- Timothy George offers some good reflections on Reformation Day.
It was not Luther’s intention to divide the Church, much less to start a brand new church. To the end of his life, he considered himself to be a faithful and obedient servant of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Though Luther renounced his monastic vows and married a former nun, Katarina von Bora, he never forgot that he had received a doctorate in Holy Scripture. His vocation was to teach the written Word of God and to point men and women to the Lord of Scripture, Jesus Christ.
Baptism is a secondary doctrine, but one that Baptists honestly believe is taught in the New Testament and should be embraced by other believers. To argue baptism is a primary doctrine is sectarian and smacks of a bapto-centric spirit that values the sign of the new covenant over the realities of the new covenant, even if implicitly. But to argue that baptism is unimportant or a matter of adiaphora is to disregard a doctrine that Scripture ties to the gospel (Rom. 6), missions (Matt. 28), and the church (Acts 2). Baptism is very important, but it is not of first importance.
- Here’s a great one from Andy Crouch last week on why megachurch pastors were underrepresented at Lausanne. He had some interesting observations overall, but one comment in particular jumped out. HT
For megapastors, platform time is the price of participation. Entrepreneurial pastors live to speak. Or perhaps more accurately and fairly, they live to influence, and they exercise much of their public influence by speaking. If they are not given a speaking slot, they are likely to conclude that their time can be better spent elsewhere.
- Roger Olson wants to know where all the theological giants have gone.
So why does it matter? Well, I think it was a good thing that Christian theologians (even some heretics) were public intellectuals and that theological debate was part of the larger cultural landscape. It helped hold folk religion at bay. Without that public theological discourse, American Christianity has by-and-large fallen into the hands of folk religion and folk theology–an anti-intellectual mix of cliches and religious urban legends and individual “spiritual” feelings.
- And, in honor of the World Series, here’s a slideshow of the dumbest World Series moments.
- According to a recent study, more people now link the Christian faith to being American.
Purdue University scholars found that between 1996 and 2004, Americans who saw Christian identity as a “very important” attribute of being American increased from 38 percent to 49 percent.
- Tim Stafford explains how people got invited to the Lausanne Conference.
The process started with a selection committee, chosen from the Lausanne network including one representative from each of 12 regions globally. That committee chose a selection director for each of 200 countries. According to Lindsay Brown, international director for Cape Town 2010, the committee looked for “Christian statesmen” who would be fair-minded in trying to represent the whole church in their country, not merely their friends or fellow church members. That chair gathered a selection committee, vested with the authority to choose delegates for their country.
- Religion News Service has an interview with John Dominic Crossan.
Any religion’s greatest prayers should be addressed to the whole world. If a prayer only speaks to you, that’s fine. But I would like to hear you speaking to all of us. The Lord’s Prayer is the greatest because it comes from the heart of Judaism and the lips of Christianity—but speaks to the conscience of the world.
- Brady Boyd offers a list of 10 things he wishes someone had told him when he started in ministry. HT
Sheep bites can’t kill me, but the gnawing will make life miserable a few days each year.
- And, a new study suggests that the world may not end on Dec 21, 2012 after all. That’s a relief.