Camden Bucey is in the process of building a social bookmarking site for the Reformed community called Castle Church. I think this site has potential to become one of the leading Christian sites on the web and it is already quite useful. Check it out.
Archives for May 2007
With the advent of the world wide web it is now possible for someone to get a worldwide education without having to relocate or pay big bucks. You are familiar with my links to some of the best Christian audio on the web. Here are some more seminary, university, and Bible college faculty who offer us access to their ideas and instruction.
- Adams, Paul (Estrella)
- Akin, Daniel (Southeastern)
- Allen, Jack (NOBTS)
- Anderson, Kent (Northwest)
- Arnold, Clinton (Talbot)
- Bailey, Kenneth E. (Ecumenical)
- Barber, Bart (Southwestern)
- Barrick, William (Master’s)
- Bauder, Kevin (Central)
- Beaumont, Doug (SES)
- Bird, Michael (Highland)
- Black, David (Southeastern)
- Bock, Darrell (Dallas)
- Bolger, Ryan (Fuller)
- Bourgond, Gregory (Bethel)
- Bowen, John (Wycliffe)
- Boyce, James (Luther)
- Breshears, Gary (Western)
- Brown, A. Phillip (GBSC)
- Bryan, Philip (BMA)
- Burk, Denny (Criswell)
- Caner, Emir (Southwestern)
- Caner, Ergun (Liberty)
- Cionca, John (Bethel)
- Clark, R. Scott (Westminster)
- Constable, Thomas (DTS)
- Copan, Paul (Palm Beach Atlantic)
- Coppenger, Mark
- Cotton, Roger (Assemblies)
- Craig, William Lane (Talbot)
- Creamer, Barry (Criswell)
- Crossley, James (Sheffield)
- Cruver, Daniel (Baptist Bible)
- Culbertson, Howard (S. Nazarene)
- Damsteegt, P.C. (Andrews)
- Davila, James (St. Andrews)
- Decker, Rodney (Baptist)
- Dembski, William (Southwestern)
- DeVine, Mark (Midwestern)
- Drury, Keith (Indiana Wesleyan)
- Fernandez, Phil (Columbia: WA)
- Ferris, Paul (Bethel)
- Fisk, Bruce (Westmont)
- Frame, John (RTS/Orlando)
- Fredriksen, Paula (Boston)
- Fruchtenbaum, Arnold (Tyndale)
- Gallagher, Robert (Wheaton)
- Garver, Joel (La Salle)
- Gathercole, Simon (Aberdeen)
- Geisler, Norm (SES)
- Gempf, Conrad (London)
- Goodacre, Mark (Duke)
- Gorman, Michael (St. Mary’s)
- Grant, George (Franklin)
- Grigorenko, Donald (Cedarville)
- Gromacki, Gary (Baptist Bible)
- Groothius, Douglas (Denver)
- Gushee, David (Union)
- Guthrie, Shandon (UNLV)
- Hamilton, Jim (Southwestern)
- Harland, Philip (York)
- Hauerwas, Stanley (Duke)
- Haykin, Michael (Southern)
- Helm, Paul (Regent)
- Hildebrandt, Ted (Gordon)
- Hoffman, Mark (Lutheran)
- House, Wayne (Oregon)
- Howe, Richard (SES)
- Hultberg, Alan (Biola)
- Ice, Thomas (Tyndale)
- Jackson, Andrew (Mesa)
- Jacobson, Diane (Luther)
- Johnson, S. Lewis (Tyndale)
- Jones, Peter (Westminster)
- Just, Felix (Loyola)
- Klein, Ralph ( Lutheran)
- Koester, Craig (Luther)
- Kolden, Marc
- Konstenberger, Andreas (Southeastern)
- Kraft, Robert (Univ. of Pennsylvania)
- Kreeft, Peter (Boston)
- Kuritz, Paul (Bates)
- Land, Richard (Southern)
- Lee, F.N. (Queensland Presbyterian)
- Leithart, Peter (St. Andrews)
- Lemke, Steve (New Orleans)
- Lewis, Kevin Alan (Talbot)
- Loader, William (Murdoch)
- Lucas, Sean Michael (Covenant)
- MacArthur, John (Master’s)
- Mariottini, Claude (Northern)
- Matson, Mark (Milligan)
- McDill, Wayne (Southeastern)
- McKnight, Scot (North Park)
- Miller, Chris (Cedarville)
- Mohler, Albert (Southern)
- Mouw, Richard (Fuller)
- Naugle, David (Dallas Baptist Univ.)
