Blog Archives

Flotsam and jetsam (10/29)

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.

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.

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.

 

Morning links (9/16)

Despite the outpouring of support for the previous title “Flotsam and jetsam” (yes, in my world four comments qualifies as an “outpouring”), I’m going to stick with a simpler title for a while and see how it works.

Flotsam and Jetsam (5/24)

  • I meant to post this one yesterday, but I forgot. Scot McKnight reviews N.T. Wright’s After You Believe at Books and Culture.
  • Scotteriology has a brief post on the importance and usefulness of the documentary hypothesis
  • If you’re not sure what all the commotion is about the new social studies curriculum just approved by the Texas State Board of Education, here is a nice article summarizing the issues.
  • Scot McKnight has posted some interesting facts about megachurches, suggesting that they’re not as bad as we think (or, at least, they’re not worse than really small churches).
  • Apparently the long awaited (100 years) autobiography of Mark Twain is finally going to be released. Sounds like it will be fascinating reading. (HT First Thoughts)
  • If you have any interest in higher education, one of the hot issues today is what schools of the future will do with the library holdings. The Boston Glob has an interesting piece today on how Harvard is responding with its library.
  • I mentioned last week that the “Get a Mac” ad campaign had been canceled. Well, apparently there’s actually a tribute video now.