As we end out the summer, I am just running through a list of blog posts that have come out over the past few months that I found interesting. Some are insightful. Some are more heady. You might find some of them of interest, too:
- Crossway Publishers put out a survey among evangelicals regarding “How Do You Read Your Bible?” An interesting look into Bible reading habits.
- Crossway also has an article on “5 Common Evangelism Excuses.” This actually came out last summer, but I was so convicted by it, I had to read it again.
- Canadian Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor wrote his magnum opus A Secular Age, a few years ago, and everyone who has read it says it is one of the most important books they have read, like David Brooks, as it tries to answer the question, “Why was it virtually impossible not to believe in God in, say 1500, in our Western society, while in 2000 many of us find this not only easy but even inescapable?” The downside to the book is that it is 800-pages of dense prose. Blogger Peter Leithart has short blog entry on the book, and Christianity Today did a podcast on it. Maybe one day I will read the book!
- Baylor University Historian Philip Jenkins reviews a new book The Inklings and King Arthur. One hundred years ago, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, who founded the Inklings, survived the horrors of World War One, an experience that served as the crucible for their most creative works.
- In a similar vein, from the Smithsonian magazine, Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien and trusted heir to his father’s literary estate, plans on releasing the final book based on his father’s notes on Middle Earth, The Fall of Gondolin. Cumulatively, this is an astounding amount of literary output, framed around a Biblical worldview, though it is hard to imagine how anything can surpass The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Christopher Tolkien himself is now 93 years old.
- Australian theologian Michael Bird has a series of posts on biblical inspiration (#1, #2, #3). Here is another short post about the “Rapture” passage in 1 Thessalonians., and another quick review of a forth-coming Genesis 1-11 commentary, and finally a review of Ian Paul’s new commentary on the Book of Revelation.
- While on the topic of inerrancy, here is Southern Baptist theologian Robert Plummer on why skeptics should consider that God is not about “tricking” people when it comes to the Bible.
- The Gospel Coalition blogger, Justin Taylor, on five ways of writing history as a Christian. On a deeper level, Westminster Seminary church historian Carl Trueman on the philosophy of doing history.
- Carl Trueman again on why Protestant evangelicals should pay more attention to Thomas Aquinas.
- British scholar Peter Hitchens (brother of the late atheist, Christopher Hitchens) on the Protestant legacy of the martyrs, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley.
- An interview by Jesus Creed blogger, Scott McKnight, with Mark Yarhouse, at Regent University, on Yarhouse’s book Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture.
- Blogger Alastair Roberts on deciphering a perplexing Bible passage, about the Witch of Endor. By the way, Roberts has an excellent set of Q&A videos, dealing with difficult questions about the Bible at CuriousCat. Fascinating and insightful.
- Theopolis Institute’s James Jordan on how “Book Five” (Psalms 107-150) of the Psalms fits together into a cohesive narrative.
- A bit of an oddity from the American Vision, by Joel McDurmon, as he sets Psalm 127 within the broader Scriptural context, making the argument that the “quiver full” movement, that urges Protestants not to practice birth control, has misinterpreted this psalm. I am surprised that McDurmon’s detractors, in the comments section of his blog post, had the time to write their objections, as they surely have plenty of children to chase after. Though I am surprised that McDurmon did not appeal to Claude Mariottini’s post on this subject a few years ago.
- British Bible teacher Andrew Wilson walks us through this summer’s THINK conference, #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, and #7, on the Future of Complementarity, held in London, trying to forge a middle path through the complementarian/egalitarian debate over women in ministry, that has been dividing evangelical churches for a good thirty years now. I think of it as trying to navigate a third-way, between John Piper, on one side, and Willow Creek, on the other. Will it convince both sides? I am not sure, but it is worth exploring. Here is how some Brits viewed the conference. Andrew Wilson explains why thinking about this issue matters. Wilson addresses some criticism of the conference here (Is Eldership Gender Neutral?). Can American churches learn something here? … (An egalitarian critique is here.)…. For background, here is Andrew Wilson a few years ago on a theology of eldership (American churches need to think about this), and his friendly quarrel with John Piper, with a rebuttal from Mark Dever’s church., and an article by Wilson on this topic from 2012.
- This is actually an older post, but a thoughtful one, relevant to the previous links to Andrew Wilson, by Denny Burk, at Boyce College, about how one church made the transition from being complementarian to egalitarian. I am just not sure how workable such an arrangement would be in an “agree-to-disagree” community, as Burk raises some important issues to consider.
- RJS, the co-blogger at Jesus Creed, finished up a series on John Walton’s and Brent Sandy’s book, The Lost World of Scripture, a book on my “to-be-read” list, with this concluding blog post.
- Gospel Coalition blogger, Joe Carter, on the Enneagram.
- Gospel Coalition blogger, Chris Cataldo, on Pope Pius IX.
- Gordon Conwell church historian Ryan Reeves on the Septuagint. Folks in my church who took my Reformation class last fall should recognize professor Reeves. Reeves new book on Know How We Got Our Bible, is out on Audible now.
- Protestant Christians often lament at how fragmented Protestantism is. An Eastern Orthodox response to sola scriptura explains how the church in the East “holds it together.”
- A last look at the controversial Revoice Conference by Anglican theologian Wesley Hill. While there were some elements of the conference that disturbed me, that require further discussion, much of the criticisms of the conference were just so far over the top, that I found them quite sadly comical. Robertson McQuilkin’s famous quote is more relevant than ever, “It seems easier to go to a consistent extreme than to stay at the center of biblical tension.” I am sure next year that we will be in for another round of this!
- Southern Baptist seminary scholar Thomas Schreiner on the dangers to orthodoxy on both the left and the right. Wisdom indeed.
Disclaimer: I have mostly skimmed the above articles. Hopefully, I can actually read them more thoroughly on vacation sometime!
September 10th, 2018 at 7:59 pm
A follow-up from Alistair Roberts about women’s ordination, based on the UK Think conference:
Here is an interesting older post from Denny Burk on 1 Timothy 2:12:
More from Roberts and Burk:
Related, an analysis of J.R.W.Stott on 1 Timothy 2:
N.T. Wright on 1 Timothy 2:
Craig Blomberg review of Philip Payne:
Oh, and I missed this fascinating post on what bother some evangelicals about C.S. Lewis _The Last Battle_, written by Douglas Wilson:
September 13th, 2018 at 1:33 pm
This whole series of posts by Andrew Wilson, on the complementarian/egalitarian controversies are a few years old, but well worth the time to read, for those interested in this discussion:
And then some more posts recently:
(For an alternative perspective, from an egalitarian point of view):
On a biblical theology of eldership:
And “teaching” with a little “t” as opposed to a big “T”:
And an article on the concept of male headship:
For a completely random topic, here is some interesting material on Matthew’s Apocalyptic Zombies (I tend to agree with Mike Licona here):