After much deliberation, prayer, and encourage from some friends and readers the HB is back. Thanks to a dear and loyal friend who did an amazing amount of work to make it happen.
The last HB post was in May 2011. Much has happened since. It’s not possible to fill in the blank created by the interim so I won’t try. The two concerns, however, that animated the HB from 2006-2011 continue to fuel my teaching and writing: 1) getting the gospel right (and getting it out) and 2) getting worship right (to the glory of God and the edification of the church). I remain committed to Recovering the Reformed Confession.
As I look about it does not seem that the world has changed much since May, 2011 but I have changed, however, mainly through loss, which has been sobering and saddening. I’m sure that I am worse for it. Nevertheless, as I continue to learn the greatness of my sin and misery I also learn the magnificence of the mystery of grace (unconditional acceptance with God on the ground of Christ’s righteousness imputed and received through trusting in Christ alone) and grace is sustaining.
For some of the interim I’ve been helping to finish work on a long-term translation project that should (Dv) appear in 2013. I’ve been working on a project that considers the relations between the Reformed faith, rhetoric, love, truth, and ethos in the late modern era.
In response to the several email queries I’ve received: I don’t know what happened to Jason Stellman. We have not talked. He has my mobile number and a standing invitation to call any time.
In case you’re troubled by Jason’s apparent defection from the biblical, evangelical, faith and are tempted to follow him you should know this: whatever her apologists may say, Rome is not home. She is a way station to other even more unhappy destinations. She is most certainly not a path to the faith and practice of the Scriptures nor is she a path back to the early church. The Patristic (100-500 AD) and medieval (500-1500 AD) churches in the West were gradually Romanized but they were not the Roman Church we know today.
Properly speaking, there is no “Roman Catholic Church.” Such a claim may be clever marketing but it’s oxymoronic. A church is either Roman (local) or catholic (universal). By definition she cannot be both simultaneously any more than Jesus’ humanity can be at the right hand of the Father and in Berlin at the same time.
As a matter of history, the Roman communion came into being in 1547, midway through the Council of Trent, when that council condemned the Holy Gospel. From a historian’s perspective, Rome is a sect, whose identity, theology, piety, and practice is so tied to Trent that it would be entirely unrecognizable to the apostolic and early post-apostolic (Patristic) church and to much of the medieval church. Were most of the theologians of the first nine or ten centuries to look at Rome in the 21st century, they would be shocked and disappointed to learn that doctrines that were marginal in their day have become Romanist orthodoxy and orthopraxy. There would be much face-palming and head slapping from the host of Patristic and early medieval theologians.
From the “I Told You So” Dept: The Federal Vision has not gone away and worse, the de facto leader of the Federal Vision movement has apparently been integrated into the evangelical-Reformed mainstream. I noticed that, in July of this year, he was interviewed on the TGC website about lectures given on the campus of the University of Indiana and that he posted an article earlier the same month. Just days ago he posted on worldview. Then, of course, there was the kerfuffle over Jared Wilson’s quotation of his comments on sex as conquest. It’s more than little disappointing that the Gospel Coalition should adopt the leading proponent of the Federal Vision doctrine as one of their own and that controversy should erupt, not over his corruption of the gospel, but over his reconstructionist-inspired account of marital relations. A word to the TGC: If you lie down with a dominionist federal-vision theologian you wake with his fleas.