The news is breaking that Douglas Phillips of Vision Forum Ministries has resigned. This post should not be interpreted as a desire to heap scorn upon Mr. Phillips, his family, or the things he has courageously stood for over the years. On the contrary, while the circumstances which precipitated his resignation are sad, his resignation letter is in many ways a model of public repentance. It has become common in our day for those in positions of authority to “transition” from their duties in obscure ways, without any public acknowledgment of missteps, poor judgment, or wrongdoing. But Mr. Phillips made no attempt to be evasive. He put his behavior in biblical categories, without any attempt to “spin” himself in a positive light.
“On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther tacked up 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg. With this act, he hoped to provoke a discussion among the scholars about the abuses of the indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church. He was not trying to create a public furor by any means, but within a fortnight, these theses had spread through the country like wildfire. The last thing Luther had in mind was to start some kind of major controversy, but nevertheless major controversy did begin.” —R.C. Sproul
In honor of Reformation Day, Ligonier Ministries is offering the downloadable edition of R.C. Sproul’s ten-part series Luther and the Reformation for free. (Both audio and video.) Check it out! And Happy Reformation Day!
Andrew Wilson, pastor in Eastbourne, UK and author of If God, Then What?, writes an even-handed review of Mark Driscoll’s latest missive, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?. An excerpt:
At the center of the book, however, is an unresolved tension that threatens to scuttle the whole volume. On the one hand, Driscoll insists that, in order to pursue “resurgence,” the various tribes in contemporary evangelicalism need to unite around the gospel, choose our battles wisely, and allow all sorts of disagreement over non-essential matters (116). The tribes that he, John Piper, Bill Hybels, Steven Furtick, John MacArthur, Joel Osteen, Stanley Hauerwas, Scot McKnight, Andy Stanley, T. D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, and Albert Mohler represent all agree on the non-negotiables of evangelicalism (95-96 and following)—an observation I suspect will astonish some of these leaders!—and we should Continue Reading…
An exceptionally important article by John Piper on the necessity of parents requiring the first-time obedience of their children. He offers nine observations to “help rescue some parents from the folly of laissez-faire parenting.”
1. Requiring obedience of children is implicit in the biblical requirement that children obey their parents.
2. Obedience is a new-covenant, gospel category.
3. Requiring obedience of children is possible.
I’ve been reading a bit about John MacArthur’s recent Strange Fire conference (also the title of his new book), and of all the strange things I’ve read, this was the strangest: R.C. Sproul prayed in tongues. No, not at the conference, but earlier in his life. Here’s the opening of his article:
MANY PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED, AND SOME ARE shocked, when they hear of my involvement in the charismatic movement years ago.
It began in 1965, shortly after I returned from graduate study in Holland to teach philosophy and theology at my alma mater. Some of my senior students who were preparing for ministry kept talking to me excitedly about their experiences with the Holy Spirit and about receiving the gift of tongues.
Tullian Tchividjian appeared on Morning Joe to discuss his new book, One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World. Towards the end, they talked about Tullian’s grandfather, Billy Graham, who will turn 95 this November. Mr. Graham writes of Tullian’s book:
Tim Keller appeared on Morning Joe recently to discuss his new book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering. On a personal note, he shares that his father passed away in February and his mother passed away earlier that very week.
I’m two chapters into this book and really enjoying it. He’s comparing the Christian view of suffering to that of the Greek stoics and Eastern mystics. A quote, “Christians don’t face adversity by stoically decreasing our love for the people and things of this world so much as by increasing our love and joy in God….Grief was not to be eliminated but seasoned and buoyed up with love and hope.” (p. 44)
I’ve not yet seen this book, which releases tomorrow (October 7), but it’s sure to be interesting. Jefferson Bethke is the guy who put out a video called “Why I hate religion, but love Jesus,” (since viewed over 24 million times) which Kevin DeYoung helpfully interacted with.
With a foreword by Lacrae, and endorsements from Russell Moore, Jennie Allen, and several others, I anticipate it being thought-provoking (whether or not I’m able to agree with every jot and tittle). I’ll be looking forward to responses as well.
This new book by Joe Rigney, Live Like A Narnian: Christian Discipleship in Lewis’s Chronicles, just in time it seems for the Desiring God conference The Romantic Rationalist: God, Life, and Imagination in the Work of C.S. Lewis, looks very interesting. Here’s the publisher’s description:
In Live Like a Narnian Joe Rigney shows that Owen Barfield was right–What C.S. Lewis thought about everything was secretly present in what he said about anything. From apologetics to his thoughts on education, from his view of science to the role of government, from Natural Law to true manhood and womanhood–the breadth of Lewis’s bright vision of life shines through in his beloved Chronicles. Come, learn to breathe Narnian air.
I’ve only just received this book and started flipping through it, but I would not be surprised if Tim Keller’s latest book Walking with God through Pain and Suffering receives as wide a readership as The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. The publisher writes, “Walking with God through Pain and Suffering is the definitive Christian book on why bad things happen and how we should respond to them.” And Keller writes “at the heart of why people disbelieve and believe in God, of why people decline and grow in character, of how God becomes less real and more real to us–is suffering.”
This is a meaty, 16-chapter, 356 page book, and the Table of Contents looks outstanding. Since the “Look Inside” feature doesn’t seem operational yet on Amazon, I’ll just tell you. The book is divided into three parts: Understanding the Furnace, Facing the Furnace, and Walking with God in the Continue Reading…