- Padgett, Alan (Luther)
- Partee, Charles (Pittsburgh)
- Patterson, Paige (Southwestern)
- Paul, Michael (Prarie)
- Pierce, Jeremy (Le Moyne)
- Pinson, Bill (Truett)
- Piper, John (Bethel [formerly])
- Plantinga, Theodore (Redeemer)
- Poythress, Vern (Westminster)
- Price, J. Randall (Oregon)
- Rainey, Joel (Capital)
- Rakestraw, Robert (Bethel)
- Rasmussen, Carl (Bethel)
- Reid, Alvin (Southeastern)
- Reynolds, Brad (Southeastern)
- Reynolds, John Mark (Biola)
- Rhodes, Ron (Biola)
- Riddlebarger, Kim (Westminster)
- Rima, Sam (Bethel)
- Robbins, Martha (Pittsburgh)
- Robbins, Vernon (Emory)
- Schenck, Ken (Indiana Wesleyan)
- Shults, Leron (Agder)
- Smith, Wesley J. (Discovery Institute)
- Snider, Andy (Master’s)
- Sproul, R.C. (Knox)
- Stackhouse, John (Regent)
- Stallard, Mike (Bible Baptist)
- Stam, Carl (Southern)
- Steenberg, M.C. (Oxford)
- Stilley, Kevin (Southwestern)
- Stricklen, Teresa (Pittsburgh)
- Sundberg, Walter (Luther)
- Sunquist, Scott (Pittsburgh)
- Swanson, Dennis (Master’s)
- Sweet, Leonard (Drew)
- Terry, Bruce (Ohio Valley University)
- Thomas, Gary (Western)
- Tripp, Paul (Westminster)
- Vassiliadis, Petros (Aristotle)
- Veith, Gene Edward (Concordia)
- Vlach, Michael (Master’s)
- Vogt, Peter (Bethel)
- Walston, Rick (CES)
- Watson, Francis (Aberdeen)
- West, Jim (University of Copenhagen)
- Whitcomb, John C. (Grace)
- White, James (Golden Gate)
- Whitney, Donald (Southern)
- Willard, Dallas (USC)
- Williams, Tyler (Taylor)
- Willsey, Jack (Northwest Baptist)
- Wilson, Douglas
- Witherington, Ben (Asbury)
- Wood, Ralph (Truett)
- Zacharias, Ravi (Knox)
What other faculty websites need to be added to my list?
We often refer to the “dialogue” that takes place between an author and the readers of a book. Here is a chance to engage in just that:
In the interest of promoting dialogue on the important topic of justification, Westminster Bookstore, with the gracious cooperation of Justified in Christ editor K. Scott Oliphint, is providing you with a unique opportunity to engage this book’s authors.
From now until May 31, 2007, we invite you to submit questions that arise as you read Justified in Christ, things you would love to ask the authors if you could sit down with them in person. We will collect these questions and pass them on to the Westminster faculty contributors to this book, who will prepare written answers. Some time in June 2007 we will post those answers online.
Sounds like fun to me. GO HERE for instructions on how to participate.
Last semester at The College at Southwestern, I taught a New Testament Focused Study course on The Words of Jesus of Nazareth. I used the following books while preparing my lecture on the Prayers of Jesus. I would be interested in what additional titles you would recommend on this topic.
- An Exposition of Our Lord’s Intercessory Prayer, by John Brown
- The Prayer of Jesus, by Thomas Corbishley
- The Prayers of Jesus, by Joachim Jeremias
- The Prayer of Jesus, by Ken Hemphill
- Jesus, Man of Prayer, by Margaret Magdalen
- Praying Jesus’ Way, by Curtis Mitchell
- The Prayer Life of Jesus, by William and Aida Spencer
- Talking With My Father, by Ray Stedman
- The Lord’s Prayers, by Elton Trueblood
The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out. Brennan Manning. (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1990), 227 pages.
“I actually did vote for The Ragamuffin Gospel before I voted against it.”
In Manning’s foreward to the book he identifies the audience for whom he wrote the book.
… The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out.
It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to another.
It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it altogether and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace. It is for inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is fall off their cracker.
