Archives for January 2007
Denny Burk provides an provocative review of Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness: Paul’s Theology of Imputation. Burk’s closing thoughts:
Vickers has done a masterful job in Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness. Not only is it an indispensible introduction to the issues at stake in the current debate, it also offers a compelling interpretation of Paul that affirms the traditional formulation of imputation. There are very few books like this one, and anyone who is concerned about having a biblical theology should give this volume careful consideration.
Update: There is a good discussion on Denny’s blogpost. Brian Vickers, Scot McKnight, and Mike Bird all chip in.
On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court ruled that women, as part of their right to privacy, have a qualified right to terminate their pregnancies under certain conditions. Since that time, over 47 million innocent babies have been killed.
Mr. John Ensor discovered that a disproportionately high number of abortions are committed in five states, one of which is Florida (the others included California, Nevada, New York, and another). And 40% of the abortions in Florida occur in Miami. John Piper’s sermon this weekend (not yet posted) highlighted the ministry of John Ensor in Miami appropriately called Heartbeat of Miami. From their website:
Heartbeat of Miami is a bold and winsome call to the Christian community to open 3 to 5 pregnancy help centers in the neediest neighborhoods of Miami over the next two years. These centers will be equipped with ultrasound and staffed by nurses, trained peer counselors, and volunteers from the Christian community. When established they will save thousands of women every year from the violence and agony of abortion- in direct competition to the nearly 40 (!) abortion facilities operating in Miami.
Beyond Miami, the strategy is to raise up new crisis pregnancy centers in the urban centers of the USA where a staggering 94% of America’s abortion facilities exist. In essence, going toe-to-toe against Planned Parenthood. This strikes me as a wise plan to maximize effectiveness at saving lives while raising the consciences of the nation to the fact that loving Christians stand ready to help those experiencing unwanted pregnancies at every step of the process (not just before the baby is born).
This sobering and moving video can help us further appreciate the horror of abortion, and resolve to hasten the day when to be pro-choice is unthinkable.
(HT: Between Two Worlds)
John Piper offers some wise words on stereotypes, generalizations, and racism. Last part:
“So the tough question is: When is a generalization about a group racist? I am using the word racist as something sinful, and the following answers move toward a definition. The following uses of generalization would be wrong (racist):
* When you want a person to fit a negative generalization that you have formed about a group (even if the generalization statistically is true).
* When you assume that a statistically true negative generalization is true of a particular person in the face of individual evidence to the contrary.
* When you treat all the members of a group as if all must be characterized by a negative generalization.
* When you speak disparagingly of an entire group on the basis of a negative generalization without any regard for those in the group who don’t fit the generalization. Or: When you speak negatively of a group based on a generalization without giving any evidence that you acknowledge and appreciate the exceptions. (I assume that Jesus’ generalizations about the Pharisees [Matthew 23] and Paul’s generalization about the Cretans [Titus 1:12] are not sinful because they did have such regard and did appreciate the exceptions.)”
Dr. Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, posts a great article provocatively entitled, “After Patriarchy, What? Why Egalitarians are Winning the Evangelical Gender Debate”. (It looks like something that came out in a recent issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.) Excerpt:
“Complementarianism must be about more than isolating the gender issue as a concern. We must instead relate male headship to the whole of the gospel. And, in so doing, we must remember that complementarian Christianity is collapsing around us because we have not addressed the root causes behind egalitarianism in the first place.”
Speaking of which, Dr. Albert Mohler and Dr. Ligon Duncan will be doing a half-day conference called Different By Design at the Minneapolis Convention Center immediately prior to the Desiring God Conference for Pastors on February 5.
I’ve previously commented on an outstanding book called What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman by Danielle Crittenden. Here were my remarks:
“What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us vividly captures some of the disadvantages women experience in the current male/female milieu prevalent in our culture (in general) and on college campuses (in particular). The book is not explicitly Christian by any means, yet her conclusions are very similar to mine. In short, if women in the 1950s saw themselves primarily through the lens of their uniquely feminine callings (wives, mothers, etc.) and insufficiently as adults with non-gender-specific intelligence, skills, and aspirations, the modern woman tends to view her worth in ways that suppress her uniquely feminine longings. The result is a more androgynous culture, and, yes, one in which women have unparalleled opportunity, but also one in which women are increasingly vulnerable to male oppression–precisely because men no longer feel obligated (by societal mores) to regard women with particular esteem. For example, men are less likely to marry and commit to being breadwinners, so women (most of who still innately long to bear children) feel pressured to simultaneously balance demanding careers.”
One of the associated lies of the sexual revolution is that women can engage in a string of casual sexual encounters without long-term emotional repercussions. Dawn Eden, once a feminist and sexual libertine, tells her story of transformation into a celibate Catholic in The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On. She writes this introductory article in the Times Online. Excerpts:
“The Sixties generation thought everything should be free. But only a few decades later the hippies were selling water at rock festivals for $5 a bottle. But for me the price of “free love” was even higher.
I sacrificed what should have been the best years of my life for the black lie of free love. All the sex I ever had — and I had more than my fair share — far from bringing me the lasting relationship I sought, only made marriage a more distant prospect.”
“The misguided, hedonistic philosophy which urges young women into this kind of behaviour harms both men and women; but it is particularly damaging to women, as it pressures them to subvert their deepest emotional desires. The champions of the sexual revolution are cynical. They know in their tin hearts that casual sex doesn’t make women happy. That’s why they feel the need continually to promote it.”