On How We Speak of Sin

In a 2013 essay, Thabiti Anyabwile wrote regarding same-sex marriage, “Turns out that being civil about indecency actually hurts the traditional cause.” His point was that polite discourse about abominable behavior plays a role in normalizing such behavior. It is not difficult to see why that would be the case. Polite discourse minimizes and, overContinue reading “On How We Speak of Sin”

Clarifying the Gospel, Part 2: How the Apostles Preached Christ

[See Part 1 of this series.] Although the salvation accomplished by the cross work of Jesus Christ entails multiple dimensions of deliverance—from the power of Satan, from the dominion of sin, from this present evil age, etc.—there is no greater deliverance accomplished by Christ than that which is from the looming judgment of God overContinue reading “Clarifying the Gospel, Part 2: How the Apostles Preached Christ”

Clarifying the Gospel, Part 1: The Looming Judgment

It is common knowledge that the word “gospel” means “good news,” but the nature of that news and what, exactly, makes it good are not always a matter of agreement. Is the good news the hope that we might go to Heaven when we die? Is it that we will be raised from the deadContinue reading “Clarifying the Gospel, Part 1: The Looming Judgment”

Identity Politics, Localism, and the SBC

I love the word “community,” but I hate to see it bastardized into such phrases as “the ________ community” (fill in the blank: white, black, gay, female, non-binary, Christian, minority, etc.). Whenever you put a modifier in front of “community” to define it as a demographic, you have actually changed the meaning of the term.Continue reading “Identity Politics, Localism, and the SBC”

Why Educational Institutions Naturally Drift Left

The conservative resurgence (CR) of the Southern Baptist Convention was a movement to reclaim institutions for a conservative theology and mission. Preeminent among those institutions marked for reclamation were our six seminaries, which had, to varying degrees, come under the influence of a left-leaning theology in the decades preceding the CR, which began in 1979.Continue reading “Why Educational Institutions Naturally Drift Left”

Don’t Preach from the Twitter Lectionary: On Pastoral Ministry and Social Issues

How many tweets have followed something like this formula? Pastor, if you don’t address _____________ [latest social media justice conversation] on Sunday, you have compromised the gospel. I get the motivation. We want to make sure our ministry connects to real world issues. We confess that Christ’s lordship is universal, that he will ultimately redeemContinue reading “Don’t Preach from the Twitter Lectionary: On Pastoral Ministry and Social Issues”

On the Bible and Slavery

When it comes to biblical authority, slavery is the progressive’s favorite wedge issue. It’s not hard to imagine a conversation with a non-Christian or with a progressive Christian going something like this: PROGRESSIVE: You hold to the traditional view of marriage? CONSERVATIVE: Yes. Scripture is clear on that. PROGRESSIVE: And you also hold to ordinationContinue reading “On the Bible and Slavery”

The Fatherly Act of Preaching

Mary Kassian wrote a fine essay┬árecently in which she poses the question, “Where can women teach?” She lays out eight principles to guide our answers to that question in various situations. The principles flow from her central conviction with regard to the question, which she states in the beginning of her essay as follows: AsContinue reading “The Fatherly Act of Preaching”

The Spirit of Conservatism

The Conservative Resurgence (CR) of the Southern Baptist Convention, an organized movement among grassroots churches to reclaim their institutions from a liberal drift, left us with a convention that is conservative in theology. The revisions to┬áThe Baptist Faith and Message from 1998 and 2000 testify to that reality. But conservatism is about more than theology.Continue reading “The Spirit of Conservatism”

The Christological Heresy of Critical Theory

Critical theory locates the sin of oppression in systems rather than in individual acts. Consequently, it argues that guilt accrues to all who belong to an oppressive class, regardless of their personal intentions or actions, due to the benefits they receive from the oppression of minorities. To take a prominent example, white men in AmericaContinue reading “The Christological Heresy of Critical Theory”