The long-simmering controversy over the doctrine of sanctification has heated up considerably lately, especially with The Gospel Coalition's removal of Tullian Tchividjian's blog from its website. Tullian has taken to the media and yesterday in an interview made the comment that he has been slandered. He has also publicly stated that the criticisms against his teaching are based on personal and spiritual defects in his accusers. No specifics are given, much less proof of how he could know this. If this was not surprising enough, Tullian then stated that there is nothing controversial in anything that he teaches. Hearing this, one has to wonder if he actually has read the concerns raised against him (see Michael Kruger's post which argues that Tullian is not responding with reference to the actual criticisms).
Since I am one of the people who has expressed grave concern over Tullian's teaching regarding sanctification, and since I described his blog post on 1 John 5:3-4 as false teaching, let me respond that whatever my personal defects or those of others in this debate, the real issues are in fact substantive and not at all personal. In the interest of clarification, let me therefore point out where in my opinion the controversy lies over Tullian's teaching.
Let me make a few preliminary comments. First, I was providentially hindered from attending last week's meeting of the council of The Gospel Coalition and thus did not participate in the decision to remove Tullian's content. Having spoken with many who were there, I can state with certainty that this decision was solely based on concerns over Tullian's teaching of sanctification. Tim Keller and Don Carson have pointed out that these concerns had previously been made clear to Tullian, despite Tullian's public claim that he has never been informed of any problems. Moreover, I can only say how astonished I was to listen to Tullian's interview with Janet Mefferd two days ago, where he permitted her to more than insinuate that his removal from the TGC blog was based on his criticisms of the Sovereign Grace Ministries legal controversies. Whatever one may think of the SGM scandal, there is no doubt that this claim is simply false. more >>
It is refreshing to see a public figure with enough guts to take on the liberals in our society today. Most celebrities who are criticized for making a politically incorrect statement will fold like a tent and immediately issue an apology.
Such pandering is not in the make-up of Phil Robertson, start of the TV reality show Duck Dynasty. In an interview with GQ published in December, Robertson ruffled feathers when he commented that homosexuality was sin. He quoted from the Bible, specifically, 1 Corinthians 6-9.
Robertson recited Paul's biblical warnings, "Neither the sexual immoral, nor the idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor druggards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherent the kingdom of God." For those comments, Robertson was suspended by the A&E network, which airs Duck Dynasty, for 9 days. The network distanced itself from the remarks and the resulting hoopla may have led to a ratings decline for the show. more >>
Phil Robertson, the patriarch of Louisiana's Duck Dynasty clan is being accused once again of making "anti-gay" remarks when he quoted Scripture during at sermon he delivered at his home church in West Monroe on Easter Sunday. Remarks not in a national magazine, nor on TV, nor in any other forum, but in church.
If America is not committed by its Constitution to protecting a speaker in the pulpit, then we must ask ourselves what is the status of every speaker in every pulpit of every church in the nation?
Who's next? more >>
Soong-Chan Rah and I have been writing and speaking about race and evangelicalism trends for decades. That work culminated in a project we started called Gospel and Race because we believe, as the data indicates, that the future of American evangelicalism will be diversely Asian American, Hispanic, and African American in its public expression, if it's going to have a future at all.
I'm not quite sure how to say this, and I'm not trying to be a offensive or cause trouble, but several of us are wondering if our Southern Baptist friends can stop conflating issues in their own denomination with "evangelicalism" or "the American Church" or "The Church" in general. For example, many Southern Baptist writers (current and former) posting at Religion News Service, major blogging websites, research organizations, conferences, etc. have been writing on the issue of Millennials leaving the church. It turns out, that this is not an evangelical problem nor an American church problem, but a white problem in certain circles. Asian American, Hispanic, and African American Millennials are growing in number. Black Millennials are not leaving the church.
"One of the dangers of being the majority culture is that you become complacent and you don't listen," says Derwin Gray Pastor of Transformation Church on this issue. "You think your problems are everyone else's problem." more >>
Which sounds better to you, heaven or hell? It may seem like a simple question to answer. Then again, culture seems to think hell will be a party for all eternity, while heaven will be a boring time of playing harps, floating on clouds and living without any fun.
Today's culture doesn't take heaven – or hell – seriously. But we should. In fact, the more you investigate both these eternal destinations, the more serious you will be about your decision to accept Jesus or not, and how you will live out your life on earth.
But how often do you get together with friends to talk about what happens after death? Probably never. Couldn't heaven and hell provide the ultimate motivation for life on earth? Yes. more >>
Mars Hill Church officials deny that anything out of the ordinary was done when a video of a recent sermon by Pastor Mark Driscoll was edited to exclude a portion about Jesus and "mistakes" he may have made during His life on earth. Also, the pastor of the church's communications' team says the original video of the unedited complete sermon used to compare the two versions was stolen from a restricted password protected site.
The controversy began when psychology professor and blogger Warren Throckmorton accused the Seattle-based church of having an internal leadership conflict over the segment and deleting six minutes of Driscoll's argument that Jesus potentially made mistakes, though He never sinned.
"It is standard operating procedure at Mars Hill to take the first two sermons that Pastor Mark Driscoll preaches each week and edit the best possible version of the message for distribution to the other Mars Hill locations, and our online audience. Partly because it is necessary to edit the sermon to conform to time restraints," Anthony Ianniciello, executive pastor of Media & Communications, stated in an email to The Christian Post. more >>