Monthly Archives: October 2009

N.T. Wright on Protestant-Catholic Relations

Earlier this week, Christianity Today published an article on how the current debate on justification is reigniting questions about Roman Catholicism. Francis Beckwith and Taylor Marshall indicated that the New Perspective is a major step toward the Catholic view. N.T. Wright gave a response, only a snippet of which was included in the CT article. Here is the longer version of his remarks.

1. I’m on sabbatical writing Volume IV of my big series, on Paul; so I don’t have time for more than a quick response.

2. “Sacramental, transformational, communal, eschatological”? If you gave me that list and said “Where in the Christian world would you find that?” I could easily and truthfully answer:

    (i) in the best of the Reformed tradition — spend a couple of days at Calvin College, or read Jamie Smith’s new book, and you’ll see;
    (ii) in much of the best of the charismatic movement, once it’s shed its low-church prejudices and discovered how much God loves bodies;
    (iii) in the best of… dare I say it… Anglicanism… ;
    (iv) in some bits (not all) of the Emerging Church movement . . .

3. Trent said both much more and much less than this.

    Sacramental, yes, but in a muddled way with an unhelpful ontology;
    Transformational, yes, but far too dependent on unbiblical techniques and practices;
    Communal, yes, but don’t let the laity (or the women) get any fancy ideas about God working new things through them;
    Eschatological? Eschatology in the biblical sense didn’t loom large, and indeed that was a key element in the Reformers’ protest: the once-for-allness of the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection as producing, …

Posted in Reformed Theology, Roman Catholicism | 45 Comments

Kingdom People – October 2009 in Review

Articles

Book Reviews

LiveBlogging from the “Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism” Conference at Union University

    Ed Stetzer: “Denominationalism – Is There a Future?”
    Jim Patterson: “Reflections on 400 Years of Baptist Movement”
    Hal Poe: “The Gospel and Its Meaning”
    Timothy George: “The Faith, My Faith, The Church’s Faith”
    Duane Litfin: “The Future of American Evangelicalism”
    Ray Van Neste: “Pastoral Ministry in SBC Life”
    Robert Smith: “The Church’s One Foundation”
    Mark DeVine: “Emergent or Emerging”
    Danny Akin: “The Future of the SBC”
    Michael Lindsay: “Denominationalism in a Changing America”
    Jerry Tidwell: “Missions and Evangelism”
    David Dockery: “So Many Denominations…”
    Panel Discussion
    Nathan Finn: “Passing On the Faith”
    Albert Mohler: “Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism”

Interviews

Interview with Dr. Marvin Olasky, editor of World magazine

Posted in Month in Review | Leave a comment

In the Blogosphere

If you are a regular reader of Kingdom People, please take this 4-question survey.

Not all evangelicals and Catholics together. InterVarsity president, Alec Hill, responds.

From a recent episode of Law and Order: “I grew up thinking Roe v. Wade was gospel. Now… I don’t know where my freedom ends and the dignity of another being begins.” Christianity Today covers the story.

new website that makes the case for life.

A quick and easy way to format the footnotes for your research paper

Baptist Messenger launches the Insight Podcast with Doug Baker. Check out the new website. First podcasts include Chuck Colson, Timothy George, and a panel on the Emerging Church.

An interesting article on the death of the book review. “Like news, book reviews have become crowd-sourced, with bloggers and Amazon readers leading the way. But these reviews, unlike those that appear in publications, do have an impact on sales, because they appear right next to the product being sold and persist in online perpetuity.” (HT – Challies)

On FaceBook: “If you want community without depth or commitment, go to Facebook. If you want community with depth and commitment (and if you are Christian) you should go to church.”

Chris Brauns on mixing the roles of …

Posted in In the Blogosphere | 2 Comments

Understanding the German Mindset During World War II

The Enlightenment myth is dying a painfully slow death, painful because it is taking so long for people to figure out that it is a sham. The idea that humans are progressing in a continually upward ladder of freedom and power marches on in the 21st century, much like it did at the beginning of the 20th.

Two world wars and the slaughter of millions of innocent civilians have still not eradicated the Enlightenment myth. We continue to believe that now, at the dawn of the 21st century, civilized people are incapable of the atrocities committed during World War II.

But we are wrong. We deceive ourselves.

A book that exposes the vacuity of the “upward climb” perspective regarding human society is They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer. Published more than forty years ago, Mayer’s book offers a unique window into the hearts and minds of everday Germans during the rise of Hitler and his fascist movement.

Mayer interviews a number of “ordinary Germans,” recounting their conversations and then adding in his own thoughts and conclusions. The result is a chilling picture of ordinary people willingly being carried along by empty rhetoric as a way of ensuring the satisfaction of personal needs.

Instead of writing a typical review of this book, I would like to offer some of the more striking statements and excerpts, in order to (hopefully) lead you to consider buying this book for yourself.

They Thought They Were Free documents the slow progression of anti-Semitism and its role …

Posted in Book Reviews | Leave a comment

Michael Horton's Review of N.T. Wright's "Justification"

Here are the links to Dr. Michael Horton’s extensive, evenhanded and theologically rich review of N.T. Wright’s newest book, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision.

