministry are unpacked with pastoral insight.  As a deacon, I’m very much interested in getting my hands on a copy.  I suspect many of you would likewise enjoy it as well.

TGC Los Angeles Conference Q and A – D.A. Carson

I think it’s safe to say that nearly everyone has weighed in on N.T. Wright.  There are those who adore the man.  And there are, of course, those who always carry on their person a long coil of rope, so that in the event of a random encounter with the man, they would be prepared to conduct a lynching. 

D.A. Carson’s opinion of Wright’s theology falls somewhere between the extremes.

Should Abortion Be Illegal? – Alan Shlemon vs. Cicili Chadwick

I never cease to be amazed at what I hear from the mouths of pro-choice advocates. 

Never wavering from calling the unborn baby a fetus, Professor Chadwick, the pro-choicer, nevertheless concedes that the fetus is a human life.  This is chilling.  For here you have an educated woman advancing, nay, trumpeting the belief that a woman has the right to end a human life, essentially because that life temporarily lives inside her.  Scary. 

And why does she cling to this idea?

Three Problems of Evil – Peter S. Williams

There are countless lectures and sermons addressing the subject of evil.  And as you would imagine, and probably already know, some handle the subject with profundity, while yet others drop the ball…  Big time.  There are also those who approach the subject with philosophical flare, dazzling their listeners with logical syllogisms and lofty language, the kind heard only in the still corridors of an ivory tower.  To the average ear it sounds strange, a bit bizarre, perhaps, or even esoteric. 

The following lecture is a curious mixture of all three.

The Future of Atheism: Beyond the Question of God – Point of Inquiry

I’m drawing attention to this particular podcast for one simple reason: It provides a glimpse into the ambitions and aspirations of contemporary atheism. 

 Basically what you have are three atheists- three noted individuals- discussing the future of atheism in America.  They explore the disadvantages and advantages of militant, that is, “loud and proud” atheism, as opposed to a more congenial “live and let live” style.  They discuss politics.  They outline ambitions.  Hopes.  And evaluate the growing secularism of society.

Q and A With John Piper and Conrad Mbewe – Rezolution 2010

I’m usually not a big fan of Q and A sessions.  No wait, I take that back.  I enjoy listening to Q and A sessions.  They’re often entertaining in the sense that they’re not scripted.  And that offers real insight into the character of the panel.  But rarely do I walk away from such events feeling especially edified.

This session was very different.

Hiding Ourselves

Is it not easier to hide who we are than who we are not?

To disguise our selfishness is but the work of a moment, whereas the lack of a generous spirit is too big a void to conceal.
To covet a neighbor’s position can be mostly contained within, but a failure to rejoice spontaneously in a friend’s success creates a loud silence.
To talk big about prayer and pray big in public can, like a rug over swept-up dirt, mostly hide the fact that we do not pray quietly in private, but it is not a very good cover up for a long distance relationship with God.

Is this not the way of the Pharisee Jesus exposed so devastatingly?

On Qu’ran Burnings

Because of what the Bible teaches, I do not think the pastor in Florida, who appears to be vacillating on whether to burn Qu’rans or not, should do so. Why?

Well, it is not because I believe that the Qu’ran is a holy book. To be as direct as possible, in its denunciations of Christ as the Son of God and crucified Redeemer; its upholding of a polygamous charlatan as the prophet of God; and its teaching that men are justified by works (i.e. keeping the Five Pillars of Islam), I believe the Qu’ran is a book that contains Satanic lies and is leading millions to the eternal doom of the burning flames of hell. Yet I still do not think he should burn them or Christians should participate in this type of demonstration. Again, why?

First, it is not consistent with the Scriptures on book burning. The Biblical proof-text Pastor Jones might offer for holding book burnings would come from Acts 19:19, where we are told this about the people of Ephesus who had responded to the gospel:

“And many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted […]

Impurity of Worship

Interesting what you come across where you least expect it.

I have been reading the first volume of a trilogy on the 26th President’s life, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris. My purpose in reading it has been simply to enjoy learning more about this larger-than-life man. Never did I expect to have to examine my own heart regarding worship the way I did when I came across this excerpt from a letter of Roosevelt. Listen to what then Civil Service Commissioner Roosevelt said about President Benjamin Harrison following a meeting they had just had:

“Damn the President! He is a cold-blooded, narrow-minded, prejudiced, obstinate, timid old psalm-singing Indianapolis politician.”

Though Roosevelt’s rant is typical of him when he did not get his way, it is interesting how he related the President’s action with his worship practices – in Indiana, no less!This reminded me of a similar line I had read long ago but not forgotten in Gene Stratton-Porter’s (born in Indiana) classic book Freckles. At this point in the story the main character Freckles, a one-handed orphan learning to work the once-great lumber lines of northern Indiana, is recounting his experience of how people […]