Category Archives: Current Events

Would Rob Bell Rob God of Glory?

If there’s no hell, God can’t be trusted because he doesn’t keep his word and therefore doesn’t do justice, and if there’s no justice, mercy has no meaning.

If you don’t understand what I just typed: “if there’s no justice, mercy has no meaning,” keep thinking about it. Look the words “justice” and “mercy” up in a dictionary (click them and read the definitions on dictionary.com).

In addition, if there’s no hell, the Bible’s big story doesn’t make sense.

How does hell glorify God? Glad you asked: let’s take a narrative look at hell.

Here’s the conclusion to the short piece linked above:

“In sum, hell glorifies God because

  • it shows that he keeps his word;
  • it shows his infinite worth, lasting forever;
  • it demonstrates his power to subdue all who rebel against him;
  • it shows how unspeakably merciful he is to those who trust him;
  • it upholds the reality of love by visiting justice against those who reject God, who is love;
  • it vindicates all who suffered to hear or proclaim the truth of God’s word;
  • and it shows the enormity of what Jesus accomplished when he died to save all who would trust him from the hell they deserved. If there were no hell, there would be no need for the cross.”

Here’s the whole thing.

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Filed under Bible and Theology, Current Events

All That Agony for $7.99

When I read Paul House’s Old Testament Theology, it was clear to me that he had thought deeply about the literary structure of every book of the OT. I’m not talking about rehashing the notes of some prof whose class he took; I’m talking about reading the book, agonizing over how it’s put together, assessing the various proposals for structure, and then making a decision about how you think it’s structured that you’re willing to put in print. I was stunned and daunted by the time and effort I knew went into that project. That experience gave me, I think, the ability to tell when an author is really engaging the biblical material and when he’s trotting out a shallow schtick that he’s used in a talk or a lecture that he’s given a thousand times. I want to read authors who are writing from the overflow of long slow meditative reading of the whole Bible.

Imagine doing what House did for the OT for every book in the Bible, or at least making the attempt.

That’s the kind of book I tried to write. I’m not claiming that I nailed the structure of every book of the Bible, but I agonized, read, re-read, tried to see the whole, to remember all the pieces, and to put it all together.

The point of relating all this is to observe that you can get the Kindle version of the fruits of all my agony and struggle with the most important book in the world for $7.99.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not complaining! I’d love for everyone to have it in print or on Kindle (which you don’t have to have a Kindle to be able to use–you can get a free Kindle app for your computer or some other device). If I could afford it, I’d give copies away. It wasn’t written to make money. It was written in an effort to help people understand the structure of the particular books of the Bible and the Bible as a whole.

So thinking about all that effort for the low price of $7.99 has given me a whole new appreciation for the way that songwriters must feel about their albums, novelists about their books, moviemakers about their films. You get the picture. How do you put a price on a human being’s attempt at art–the attempt to help other people see what’s there–which arises from the soul, accompanied by many cries for God’s help, forged in disciplined labor, aided by talented careful editors, and brought out by an exemplary publishing company?

I don’t know how to answer that question, but I’m again thankful for God’s mercy, for life, and for the opportunity to have written this book.

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Filed under Art, Bible and Theology, Biblical Theology, Current Events

Accordance Seminar in Louisville

Rob Brunansky will be leading a seminar on making use of Accordance this Monday, February 28, 2011. Here are the details:

Accordance Training
Louisville KY,  Mon. Feb. 28th

Half Day Seminar 8:30am – 12:30pm
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
1044 Alta Vista Rd.
Louisville, KY 40205
Schlegel Hall — Room 121
(800) 264-1839

Admission is FREE.

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The Fearless Student Whose Aim Is Truth

From Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson (10):

“The present essay itself is, I suppose, unblushingly ‘classical,’ ‘traditional’ and ‘orthodox’; at least these are the epithets with which those whose sophisms are here subjected to analysis will no doubt attempt to dismiss it. But the student whose aim is to attain as much truth as possible will not be frightened by such adjectives. . . . As Morris R. Cohen has remarked: ‘The notion that we can dismiss the views of all previous thinkers surely leaves no basis for the hope that our own work will prove of any value to others.'”

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Pray for Said Musa

Patrick Schreiner recently posted this:

Here is the beginning of Clifford May’s article on the persecution of Christians in National Review.  The subtitle says it all: “the most important story not being told.”

Imagine if Muslims in Europe were being arrested for nothing more than peacefully practicing their religion. Imagine if Muslims in South America were being sentenced to death for “insulting” Jesus. Imagine if mosques were being bombed and burned by terrorists in a growing list of Christian-majority countries.

Now here’s what you don’t need to imagine because it is all too real: In recent days, Christian churches have been bombed in Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, and the Philippines. In Indonesia a mob of 1,000 Muslims burned down two Christian churches because, according to one commentator, local Islamic authorities determined there were “too many faithful and too many prayers.” In Iran, scores of Christians have been arrested. In Pakistan, a Christian woman received the death penalty for the “crime” of insulting Islam; the governor of Punjab promised to pardon her — and was then assassinated for the “crime” of blasphemy.

I could provide dozens more examples of the persecution and, in many cases, “cleansing” of Christians in what we have come to call the Muslim world. If the situation were reversed, if such a war were being waged against Muslims, it would be the top story in every newspaper, the most urgent item at the U.N., the highest priority of all the big-league human-rights groups.

What we have instead is denial.

The hypocrisy is Satanic.

Denny Burk has this on the latest example:

If you haven’t done so already, please pray for Said Musa who awaits execution in a prison in Kabul, Afghanistan. His crime? Converting to Christianity from Islam. Said Musa is married and the father of six young children. He has been a Christian for eight years. Compass Direct News reports:

“In the two-page letter, a copy of which Compass received in late October, Musa addressed Obama as ‘brother’ and pleaded with the international community: ‘For [the] sake [of the] Lord Jesus Christ please pray for me and rescue me from this jail otherwise they will kill me because I know they [have] very very very cruel and hard hearts.’

“Musa wrote of being sexually abused, beaten, mocked, spat on and deprived of sleep because of his faith in Jesus. He wrote that he would be willing to suffer for his faith in order to encourage and strengthen other Christians in their faith.”

After you pray if you have a Twitter account, please post one of the following messages to President Obama:

Mr. President, speak wisely and boldly, in private if necessary, for Said Musa, imprisoned in Kabul. http://dsr.gd/ezR3jW @BarackObama

Mr. President, please persuade the Afghan govt. not to execute our brother Said Musa. http://bit.ly/bQ5RLQ @BarackObama Prov. 24:10-12

Read more here:

“Afghan Convert to Christianity to be Executed within Days” (The Christian Post)

“One-legged Afghan Red Cross worker set to be hanged after converting to Christianity” (The Daily Mail)

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On Engaging Your World with Tom Crouse on February 16

At 2pm On February 16 at 2pm you can tune in at www.engagingyourworld.com for a live interview with Tom Crouse about God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment.

UPDATE: Rescheduled for Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 2pm, Lord willing.

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Filed under Biblical Theology, Books, Center of Biblical Theology, Current Events

On Knowing the Truth Radio Today

Tune in live right now right here for an interview on God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment.

Update: the audio from the interview is here.


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