    Introduction
    Justification and God’s single plan: The Covenant and History
    Justification and God’s people
    Justification and God’s Righteousness: Imputation and Future Hope
    Justification and God’s Righteousness: Covenant and Eschatology
    Justification, Faith, and Faithfulness: The Works of the Law
    Justification and the Testimony of Paul
    Justification and Romans
    “Works of the Law” – Soteriology and Ecclesiology
    Conclusion

For further reading on the ongoing debate, here are my Christianity Today summaries of Piper and Wright’s positions.

Posted in Reformed Theology | 5 Comments

Southern Baptists and American Culture

Whenever someone asks me why I am happy to be (and stay) a Southern Baptist, I usually point out three reasons. The first reason is theological. I agree with the Baptist Faith and Message (2000).

The second reason is missional. I know of no better mission force in the world than the International Mission Board. What Southern Baptists have accomplished together for world missions is truly remarkable, and I offer hearty support to this effort.

The third reason is historical. Thirty years ago, the trajectory of the SBC was heading towards liberalism. Our journey mirrored that of many mainline denominations. By God’s grace, we made a course-correction. I am thankful for the Conservative Resurgence and I hope we are seeing the beginnings of a Great Commission Resurgence.

For those interested in the controversy that took place in Southern Baptist life during the last decades of the last century, let me recommend Uneasy in Babylon: Southern Baptist Conservatives and American Culture (University of Alabama, 2002) by Barry Hankins. Hankins puts together a fascinating profile of Southern Baptist conservatives.

From the beginning, Hankins lays his cards on the table. He admits that he is more “moderate” than conservative, but he claims to be an outsider as he does his research. Though he leans to the moderate side, Hankins recognizes that there were major issues at stake in the Conservative Resurgence. He criticizes the moderates for downplaying the significance of conservative concerns. Hankins sees misinterpretation on both sides of the divide.

The best part of the book is Hankins’ …

Posted in Book Reviews, Southern Baptist Convention | Leave a comment

Seminary Online, by Extension or On-Campus? The Benefits and Drawbacks of Each…

In December, I hope to graduate with a Masters of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It has taken 4 1/2 years to meet all the requirements, but the Lord has been good to us, and the end is in sight.

Seminaries today are offering a variety of ways to take classes. If you are a current or future seminary student, you may have some questions about the different types of seminary classes offered. Here are some benefits and drawbacks to the different options.

ON-CAMPUS CLASSES

The benefit of taking classes on campus is that you are in a classroom with students and the professor. Your professor is right in front of you. You can communicate with him easily. Conversations with students in the hall – before and after class – are also beneficial. When the class is good, you can rejoice with other students. When the class is hard, you can commiserate too!

The seminary environment fosters a desire for learning and growth. In my experience, nothing quite replaces the classroom setting on campus with other students.

The drawback to taking classes on campus? As you go from class to class, you will usually have different course mates. Meeting lots of students is great, but you might not be able to build the kind of camaraderie you would like.

EXTENSION CENTER

Taking classes at one of the seminary’s extension centers is much like taking class on campus. A professor travels to the extension center location to be with the class.

The greatest benefit to being at …

Posted in Seminary | 11 Comments

Kingdom People Reader Survey

Three years ago this week, I launched Kingdom People. I have enjoyed having a forum in which to share book reviews, prayers, quotes, personal thoughts and (hopefully) interesting interviews.

As I look ahead to beginning my fourth year of blogging at Kingdom People, I would like to offer readers a chance to answer the poll questions below and then to leave comments below about the blog. I am considering some structural changes in the future and would like some feedback.

Thanks for participating!

Posted in Blogging | 8 Comments

A Prayer for Suffering Children

Ever-watching Father:
we pray for the suffering children whom we do not see.

We know that your eyes see their tears,
that your heart knows their sorrow,
that your hands can reach them now.

We remember that Jesus was once a child,
that poverty stole his bread,
that tyrants sought his life,
that his mother tasted tears.

We ask you to send friends for the lonely,
food for the hungry,
medicine for the sick,
saviors for the enslaved,
rescue for the perishing.

Give us the wisdom to do our part,
share our possessions,
leave our comforts,
lend them our voice,
send them our food,
love them with more than prayers.

We call on you in the name of your child Jesus.
Amen.

(HT – Tony Kummer)

Posted in Prayers | Leave a comment

Albert Mohler Endorsement of Holy Subversion

R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the most significant cultural commentator in the Southern Baptist Convention. His recent books include He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World, Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance and The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness.The remarkable turn-around of Southern Seminary since he has become president is an occasion for profound gratitude.

I am grateful for the leadership of Dr. Mohler and for his kind recommendation of Holy Subversion:

“Trevin Wax faithfully sounds the call for world-changing, Christ-exalting Christian practice. By unmasking contemporary ‘Caesars,’ he reveals the true dangers, and points to pitfalls of which many believers are completely unaware. This book serves as a helpful reminder and competent guide to draw out the implications of true allegiance to Jesus Christ.”

– R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

Posted in Endorsements | 1 Comment