It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents.
It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay.
It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God.
It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags.
The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book I wrote for myself and anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the Way.
I appreciate Manning’s concern for those whom he has identified. In the pages of The Ragamuffin Gospel Manning shares with his readers the message of God’s unconditional love. The first four chapters are really quite excellent. The material is lopsided but that is by design in order to emphasize a particular message. There is a sense in which this is quite appropriate, and another sense in which it is quite dangerous.
A few years ago when I was pastoring one of the men in the church came to me to share that he would not be participating in the study in which we were engaged. He explained that he had explored the first few chapters of the book we were using and that the author never used the word “repentance.”
I shared with him that I was in complete agreement that there could not be revival without repentance. I reached and picked up a copy of the book and read to him the first line of the first chapter, “It’s not about you.” Then I turned to Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
I am convinced that both of the above passages are about repentance — repentance from putting self where Christ should be.
Similarly, Manning does not make the word “repentance” dominate, yet I think the idea is present in his call for Christians to stop making ourselves God through a self-centered religion where works dominate.
He writes, “Our approach to the Christian life is as absurd as the enthusiastic young man who had just received his plumber’s license and was taken to see Niagara Falls. He studied it for a minute and then said, ‘I think I can fix this.'”
Manning is to be commended for placing the emphasis upon God, His love, and His grace rather than focusing upon man. I believe that the first 80 pages or so of the book are a needed message for the wounded and the worried.
However, in the subsequent pages of the book, in which Manning tries to build a case for discipleship, his presentation is deeply flawed. In these pages Manning unintentionally places the emphasis back upon man; man the complete failure.
Manning’s idea of discipleship is not that of the Bible in which a believer becomes identified with Christ and is transformed. For Manning, authentic discipleship rests not in our faithfulness to the person of Christ and the Word of God but in being “buffeted by the fickle winds of failure,” by lapses and relapses, yet continuing to come back to Jesus. (page 183)
It is true, as said Howard Hendricks, that “Regardless of His demanding statements regarding the cost of discipleship, He never demanded a fully developed faith at the beginning of one’s spiritual pilgrimage. He never rejected anyone because of his incomplete, faltering faith or failure to live up to God’s laws.” However, Jesus never portrayed faltering faith and failure as the norm for Christian living.
In John 15 Jesus exhorted his disciples to abide in Him. Manning seems to assume that abiding in Christ is impossible and instead exhorts his readers to keep coming back to Jesus. There is huge difference in these two messages.
Manning needs to become better acquainted with Romans 6:
6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)
The Ragamuffin Gospel begins well, but a flawed presentation of biblical repentance, neglect to recognize our identification with Christ, and redefinition of Christian discipleship end in a warped presentation of the nature of victorious Christian living.
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Read an excerpt from Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s sermon “A Call to Holy Living”
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Unlike the Republican debate a few weeks ago, which was a complete waste of time, tonight’s debate was interesting and informative. The candidates were asked substantive questions and were given enough time to properly respond. Brit Hume effectively facilitated the event and the questions from Chris Wallace and Wendell Goler were direct and tough but also fair and balanced.
So, who won?
I agree with the Chairman of GOPAC Michael Steele who said that this debate established Governor Mike Huckabee as a first tier candidate. In my opinion Huckabee was the only candidate in both debates to answer every question exactly as they should have been answered. In addition to giving perfect answers, he was funny, he was personal, and he was bold when appropriate.
Huckabee had the funniest line of the night when he accused Congress of spending money “like John Edwards at a beauty shop.” And, he didn’t back down at all from his previous comments regarding Giuliani’s inconsistency on the abortion debate. Instead, Huckabee effectively demonstrated that Giuliani is either a poor critical thinker or a liar. And, he stripped Giuliani’s position of any credibility while at the same time showing respect for the man. Huckabee is a statesman, — something we don’t have too many of in the U.S.A.
“Can anything good come out of Arkansas?” (John 1:46), the apparent answer is “Yes, Mike Huckabee.”
Despite the undressing Giuliani received from Huckabee, Rudy was probably the person who most benefited from the debate. When Ron Paul suggested that U.S. bombing of Iraq was responsible for the events of 9/11 Giuliani squashed him like a bug. Ron Paul was already the candidate least likely to succeed so the benefit did not come from his demise. The real benefit of the exchange was that it showed RG as being the kind of person who could stand toe-to-toe with the Democratic candidate and slug it out. Given that most politicians are girly-men, Republicans wouldn’t mind having a slugger in the ring.
