Category Archives: Cultural Engagement
My sweet wife and I have had a number of conversations lately about shepherding our children as they begin to engage technology, and this includes what we model for them. We need discernment in this area, so I’m eager to see the book that Tim Challies has written on the issue, The Next Story. Here’s a trailer for the book:
Denny Burk preached a strong word this morning at Kenwood Baptist Church. For a taste of the passionate and righteous justice of the cause see this post, and check out the audio of this strong sermon:
God will do justice.
The only hope for sinners is repentance.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news.
The most recent issue of the Towers publication from SBTS reproduces a condensation of a pamphlet John Broadus wrote on “The Duty of Teaching Baptist Distinctives.” If the link doesn’t go straight to the article on the PDF, it’s on the lower third of page 5 (Towers, January 3, 2011). I’ve copied and pasted it below:
The Duty of Teaching Baptist Distinctives
by John A. Broadus
EDITOR’S NOTE: John A. Broadus (1827- 1895), founder and former professor at Southern Seminary, first published this material as a 35-page pamphlet with the American Baptist Publication Society. This article is a condensed version of excerpts from an issue of “The Baptist Vision.”
A duty we owe to ourselves
We must teach [Baptist] views in order to be consistent in holding them. Because of these we stand apart from other Christians. We have no right thus to stand apart unless the matters of difference have real importance; and if they are really important, we certainly ought to teach them.
This teaching is the only way of correct- ing excesses among ourselves. Do some of our Baptist brethren seem to you ultra in their denominationalism, violent, bitter? And do you expect to correct such a tendency by going to the opposite extreme? You are so pained, shocked, disgusted at what you consider an unlovely treatment of controverted matters that you shrink from treating them at all. Well, the persons you have in view would defend them-selves by pointing at you. Thus one extreme fosters another.
A duty we owe to our fellow Christians
It is urged that we ought to push all our differences into the background and stand shoulder to shoulder against Popery. It seems to us that the best way to meet and withstand Romanism is to take Baptist ground. Our brethren of the Protestant persuasions are all holding some “developed” form of Christian- ity, not so far developed as Popery, and some of them much less developed than others, but all having added something, in faith or govern- ment or ordinances, to the primitive simplicity. The Roman Catholics know this, and some- times say that the Baptists alone are consistent in opposing the [Roman Catholic] Church.
We may say that there are but two sorts of Christianity: church Christianity and Bible Christianity. If well-meaning Roman Catholics become dissatisfied with resting everything on the authority of the church and begin to look toward the Bible as authority, they are not likely to stop at any halfway house, but to go forward to the position of those who really build on the Bible alone.
It is not necessarily an arrogant and pre- sumptuous thing in us if we strive to bring our Protestant brethren to views that we honestly believe to be more scriptural, and therefore more wholesome.
A duty we owe to the unbelieving world
We want unbelievers to accept Christianity; and it seems to us they are more likely to accept it when presented in its primitive simplicity, as the apostles themselves offered it to the men of their time.
For meeting the assaults of infidels, we think our position is best. We can say to the skeptical inquirer, “Come and bring all the light that has been derived from studying the material world, the history of man or the highest philosophy, and we will gladly use it in helping to interpret this which we believe to be God’s Word.” There is in this freedom no small advantage for the truly rational inquirer.
But, while thus free to search the Scriptures, Baptists are eminently conservative in their whole tone and spirit; and for a reason. Their recognition of the Scriptures alone as author- ity, and the stress they lay on exact conformity to the requirements of the Scriptures foster an instinctive feeling that they must stand or fall with the real truth and the real authority of the Bible. The union of freedom and conservatism is something most healthy and hopeful.
A duty we owe to Christ
It is a matter of simple loyalty to Him. He met the eleven disciples by appointment on a mountain in Galilee; probably the more than 500 of whom Paul speaks were present also: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have com- manded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
The things of which we have been speak- ing are but a part of all the things which Jesus commanded; what shall hinder us, what could excuse us, from observing them ourselves and teaching them to others? Shall we neglect to teach as He required, and then claim the prom- ise of His presence and help and blessing?
If you’re in college ministry, you should check out the Recalibrate Collegiate Conference at SBTS.
There will be some breakout sessions, and here are the headliners:
General Session Speakers
C.J. Mahaney leads Sovereign Grace Ministries in its mission to establish and support local churches. He pastored Covenant Life Church for 27 years and is now a well known author, editor, and speaker.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an esteemed authority on contemporary issues and his writings have been published throughout the United States and Europe. Full bio
Russell D. Moore is Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration at Southern Seminary. He is an author, editor and also serves as a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church. Full bio
From the interview on the CBD Academic blog:
Matthew: In your book, you state “this book, quixotic as it may seem, seeks to do for biblical theology what Kevin Vanhoozer has done for Hermeneutics and David Wells has done for evangelical theology” (38). Can you unpack this statement for us in direct relation to your project?
Hamilton: In my humble opinion, modern western culture is committing intellectual suicide.
In his book Is There a Meaning in This Text?, Kevin Vanhoozer lovingly seeks to intervene by patiently vindicating the idea that the task of interpreting a text is the task of seeking to understand what the author of a text meant to communicate (authorial intent). The idea of seeking an author’s intent has been slandered and maligned with all manner of sophisticated sounding logical and rhetorical fallacies from scoundrels who refuse to do unto others as they would have done unto themselves. When they write, they want to be interpreted according to their intent, but they would deny this privilege to the authors of the texts they distort and pervert with so much post-modern slime. Vanhoozer waded through all the muck, exposing logical and rhetorical fallacies and cutting a path for any who wish to follow him to the solid ground of virtuous interpretation.
In his book, No Place for Truth, David Wells shows how evangelicalism saw liberal protestantism committing intellectual suicide with western culture, felt left out, and tried to join the party. The problem is not so much that the big ideas of Christianity were challenged as it is that big ideas have become unfashionable. As a result, in many churches the big truths that make Christianity what it is are hidden away so that no one will be troubled with the unpleasant chore of being a thinking human. Wells is calling the church to help humans be what they are–image bearers of God endowed with faculties sufficient for knowing, experiencing, and worshiping God and his mysteries.
So I see Vanhoozer and Wells (and many others!) courageously, patiently, lovingly seeking to save the west, and I want to follow them as they follow Christ. People make all kinds of claims today about how diverse the theology of the Bible is, but what is so shocking about the Bible is its unity, not its diversity. So Vanhoozer engaged the battle for hermeneutics, Wells for evangelical theology, and I’m trying to join the fray on the biblical theological front (following in the footsteps of Tom Schreiner, Desi Alexander, Greg Beale, Stephen Dempster, and others). I don’t know if I’m worthy to stand with them, but I’m honored to seek to join these knights-errant as a fool for Christ’s sake seeking to steward the mysteries of God.