Mark Dever Interviews Greg Beale on Biblical Theology

Greg Beale has taught me a great deal about Biblical Theology. His recent book A New Testament Biblical Theology is a book every teacher of Scripture should read. Mark Dever recently interviewed Beale for the 9Marks Leadership Interview. Here’s the description: “Greg Beale gives a crash course on the discipline of biblical theology, assesses recent works on it, and explains what he’s written and why.” Listen to it here.


Arthur F. Holmes (1924-2011)

Christianity Today reported this week that Arthur Holmes, longtime professor of philosophy at Wheaton College, died on October 8, 2011. Holmes is well known among Christian schools for his book The Idea of a Christian College, and he was influential in the quest for integration in education as he argued that “all truth is God’s truth.” David Osielski has a post reflecting on Holmes and his influence at Wheaton’s blog ReCollections.

We succumb to what is around us…

I’ve been reading A. J. Conyers book The Eclipse Of Heaven, and in it he has a great quote from P. T. Forsyth’s Positive Preaching and Modern Mind: The Lyman Beecher Lecture on Preaching, Yale University, 1907, of which Carl Trueman once said that is is “the best book on the theological practice of preaching ever written.” Forsyth states: “If within us we find nothing over us we succumb to what is around us.”

Google Buzz…

The new Google Buzz has created some problems for me in my inbox and Google Reader. I noticed that the problem is enough for Alan Jacobs to leave Google altogether. He writes:

My response: after five years and 25,000 email messages, I have abandoned Gmail and Google Calendar. I have deleted all my Google Reader subscriptions, and deleted all my contacts. My principle is a simple one: Google will not determine and range and nature of my social connections, I will.

Read his whole post about the new Google Buzz.

USA Today Interviews Mark Driscoll on Haiti

USA Today posted an interview with Mark Driscoll after he returned from a trip to Haiti with James MacDonald. Driscoll described a situation he and MacDonald witnessed:

We were downtown loading up our film crew. There were no police, no medics, to be seen by a huge park with hundreds of people camping out with no where else to go. There was a little cart with a red umbrella and a man selling cell phones and cigarettes — and a few young girls.

“You want to buy loving?” the guy asked me. I said, “What in the world are you talking about?”

But there was another guy there, who claimed to be a translator for a relief agency, who was negotiating a price for a girl. I asked him what he was trying to do. He said, “Oh, she’s a friend of mine. We’re just trying to connect.”

That’s ridiculous. A young girl. A man 20 or 30 years older. I told him this was unacceptable. MacDonald confronted him, too. But there were no police and you could argue all you wanted but the girl took his money and they walked away.”

You can read the whole interview here. There are terrible stories coming out of Haiti about slave trade and teenage prostitution. Pray for Haiti and support organizations that are trying to stop these developments. Driscoll and MacDonald started Churches Helping Churches to help with relief efforts.

World & AP: Top 10 News Stories of 2009

The editors of World Magazine have ranked the most significant news stories of 2009:

  1. Inauguration of President Barack Obama
  2. War in Afghanistan and Pakistan
  3. War in Iraq
  4. Climategate
  5. Healthcare debate
  6. Recession
  7. Nidal Hasan, Fort Hood, and the domestic terror threat
  8. Honduras: Triumph of Latin American democracy
  9. Creation of the ACNA
  10. U-turn for U.S. pro-life message overseas

Here is the AP list:

  1. The Economy
  2. Obama Inauguration
  3. Health Care
  4. Auto Industry
  5. Swine Flu
  6. Afghanistan
  7. Michael Jackson Dies
  8. Fort Hood Rampage
  9. Edward Kennedy Dies
  10. Miracle on Hudson

Although there is a lot of similarity between the two lists, it is interesting to see how the Christian editors from World provide a slightly different perspective on the significant events. For example, take the top story. The AP lists the economy, whereas World lists the Inauguration of Obama. World also lists the creation of the Anglican Church of North America and abortion as top news stories, and the AP wouldn’t list those.

Top Theology Stories for 2009

Collin Hansen listed his top 10 theology stories of 2009 at Christianity Today. His list includes the following events:

  1. Both NIV and TNIV Will Be Phased Out
  2. SBC Seeks a Great Commission Resurgence
  3. ELCA Okays Gay Unions, Pastors
  4. Coral Ridge Hires Tullian Tchividjian, Critics Break Away
  5. Manhattan Declaration Prods Culture, Invites Pushback
  6. Adoption Push Gains Steam
  7. Rick Warren Prays at Obama Inauguration
  8. Bell Shapes Gospel Discussion
  9. Split Widens Between U.S. Episcopalians and Anglican Communion
  10. ‘Coming Evangelical Collapse’ Predicted

You can read his whole article here.

First Things: The Evangel

First Things has a new blog called the Evangel. It’s a group blog and several current bloggers are part of the discussion. Joe Carter started the opening discussion by defining an evangelical and asking, “How would the bloggers here at Evangel define the term? What is is that we all have in common that allows us to share the label?” I’ll be participating in the discussion, and my opening contribution is here.

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

The tree of life my soul hath seen
Laden with fruit and always green
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree

His beauty doth all things excel
By faith I know, but ne’er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree

For happiness I long have sought
And pleasure dearly I have bought
I missed of all; but now I see
‘Tis found in Christ the apple tree

I’m weary with my former toil
Here I will sit and rest a while
Under the shadow I will be
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree

This fruit doth make my soul to thrive
It keeps my dying faith alive
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree

[HT: Ray Ortlund]

Cranmer’s Collect: Easter Sunday

Almighty God, which through thy only begotten son Jesus Christ has overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; we humbly beseech thee, that, as by thy special grace, preventing us, thou dost put in our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through Jesus Christ our Lord who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and forever. Amen.

The Collects of Thomas Cranmer by Paul F. M. Zahl

We Don’t Make Our Lives Up

From Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness (Resources for Reconciliation) by Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier:

“Long story short: we don’t get to make our lives up. We get to receive our lives as gifts. The story that says we should have no story except the story we chose … is a lie. To be human is to learn that we don’t get to make up our lives because we’re creatures…. Christian discipleship is about learning to receive our lives as gifts without regret” (p. 93).

[HT: Halden]