However, I went back and watched the debate a second time. (Yes, I am a glutton for punishment.) With the exception of the Rudy Giuliani-Ron Paul exchange and his projection of strength in the area of national security, Giuliani’s performance was not really very convincing. Not only did Huckabee tag him on the chin pretty good, so did Gilmore on abortion and Tancredo on immigration. Further, Chris Wallace had to ask Giuliani a second time to answer this question,
“You’re pro-choice, you’re pro-gay rights, you’re pro-gun control. You supported Mario Cuomo for governor over a Republican. Are those the stands of a conservative?”
Even after Wallace asked him a second time to answer the question, Giuliani avoided the question and instead talked about Hillary Clinton. That was probably smart on his part because the fact of the matter is that Giuliani is not conservative and the only time he looks like he is a good candidate is when he is standing next to Hillary.
What about the other candidates?
Here is my ordering of how I think they performed:
- Mike Huckabee
- Rudy Giuliani
- John McCain
- Jim Gilmore
- Mitt Romney
- Duncan Hunter
- Tommy Thompson
- Sam Brownback
- Tom Tancredo
- Ron Paul
John McCain presented himself much better in this debate than in the first one. His answers were excellent, he showed strength, projected integrity and character, and came off as someone you could trust with the responsibility. He distinguished himself from the other candidates as a military man who did not believe in torture. When it was implied his relationships with Democrats was evidence of his lack of commitment to conservative values, he gave a very good answer claiming that his bipartisanship was not an indication of liberalism but of leadership.
On the negative side, McCain was blinky and his undying commitment to the war is a bit scary at times. He was also hurt a bit when Tancredo tied him to the “soft on illegal immigration” group.
Along the way, McCain did some damage to several of the other candidates. When Romney took a shot at McCain on the issue of campaign finance McCain answered, “I have not changed my position on even-numbered years or changed because of the different offices that I may be running for.” There was some uncomfortable laughter because everyone knew he was talking of Romney who has flip-flopped more than the U.S. Gymnastics team. In fact, Chris Wallace asked Romney about his nick-name Flip-Flop Mitt, to which Romney gave a very lame answer about an epiphany and being governor of a very tough Blue-State.
Romney was also hurt when Gilmore pointed out that Romney’s national health care plan is another big government mandated program. Gilmore didn’t come right out and say it, but the implication was that Romney is the Republican version of Hillary. Hillary and Romney seem to both move to the right or left depending on how politically expedient it is.
While Romney did not turn in the worst performance of the group, there can be no doubt that he was the candidate who suffered most from it. The more exposure Americans get to the man the more they come to believe that the biggest difference between him and a used car salesman is that Romney wears a more expensive suit and tie.
Jim Gilmore had the courage to say out loud what several of the others should have been saying. That is, that some of the other candidates are NOT conservatives. He did a poor job of pointing the finger, but his premise was correct.
Gilmore turned in a pretty solid performance at times. However, if he had any chance at all of receiving the Republican nomination (which he didn’t), he blew it big time when he lumped Social Security in with “entitlement programs” that are out of control. No one over the age of sixty will every vote for Gilmore again.
Tommy Thompson had a very good record as the governor of Wisconsin, but he really seems AWOC (Absent While On Camera) at these debates. He avoided the question of how he would require certain actions from the Iraqi government, floundered when asked what cuts he would make to government spending, and on one question he spent more time quoting Colin Powell and Ronald Reagan than sharing his own ideas. I’m guessing he needs a good night’s sleep and a double expresso (make that to go).
Duncan Hunter was okay tonight. But, just okay. He tried to be “the buck stops here” candidate, but instead came off as being a bit full of himself. Someone should check how many times he uses the word “I” compared with the other candidates.
And, while you are counting, check out how many times Sam Brownback used “pull us together” That seemed to be his only position. How will you stop terrorism? “Pull us together.” How will you handle the war in Iraq? “Pull us together.” Oh, there was that other wise answer regarding how to reduce gasoline prices; we will buy alternative energy from those states that have early primaries. Wink, wink.
