S.O.S.

Picture yourself for a moment a few centuries ago as a passenger on a storm-tossed sailing vessel in the midst of a raging gale.  Water is deep in the hold and, despite hours of manning of the pumps by the crew, rising fast.  The captain has just issued orders that the cargo on the ship needs to be jettisoned within the quarter hour to make the ship lighter or it will sink.  You know this means stores, cannons, and anything else unnecessary needs to be tossed over the side immediately.  As yet another wave crashes over the bow, you make your way down the swaying steps to the deck below to see if you can help the crew.  Yet rather than seeing them loosing


Armchair Theology

Recently I was asked by Dave over at Armchair Theology if I would be willing to answer a few questions about my blog, interview style.  I was like, “What the!  Who me?”  But after looking over my shoulder and finding no one standing there, I answered, “Well, sure, it would be my honor!”

 So if you’re curious about how The Sound of Doctrine came into being, and other such questions, click your way over to Dave’s blog.  Thanks again, Dave!


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).


Cobblings

Perhaps we should call it “Faux Pastoring,” with the second word pronounced “pah-ster-ing.”    You know, the committing of those little violations of accepted social norms while pulpit preaching.  I have been made painfully aware that I have done all but one of the following, which will be left unidentified so I can always say, “I would never do that.”


Wrestling With Matthew 10:23

A good friend of mine recently called to ask me about a perplexing passage in Matthew.  We discussed the issue at some length, and I gave what I thought was a fair interpretation.  After some healthy give and take, he was like, “Yeah, I guess that makes sense.”  And that was it. 

But that wasn’t it.  I had that uncomfortable gnawing feeling, as if I had just made the incorrect call as a referee in a ball game.  And it stayed with me.  So I soon found myself pondering the issue while walking the mail, chewing and thinking, mulling over the text over and over again.  “What does it mean?”  I kept asking myself.  Round and round went the thoughts. 

It happened over my lunch break, while eating some oatmeal cookies at McDonalds (3 for a dollar!  Hard to beat!), when the answer hit me.  And it felt right… and it continues to feel right.


The Prostitute

Teaching my Old Testament students from Hosea this week, I was confronted again with what His people’s sin and idolatry look like to God.  We look like a prostitute to Him. Hosea’s marriage to Gomer the harlot is not a pretty picture.  It’s like the one I see out my study window.


Why do false faiths prosper?

It is an observation worthy of attention, that false religions have commonly been more successful than the true one, in persuading men to devote their substance to sacred uses; not surely because error is, in its own nature, more efficacious than truth, but because the former accords better with the vanity and corrupt propensities of mankind. –John Dick, Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles, 306


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. 


A Gentle Correction

I always enjoy reading Anthony Bradley, a WORLD magazine columnist.  Dr. Bradley, an Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics at The King’s College in New York City as well as a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute, provides keen insights into the church and the impact of the culture upon it.  He is often called upon by the mainstream media to give his commentary on events of the day, particularly those involving racial matters.

Yesterday he had an intriguing article on how Christians producing hip-hop music often show more theological integrity and depth in their lyrics than most of the Contemporary Christian Music being produced.  Having listened to some examples, I agree.  I’ve heard some hip-hop songs with the Heidelberg Catechism and other doctrinal statements that are theologically rock-solid.


Extinction

The startling headline grabbed my attention: “Religion May Become Extinct in Nine Nations“. Reported yesterday by the BBC, a group of researchers, using something called nonlinear dynamics, has found indication that religion is not only declining but heading toward extinction in at least nine nations