Sunday, January 28, 2024

Do we just ignore the fringe and hope they'll go away?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a quote by noted Old Testament scholar and missiologist, Christopher J. H. Wright, that I wrote down while listenening to the podcast he host, On Mission, which I shared on Facebook:

When Christianity gets used for nationalistic ends, even ones that are based in justice and the struggle for liberation, it's so easy then to get distorted into a hegemonic sort of, "We've got to be the winners," and that then easily becomes violent.

Someone online commented, asking me where exactly these violent Christian Nationalist folkd were. I provided several examples, including what went on beneath banners with Christian slogans on January 6, 2021, as well as evidence of violent rhetoric by professing Christians presented by Tim Alberta in his book, The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism.

That same commenter later replied, minimizing the importance of the extremists. Here I give my point-by-point response to what he said.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Important Books for Election Year 2024

As we enter what we all know is going to be a contentious election year in 2024, here are some books that can help us as we navigatew standing up for truth in a Christ-like manner.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Where Did it All Fall Apart?

In the summer of 2023, I read Daniel Hummel’s The Rise and Fall of Dispensationalism. In chapter 11, which deals with scholastic dispensationalism, I came across the following about Lewis Sperry Chafer and his relationship to the broader fundamentalist movement.

“The Same year that [William Bell] Riley published ‘The Menace of Modernism,’ Chafer published ‘Salvation’ (1917), a work with not one reference to current events….Chafer fashioned his work to ignore its historical moment, while Riley’s writings were a direct response to it.” (p. 180)

“By 1922 Chafer had grown disillusioned with Riley’s leadership of the World Christian Fundamentals Association, with its constant agonizing over timely, rather than timeless, issues of concern….A more rigorous institution was needed if pastors were to be fundamentalist Bible expositors rather than rabble-rousers.” (p. 182)

Shortly after I read that, while driving home from work, I was listening to the recording from a chapel service at Dallas Theological Seminary where Jen Wilken spoke on teaching the Bible. She had a lot to say about small groups—especially women’s Bible studies in her experience—being generally given topical studies (often with an emotional focus) when the Christians attending those studies often lack a basic understanding of the overall scope and story of the biblical witness.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

2023 Reading Report

Here is a list of books I read in 2023. A total of 25 titles, though all were not read in their entirety (some of the Leviticus commentaries, I read a major portion of, but did not read the complete volume, as I was researching material on the atonement and the relationship of the Levitical sacrificial system to Christ's sacrificial death). 

Forsaken: The Trinity and the Cross, and Why It Matters by Thomas McCall

The Six Conversations by Heather Holleman

Jesus v Evangelicals: A Biblical Critique of a Wayward Movement by Constantine Campbell

Songs of Resistance: Challenging Caesar and Empire by R. Alan Streett