Tancredo was much better than in the first debate, but still towards the bottom in terms of performance. He tried to exert himself and show how passionate he is, but ended up sounding shrill, the word “absolutely” should be surgically removed from his vocabulary, and he needs someone to explain to him the premise behind global warming. However, he has established himself as the candidate with a tough position on illegal immigration and he got in a pretty good quip about how the other candidates are moving in his direction saying that there were more conversions than at a Baptist tent revival. “I trust those conversions when they happen on the road to Damascus and not on the road to Des Moines.” His reference to pop culture icon Jack Bauer was also an effective way to make his point that terrorism must be aggressively countered.
And, finally, Ron Paul. When asked if he was out of step with the Party, he countered that it was the Party which had lost the way.” I suggest that it is a matter of both/and, not either/or. As I said previously, he never stood a chance, but tonight when he suggested that American invited the events of 9/11 he distanced himself from everyone. He suggests isolationist policies, and now he has isolated himself. Hmmmmm. Ordinarily, I might say that he probably needs a hug, but he spent most of the night hugging himself as if he was very cold.
Well, those are my thoughts on the debate. I would be interested in how your perspective differs from mine.
Wilderness Bonanza : The Tri-State Mining District of Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma . Arrell M. Gibson. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972).
Wilderness Bonanza is a popularization of Arrell Gibson’s PhD dissertation supplemented by thirty years of subsequent research. His organization of material is chronological within thematic categories, however, the absence of plot would seem to eliminate the possibility of calling it a narrative history, as is common in many popularizations. The George A. Spiva Library on the campus of Missouri Southern State University, which houses Gibson’s professional papers in its Special Collections area, describes Gibson as a “western historian.” This title would seem to be in accord with what Yi-Fu Tuan might call a historical-geographic myth which features frontier.
Not only does Gibson stand in direct linage of those advocating a teleological philosophy of history, he also seems to have been strongly influenced by adherents of a western theory of progress (like Frederick Jackson Turner). This work advocates progress through gradual, unilinear, cumulative improvement; Gibson discusses the stages through which camps/towns progress, he divides his discussion of mining methods into three distinct stages, he uses periodization to describe labor relations in the Tri-State District. A theory of material progress seems apparent in his repeated use of the phrase “a new era.” Further, he employs the terms “evolve” and “evolution.” Gibson seems to fit the description which Gertrude Himmelfarb used of Nisbet, “Thus, progress is gradual and cumulative, material and moral, reflected in improved conditions and prospects for an ever-increasing number of people.”
I personally appreciate a historical approach that is teleological. Further, I appreciate the depth and breadth of Gibson’s knowledge. However, on page 250 of Wilderness Bonanza Gibson writes, “It is amazing that private as well as governmental facilities produced such an abundance of research and published literature on improving mining practices and yet neglected for so long the district’s human element and its improvement.” It seems to me that Gibson is guilty of the same approach which he is faulting; absence of the human element.
Where are the people in this work? Banking hours are discussed but very little is said of the people who banked. Job positions and salaries are explicated but what is said of the people who received wages? In fact, it almost appears that in places Gibson intentionally left out information which would enliven his work and bring out the human element. For instance, in his discussion of the western movement of mining from Southeastern Missouri to Southwestern Missouri he notes that Moses Austin received a land grant from the Spanish government. It would have tied his discussion to larger events, enlivened it, and in no manner sidetracked it if he would have mentioned that this was the same Moses Austin who later received permission from the Spanish government to take 300 settlers into Texas but his demise resulted in his son Stephen taking this action.
Gibson has a chapter entitled “Tri-State Social Conditions”, but the title seems misapplied as the chapter focuses almost entirely on health issues and does not even present a significant discussion of the social ramification of the health issues which he raises. He has a chapter entitled “Tri-State Society,” but gives only a paragraph to discussions of education, religious life, intellectual life, etc. He is thorough in his discussion of geology, technology, and metallurgy but his people are discussed only when essential to further the discussion of process and progress. He seems to display an approach which Michael Adas, Professor of History at Rutgers University, would call “machines as the measure of men.”
Jacques Barzun might claim that this work fails as a historical work in that history requires a humanistic approach which is absent in Gibson’s work. Nevertheless, those with an interest in cultural geography, mining, or local history of the Tri-State Mining District will find the book to be beneficial and interesting.
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All that mankind has done, thought, gained, or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.
~ Thomas CarlylePublish