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Showing posts from May 3, 2015

More Thoughts

Following up on some things I said regarding Piper and holiness, let me reiterate that I don't see an outbreak of antinomianism in the Reformed ranks; at least people aren't talking that way. I think most people I know have really good practical theology; I never ran with people who enjoy grieving the Holy Spirit. That said, the tensions are real, and there will be a manifestation of tendencies--either antinomianism or scrupulosity--precisely because there is no theological necessity to pursue holiness , given the assertion of imputed righteousness. Either your own awareness of continuing sin will cause you to doubt whether the legal transaction has taken place, or, as the obvious consequence of believing the  Protestant dogma concerning the work of Christ, you will in good faith ignore your own subjective awareness of sin. If the Father doesn't see my sin, why should I? God can't justly punish the same sins twice. He either punished them and cancelled them once fo

No, Seriously: I Love Karl Barth

I've only read a little by him. Prayer. But if you do, you'll realize this is the type of non-Catholic you want to run into. He's warm, charitable, innovative, and passionate. This really does leap off the page at you. Naturally, the grounding for some of his beliefs will not survive challenge. He is on one side of the gateway to biblical liberalism. I get that. He was most likely a universalist. He didn't understand the Catholic Church he rejected. It's pretty obvious he is at least the most important non-Catholic theologian of the 20th century. You can find him at the heart of what we now know as evangelicalism. Somebody had to reply to the German higher criticism from pretty close to the inside. I'm going to read his commentary on Romans. I'm justly intrigued. Judge away.

The Day The Regulative Principle Became Meaningless

There I was, minding my own business, reading John Frame. Worship In Spirit And Truth. Enjoyable book, even if unconvincing. Even though I agreed at the time that there's nothing overtly scandalous about contemporary worship. And it's obvious John Frame loves Christ, and the people to whom he ministers. I felt it was pretty easy to make the case that Frame didn't hold the RPW at all. The Regulative Principle of Worship, if you are scoring at home. To wit: If you don't have explicit biblical warrant to do a thing in worship, or it cannot be reasonably inferred from what is there, you can't do whatever it is you want to do. I'd just left a guest lecture on liturgy from a dude named Mike, who will remain otherwise nameless, to protect the guilty. The Deb definitely knows this guy. He was recapping a great essay he'd just written for the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society on the development of Reformed liturgy. Within it, this brother made the most


I've now seen the much-hyped fight. And for free, thanks to the hackers who ruined the US providers the night of the fight. I had the fight 9 rounds to 3, in favor of Mayweather. (I like the "10-point must" scoring system; I just don't feel like doing math.) It was really almost uninterrupted domination by Mayweather; it's hard to hit a guy who moves that fast, even at 38. Manny Pacquiao didn't jab; a double-jab more consistently would have allowed him to get inside Floyd Mayweather's longer reach. It did certainly seem like Manny was concerned about counter right hands, and he ate a few, anyway. I wouldn't mind a rematch; no one will do better than Manny, and plenty have done worse. I can appreciate the desire not to in any way support Mayweather's violence against women, even indirectly. But alas, I didn't pay anything. I think most of the world was rooting for Manny, also. He seems like a good person. I can also respect those who might

Why PhDs In Theology Commit Adultery

It's not rocket science. People desire sexual pleasure, perhaps more than any other natural thing. Since the Fall, we desire wrong sex even more than the right kind. If they don't know about grace, not only as the favor of God, but as the power of God unto right living, they are easy pickings. John Piper might even agree with this. The galling part is, he's not being a very good Baptist and Protestant in that agreement. The difference between knowledge and love is participation, the very participation the Reformers took great pains to deny. A great many people who have this pointed out to them are quite annoyed; they have a lot invested in pretending that "monergism" isn't just how it sounds: God does it all, to the praise of His glorious "grace". (Or justice.) It's very true that we cannot be saved merely by what we do. It's equally true that we aren't saved merely by what we say. If you agree, welcome to the Catholic Church!

I Don't Know

There are things in theology that definitely qualify as distractions. Oddly enough, the people who know the least are the people most invested in things that don't matter. I should note the kind of "knowing" I'm talking about: it's a heart-knowing. Who is God? What is He about? The people who are invested in this question are doing theology; others are disputing facts and figures, as though this were the NFL Draft. I am working to cultivate "I don't know" as the proper response to things that don't matter; it has quite a close relation in meaning to, "I don't care" in context. If you read Genesis 1-3, and you don't say, "I need a Savior," you have missed the boat. There are hundreds of secondary questions related to that theme that deserve investigation, and Heaven help those tasked with those pursuits. Yet it seems like all the heat and light comes from things that don't matter. Let me put it a funny way: &q