“In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. Because I don’t imagine any reality putting this one in the shade entirely, and I think piety forbids me to try.” (p. 57)
“While I appreciate Tim Keller’s sermons, I think they’re too Christocentric. I mean, does he have to relate everything to Christ from every Bible passage?”
If there is any one critique I hope to be guilty of in preaching, it is this one. I want to be “too Christocentric.” While every Bible passage may not properly be used to point to Christ, every Bible passage worth preaching will.
The great misunderstanding underlying most “too Christocentric” critiques is the notion that the goal of preaching is to deliver a certain life principle. No. The point of preaching is to deliver a Person, not a principle. Continue Reading »
Recent arguments for and against recognizing homosexual ordination have become a double-edged sword in the realm of science that end up undercutting both sides of the theological debate. One side supports the allowance for homosexual ordination on the basis of genetics. As George Hunsinger has argued, if the Apostle Paul had known about modern medical findings that homosexuality is not a voluntary choice but essentially a genetic predisposition, the apostle would most likely not have considered homosexuality to be a sin. Continue Reading »
Final thoughts on the conference that just ended at Princeton Seminary:
* Suzanne McDonald, a new professor at Calvin College, gave a presentation on Election and Eschatology following Bruce McCormack’s lecture that has made me change my mind on the intellectual rigor of evangelical theologians. Her critique of Barth’s understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to election was incisive. And her modesty and teachability made her points all the more appreciated.
* That universalism as a live option went unopposed and was even embraced by evangelicals like McDonald at this conference signaled a momentous shift in evangelical theology. I foresee it potentially negatively affecting missions (a characteristic strength of evangelicals), and subsequently, spurring greater interest in and scrutiny of Barth’s rationale for missions.
* One major impression I got was that evangelicals have much to learn from Barthians, but Barthians have nothing to learn from evangelicals (i.e., no evangelical critiques of Barth are valid or credible). Though the emergent buzz word “conversation” was widely used throughout the conference, in the end, it was a lecture: by Barthians, to evangelicals.
* Barthians want the evangelical church’s growing numbers; evangelicals want the Barthian’s theological scholarship. Continue Reading »
This sermon was historically significant for me because it was my first explicitly Barthian message. Specifically, it was the first time I have preached on unlimited atonement (against my Calvinist heritage). One primary hesitation for me in getting fully on board Barth’s theology is the fact that I have yet to hear a good Barthian sermon preached (whereas I have heard literally hundreds of sublime messages from 5 pt Calvinists like Tim Keller). Nevertheless, I felt convicted enough to preach this passage in this way. It was on 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 delivered at Ambassadors Presbyterian Fellowship, Edison, NJ. Continue Reading »
“His friends were so worried about his low mood that they feared he was suicidal, took all knives and razors from his room. And Joshua Speed went to his side and said, “Lincoln, if you don’t rally, you will die.” Lincoln said, “I would just as soon die now, but I haven’t yet done anything to make any human being remember that I have lived.” And then he espoused that dream that would carry him, saying that, “My goal in life is to accomplish something that makes life better for those who live around me so that I can be remembered after I die.”
* * *
“In 1908 Tolstoy was interviewed by The New York World and he told this amazing story of having gone to a remote area of the Caucuses some years prior to that, where he encountered a whole bunch of wild barbarians who had never left this area of Russia. And they were so excited that Tolstoy was there, they asked him to tell great stories of the men of the west. So Tolstoy said I told them all about Napoleon and Frederick the Great and Alexander and they were loving every moment of it. But before I finished, theyhad stopped him and said, “But wait. You haven’t told us about the greatest ruler of them all. We want to hear about that man who spoke with a voice of thunder, who laughed like the sunrise. That man who comes from that place called America, which is so far from here, that if a young man should travel there, he would be anold man when he arrived. Tell us of that man. Tell us of Abraham Lincoln. ”Tolstoy was stunned that they had heard of Lincoln and he told him everything heknew about his difficult upbringing, his move through politics and the Emancipation Proclamation. And then he asked himself, so what was it about Lincoln that made him greater than these other rulers? Not a great statesmen like Frederick the Great, not a great General like Napoleon. But he said, “His greatness consisted in the character of his being and the moral fiber of his being.” And Ithink for generations historians would agree with that understanding.”
Abraham Lincoln cited in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals
Update: Here’s a recent comment worth putting in the main entry:
* * * As you are undoubtedly aware, a $54 million lawsuit was recently brought in DC District Court against a small neighborhood drycleaners over a pair of alleged lost trousers. While the Court found resoundingly in favor of the business owners, Jin and Soo Chung, their ordeal is not yet over—they have drained their saving accounts contesting this frivolous lawsuit, and they have racked up over $100,000 in legal expenses.
In order to help the Chungs defray their legal bills, ILR and the American Tort Reform Association are co-hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday evening, July 24 at 6 p.m. at the US Chamber Building in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, businesses large and small across America must deal every day with similar extortionist tactics from some plaintiffs’ lawyers. The collective outcome is not justice, but lost jobs, ruined businesses and billions of dollars in lost economic opportunity. Additional details, sponsorship opportunities and easy online registration are available at www.chungfundraiser.com * * *
What a terrible human being. It sounds funny at first. “Judge sues dry cleaners for $67 million for lost pants.” But then you see the picture of the family that owns the dry cleaners. Then you realize just what Roy Pearson has done. He’s ruined the livelihood of a family out of sheer vanity and petty vindictiveness. God, please let justice be done.