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Gerald McDermott on the SBL and IVP

October 20, 2016

Gerald McDermott is an Anglican professor at Alabama’s Beeson Divinity School. He weighs in on the banning of InterVarsity Press by the Society for Biblical Literature in an essay entitled, “Stranger than Fiction.”

Perhaps you notice the disconnect between SBL’s declaration of “tolerance” and its threat not to tolerate the age-old teaching of Christian marriage.  Or the contradiction between claiming to want “unhindered critical discourse” but now threatening to hinder discourse by banning arguments for a particular position.  Or “respect for diversity” while not wanting intellectual diversity in discussions of the most debated ethical issue of our day.

Michael Bird Responds to SBL Leadership over IVP

October 20, 2016

While we have not yet seen a formal announcement from the Society of Biblical Literature, their leadership is supposed to have banned IVP over its recent clarifications on human sexuality. Michael Bird has responded to the SBL leadership in an open letter

Fifth, and somewhat baffling, is what you [John Kutsko] wrote to IVP. You said that SBL was committed to: “a variety of critical perspectives …  diversity of participation and unhindered critical discourse …  free inquiry and expression.” John, mate, I don’t want to be confrontational, but can you explain to me how does banning a publisher from the annual conference increase the diversity, free inquiry and expression of SBL? It does the opposite, it cabines diversity, it censures certain elements of belief, and inhibits free expression. Let me be clear, to ban IVP from the annual convention does not safeguard the academic freedom of SBL members, it amounts to censorship, which many of us are very, very sensitive about..

Mind and Heart

October 20, 2016

According to the Scriptures, neither our emotions nor our experiences provide an adequate foundation for the Christian life. Only the truths of Scripture, understood with the mind and communicated through doctrine, can provide that sure foundation upon which we should establish our beliefs and behavior as well as determine the validity of our emotions and experiences. The mind is not the enemy of the heart, and doctrine is not an obstacle to devotion.

–Paul Washer. The Truth About Man – Biblical study of the Doctrine of Man (Kindle Locations 138-142). HeartCry Missionary Society.

China Gets Serious about Religious Enforcement

October 20, 2016

The government has a new reporting system on religious activities that is aimed at teachers and parents. Read about it here.

Do We Need Rhetoric?

October 20, 2016

Joel Zartman says that we do, partly because we cannot trust ourselves. Read the whole thing at Unknowing.

Which is why you need rhetoric. You have to be conscious of it if you want to do it at all well, unless you naturally do it well. It requires consideration, and consideration beyond what you considering can come up with. And even if you naturally do it well, it is well to consider what is proper and improper not only in the aesthetic realm—which is important—but in the moral realm. If you don’t think about whether you ought to achieve things by one or another effect, if you don’t label certain approaches and understand clearly what you are doing, how will you confront your deceitful heart when you are proceeding by sensationalism, fearmongering, omitting crucial details and such unscrupulous means?

It’s Not Just Evangelicals

October 20, 2016

Two nuns in Italy have entered a same-sex civil union. Pope Francis is reported to be disappointed.

Tozer on the Thought Life

October 19, 2016

Make your thoughts a clean sanctuary. To God, our thoughts are things. Our thoughts are the decorations inside the sanctuary where we live. If our thoughts are purified by the blood of Christ, we are living in a clean room no matter if we are wearing overalls covered with grease. Your thoughts pretty much decide the mood and weather and climate inside your heart, and God considers your thoughts as part of you. Thoughts of peace, thoughts of pity, thoughts of mercy, thoughts of kindness, thoughts of charity, thoughts of God, thoughts of the Son of God—these are pure things, good things, and high things.

–Tozer, A. W. How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit (Kindle Locations 510-514).