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Justification by Faith – Mark Seifrid

About ten years ago, Roman Catholicism was without a doubt the number one issue troubling me.  The question of authority, as well as the nature of justification, and especially how it relates to the warnings to persevere in Scripture, left me feeling unhinged.  My world was spinning, as I tried to work through the labyrinth of issues involved in those two subjects. 

Along the way, I was helped by a variety of sources.  Eric Svendsen, James White, John Piper, Robert L. Reymond, Van Til- they all played a pivotal role in grounding me.  Let us not forget Edwards’ profound handling of the subject of justification either (link).

Are We Really Just a Blank Slate? A Conversation with Steven Pinker – Al Mohler

In one of his more recent and fascinating podcasts, Dr. Mohler discusses the subject of man’s nature with well known evolutionary psychologist, Steven Pinker.

In this interview, two things are worth noting.  First, Dr. Mohler proves yet again that he is a gentleman.  He allows Dr. Pinker to present his view without interruption.  He doesn’t try to triangle the guy.  He doesn’t yell.  He doesn’t snicker.  He asks clear questions in a straight forward manner.  So if you’re looking for a debate, this isn’t the download for you.  Dr. Mohler does provide some thought-provoking commentary at the end, however.

Secondly, if you’re interested in hearing firsthand how a fairly consistent naturalistic evolutionist thinks, you’ve come to the place.  Man is a soul-less chemical bag, in Pinker’s worldview, that should behave morally. 

On the Other Side of Complexity: Christian Conviction in the Late Modern Age – Al Mohler

Dr. Al Mohler recently gave the fourth annual Gaffin Lecture at Westminster Theological Seminary, and I must say that it was absolutely brilliant.  Picking up a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, “I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity,” Dr. Mohler provides a penetrating analysis of Western thought.    

While some may have a hard time following his message at points, as he does stroll through the halls post-modernity and neo-orthodoxy, as well as modernism, highlighting not only the key thinkers, but their ideas, I suspect that most will still be able to grasp the main points of his lecture.

Trust me when I say this.  The last ten minutes are worth the price of admission.  His critique of fundamentalism, as well as evangelicalism, is powerful.  And for many, the antidote he proscribes will prove very surprising.

Rambling Reviews of an Audio Scavenger

I love a full MP3 player.  And last week, my MP3 player was pretty darn full.  Ah, yes, the simple pleasures in life!

So, yeah, I’ve listened to quite a few messages lately.  It’s been a strange mixture.  A little bit of everything.  Nothing life changing, exactly, but no downright duds either.  It’s for this reason I’m going to go with the shotgun approach today.  Not a slug, but buckshot.  So here we go.  Time to ramble.

The Justification Landscape – Reformed Forum

What I’m about to say isn’t hyperbolic:

I appreciated every single sentence uttered by Pastor Mark Garcia in this Christ the Center interview.

As someone who has been following the Federal Vision and New Perspective(s) on Paul controversies for some time now, I’ve listened to my fair share discussions.  Like that old Clint Eastwood flick, most could be labeled as either being good, bad or ugly.  And unfortunately, there’s been a lot of ugly. 

But let me tell ya, Pastor Garcia ain’t ugly.

Prayer as a Way of Walking in Love: A Personal Journey – Francis Chan

Pastor John Piper said that Francis Chan’s message at the 2010 National Conference was probably one of the most listened to talks in Desiring God Conference history.

That’s remarkable.  In some ways this surprises me.  But in other ways, it doesn’t at all. 

There will no doubt be some who feel this is a bad thing, as Francis Chan doesn’t adequately measure up to their standards of Reformed purity.  The popularity, they will suppose, stems from the ever increasing downgrading of Evangelicalism.    

But I, for one, very much like him.

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.