On Marrying Canaanites (2 Cor 6:14–7:1)

One of the great temptations faced by the Israelites as the entered the land of Canaan would be to absorb the Canaanite religion and thereby either to apostatize by becoming pagans or to attempt to synthesize Canaanite paganism with the biblical religion. . . . Continue reading →

Polycarp Versus The Progressives

In 1973, Charles Merritt Nielsen imagined what might have happened had Polycarp (69–155 AD), the senior pastor of the Christian congregation in Smyrna (today Izmir, Turkey), adopted the rhetoric of the theological progressives, who look for approval from the broader, unbelieving world: . . . Continue reading →

Between Pearls And Privatization

For Christians this is question of how to relate Christ and culture, or how to relate nature and grace. This is an ancient problem. The apostolic and early post-apostolic Christians faced this problem acutely. Our Lord commanded us to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Matt 22:21). The assumption behind the our Lord’s teaching is, of course, that some things are legitimately Casesar’s and some things are not. Our Lord drew a line in the sand when he informed Pilate that his “kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). The apostles faced this problem acutely when they were commanded to stop preaching the gospel. The Apostle Peter spoke for all of us when he replied, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Continue reading →

With Chris Buskirk On Christianity, Civil Life, And Liberty

I spent some time yesterday talking to Chris Buskirk (filling in for Seth Leibsohn) on 960AM the Patriot (Phoenix) about the election, the place of Christians in politics, civil life, and religious liberty. Here’s the audio:

Strangers And Aliens (16d): Defending The Faith (1 Peter 3:13–17)

The pagans have no frame of reference by which to understand what we are saying. The Christian faith is a mystery. We claim that a Jewish rabbi was crucified and raised on the third day, that he was and remain, in fact, God the Son incarnate. There is nothing about paganism that prepares them to understand that. Further. the pagans think about religion as a matter of works, as a matter of a quid pro quo. They think that the gods are powers to be controlled and manipulated. We make offerings and we perform duties and thereby, they think, we have obligated the gods to be good to us. That is not the Christian faith. We say that God has been gracious to us in that while we were sinners (disobedient and judgment deserving), God sent his Son to obey for us, in our place, and to die for us, as our substitute. We say that we are right with God not by anything we have done or can do but merely because God has credited to us who believe all that Jesus did for us. That is a supernatural religion. The pagan has a natural religion. He elevates nature (works) into a religion and seeks to use it to control the gods. Continue reading →

Coaches For Pastors: An Index Of The Identity Of American Culture And Evangelicalism

With the stench of decades of sweat fixed permanently in the air, its tile floor, and its fan-shaped basketball hoops mounted to the brick wall—the only protection against which being a thin, worn wrestling mat—the Community Center was the epitome of an . . . Continue reading →

With Chris Buskirk On Downstream Politics

I am not a political analyst and I do not play on TV or radio (nor in the pulpit) but Christians do live in a twofold kingdom and I was happy to talk with Chris Buskirk, host of Downstream Politics, about media, . . . Continue reading →

With Janet Mefferd On The Social Gospel

Here’s today’s episode of Janet Mefferd Today in which we discussed the “social gospel,” Walter Rauschenbusch, the emergent/emerging church movement and what it means that evangelicals seem to be heading back to this well for inspiration. We also talked about some alternative . . . Continue reading →