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Archive for March, 2011

A good friend of mine recently called to ask me about a perplexing passage in Matthew.  We discussed the issue at some length, and I gave what I thought was a fair interpretation.  After some healthy give and take, he was like, “Yeah, I guess that makes sense.”  And that was it. 

But that wasn’t it.  I had that uncomfortable gnawing feeling, as if I had just made the incorrect call as a referee in a ball game.  And it stayed with me.  So I soon found myself pondering the issue while walking the mail, chewing and thinking, mulling over the text over and over again.  “What does it mean?”  I kept asking myself.  Round and round went the thoughts. 

It happened over my lunch break, while eating some oatmeal cookies at McDonalds (3 for a dollar!  Hard to beat!), when the answer hit me.  And it felt right… and it continues to feel right.  (more…)

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In one of his more recent and fascinating podcasts, Dr. Mohler discusses the subject of man’s nature with well known evolutionary psychologist, Steven Pinker.

In this interview, two things are worth noting.  First, Dr. Mohler proves yet again that he is a gentleman.  He allows Dr. Pinker to present his view without interruption.  He doesn’t try to triangle the guy.  He doesn’t yell.  He doesn’t snicker.  He asks clear questions in a straight forward manner.  So if you’re looking for a debate, this isn’t the download for you.  Dr. Mohler does provide some thought-provoking commentary at the end, however.

Secondly, if you’re interested in hearing firsthand how a fairly consistent naturalistic evolutionist thinks, you’ve come to the place.  Man is a soul-less chemical bag, in Pinker’s worldview, that should behave morally. 

I think this podcast could be used in a discussion group setting.  If you want to get the juices flowing among the participants, this should work nicely. 

Must Listen Factor: Moderate.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Length: 41:00

To Download: Click the picture and download accordingly.

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Dr. Al Mohler recently gave the fourth annual Gaffin Lecture at Westminster Theological Seminary, and I must say that it was absolutely brilliant.  Picking up a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, “I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity,” Dr. Mohler provides a penetrating analysis of Western thought.    

While some may have a hard time following his message at points, as he does stroll through the halls post-modernity and neo-orthodoxy, as well as modernism, highlighting not only the key thinkers, but their ideas, I suspect that most will still be able to grasp the main points of his lecture.

Trust me when I say this.  The last ten minutes are worth the price of admission.  His critique of fundamentalism, as well as evangelicalism, is powerful.  And for many, the antidote he proscribes will prove very surprising.

Lastly, his critique of Christian liberalism is spot on, which is exactly what you would expect from a modern day Machen. 

Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced. 

Must Listen Factor: If you are at all inclined towards academia, which is just a nice way of saying that you’re not an intellectual bumpkin, then this is a must listen.  Very good message.    

Length: 1:07:00

To Download: Go to Westminster’s Audio Login here.  Sign up if you haven’t already.  Once logged in, click audio.  Search his name or the title.  Download accordingly.

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Let us not forget the Mission. 

Let us not grow dull. 

Let us not become ashamed.

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I love a full MP3 player.  And last week, my MP3 player was pretty darn full.  Ah, yes, the simple pleasures in life!

So, yeah, I’ve listened to quite a few messages lately.  It’s been a strange mixture.  A little bit of everything.  Nothing life changing, exactly, but no downright duds either.  It’s for this reason I’m going to go with the shotgun approach today.  Not a slug, but buckshot.  So here we go.  Time to ramble.

The Gospels as Historical Biography, The Gospels as History from Below and The Gospels as Micro-History and Perspectival History – Richard Bauckham    

One of the dangers of presenting a scholarly lecture is boring your audience to death.  Now let’s be honest here.  Richard Bauckham’s recent lectures at SBTS are both scholarly and, yes, that’s right, boring… unless of course you’ve extremely interested in the subject matter.  But even then, you might want to down one of those 5-hours energy drinks.  Don’t misunderstand me, there are a few tasty nuggets here and there, but wading through ancient pagan texts in order to better classify the Gospel genre is a bit painful. 

Lectures here: Link. Link. LinkLink.  And here’s the link to 5-hour energy drinks 🙂

Christianity and Liberalism Today – Michael Horton

Deistic.  Moralistic.  Therapeutic.  This is Horton’s diagnosis of pop American spirituality.  And he’s right. 

Few are able to so ably exegete the spiritual climate of a nation as Horton.  It’s certainly a diagnosis you’ve heard before, but it’s a message delivered with such clarity and skill, it sings.  I thoroughly enjoyed this message.  Give it a go.

You can get it here: Link

Actually, his message was one of many at Westminster’s recent conference on Machen.  It was a good conference.  Some of the messages were a little “been there done that,” but on the whole, it was both informative and encouraging, not to mention invigorating.  I’ll go ahead and especially recommend Joel Kim’s message.  It was entitled “Machen and the Bible.”    

http://wscal.edu/resource-center/category/conferences/P0

Douglas Moo on Eschatology and the Question of Ecology

I like a clean earth, in the same way that I like it when my neighbors wash their hair.  But I’m not a tree hugger.  And I don’t think global warming is the greatest threat facing mankind. 

That being said, the issue of going green is important.  It deserves consideration.  Like I said, I don’t like smog and acres of parking lots.  But let’s not discuss the subject with foam dripping from our mouths either. 

Thankfully, Dr. Moo is deliciously balanced in his approach.  Other than downplaying, in my opinion, Peter’s words in 2 Peter (maybe just a tad), I found myself nodding time and time again.  It was a good lecture.  Scholarly.  Clear.  A bit boring, perhaps, but relevant, and therefore of interest.  If you’ve ever wondered how a Christian might develop a biblical doctrine of ecology, this is the place to start.  It is a great model for us.     

http://www.wheaton.edu/CACE/audiodownloads/07SCONMoo.mp3

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I have long wondered why atheists continue to brazenly demand a showing of God.  If they knew what they were doing, or if they had slightest inkling of the utter audacity of it all, they would realize the sheer folly of the demand and immediately desist.  But they do not. 

The demand to see God usually occurs during a debate, and typically towards the end.  The atheist, with an air of elite confidence, will say something like the following:

“If God is truly real, then why doesn’t He simply show up?  Why doesn’t He come down here right now, make this podium float and twirl in the air and tell me that I’m wrong?  If He would do that, I would believe.  He wants me to believe, right?  He wants it badly, no?  So why not simply prove He’s there?  A simple miracle will do.” (more…)

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