The Believer and Separation

BibleStudy.gif

Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary‘s 2009 Mid-American Conference on Preaching went well. The title of this year’s conference was Gospel-Driven Separation. If you would like to read and/or listen to the general sessions and workshops, go to this page. For a post about this year’s conference, check out the blog entry of DBTS’s president, Dr. Dave Doran.

My workshop this year was entitled: “An Old Testament Justification for Separation.” While you can obtain my paper from the seminary’s website, you can also read it by going here.

Technorati Tags:
,

Will You Sign the Affirmations and Denials in CTGWG Appendix

Grips.jpg

At the conclusion of Coming to Grips with Genesis, all of the book’s authors signed a document entitled “Affirmations and Denials Essential to a Christian (Biblical) Worldview.” Along with the other authors, I signed this statement because I am committed to a consistent, literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 and wanted to issue a challenge to other believers to embrace the same view that is consistent with the historic belief of orthodox Christianity. Because the Zeitgeist of our age has created a philosophical environment conducive to a reinterpretation of the creation account, some evangelicals are willing to reinterpret the early chapters of Genesis in something less than a consistent, literal view; however, others are willing to take their stand with a literal understanding that was widely embraced by Christians prior to the rise of modern geology and astronomy (see chapters 1-3 in CTGWG). Are you willing to stand with us in embracing a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 by signing CTGWG‘s “Affirmations and Denials”? If you have a graduate degree in biblical studies and are willing to take five to ten minutes to read the “Affirmations and Denials” and complete the necessary information to sign this document, click here.

Technorati Tags:

Preparing for Malachi 2:10-16

BrokenWeddingRings.jpg

I am teaching an English Bible class on Haggai and Malachi. In preparing to cover Malachi 2:10–16 tomorrow, I checked out Dr. David Instone-Brewers website (in October of 2007, I did couple of introductory posts on this subject, go here and here). While I have used a number of books on marriage and divorce, I have used with profit a couple of his books: Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context and Divorce And Remarriage in the Church: Biblical Solutions for Pastoral Realities. Though there are many complexities on the subject of biblical marriage and divorce that results in disagreements among informed believers, Dr. Instone-Brewer, Senior Research Fellow at Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK, is an expert in Rabbinics and New Testament. So he has much to contribute on this subject. One interesting feature on Dr. Instone-Brewer’s website is his reference to a series of short video presentations on this subject. To watch these, go to the Playmobible.

Technorati Tags:

An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day View in the Creation Account (Part 3)

Apologia1.jpg

On Friday, March 20, I began a three-part series at Sharper Iron defending the 24-hour day interpretation of the creation account. As I noted in my first part, because the tradition of Christian orthodoxy has a legacy of interpreting Genesis as a historic narrative, the prevailing interpretation of Genesis 1:1–2:3 has been that it is a record of God’s creative activity in six, consecutive, literal days followed by a literal seventh day of rest. The point of my first post was to provide a fourfold biblical justification for the 24-hour day interpretation of the creation account.

With my second post, I summarized four of the most prominent alternative views that have arisen largely as a result of the advent of modern geology and its claims about the (old) age of the earth.

With my third and final part that is posted today, I present three areas of weakness and a questionable presupposition that each view shares. To read this third post, go to “An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day View in the Creation Account (Part 3).”

An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day View in the Creation Account (Part 2)

Apologia1.jpg

On Friday, March 20, I began a three-part series at Sharper Iron defending the 24-hour day interpretation of the creation account. As I noted in my first part, because the tradition of Christian orthodoxy has a legacy of interpreting Genesis as a historic narrative, the prevailing interpretation of Genesis 1:1–2:3 has been that it is a record of God’s creative activity in six, consecutive, literal days followed by a literal seventh day of rest. The point of my first post was to provide a fourfold biblical justification for the 24-hour day interpretation of the creation account.

With my second post that is posted today, I note four of the most prominent alternative views that have arisen largely as a result of the advent of modern geology and its claims about the (old) age of the earth.
To read this second post, go to “An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day View in the Creation Account (Part 2).

Technorati Tags:
,

A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity

McCune.jpg

I was glad to see Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary‘s release of Dr. Rolland McCune’s A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity. This is the first of three volumes that should be released by 2010.

A reason for my excitement over the release of Dr. McCune’s theology is that I have watched his theology notes grow over the 26 years I have known him. In the spring of 1983, he had a significant role in bringing me to DBTS. From my early days at the seminary, I have read his growing set of notes and have profited greatly from them. Besides reflecting a commitment to historic fundamentalism, McCune’s theology is written from the perspective of a traditional dispensationalist and Baptist. His commitment to a presuppositional and Calvinistic perspective is refreshing. It is great to see a dedicated seminary professor’s work culminate in this publication.

You can purchase his theology by going to the DBTS store. While you are at the DBTS store, you can check out some of the seminary’s other publication by clicking the links under the Category List.

Technorati Tags:
, ,

An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day View in the Creation Account (Part 1)

Apologia1.jpg

Over the next few weeks, I am posting a three-part series at Sharper Iron defending a literal interpretation of Genesis 1:1-2:3. The thesis of this three part series is that, if we consistently affirm the perspicuity of Scripture, the 24-hour view provides the most internally consistent synthesis of Scripture’s comprehensive message about the nature of the creation account and that modern alternative reinterpretations are inconsistent with a biblical theology of creation.

The purpose of my first article is to provide a fourfold biblical justification for a literal understanding of the six days of the creation week. To read this article, go to “An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day View in the Creation Account (Part 1).”

Creation Meeting at ETS in November of 2008

RI-Convention-Center.jpg

On November 19-21, 2008, I attended the 60th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Providence, Rhode Island. In a couple of ways, this was an eventful academic meeting for me. For starters, this year’s annual conference was the first step toward hopefully establishing a Creation Study Group. However, at ETS this type of group does not just happen. There is a required process that a fledging group, like a group of creationists, must follow before it becomes an officially recognized group by ETS. To form a group that is officially recognized by ETS, a group of biblical scholars with necessary credentials and an interest in a given area of biblical studies makes application to ETS’s Executive Committee. After receiving the formal request, the Committee determines if the group meets ETS’s prerequisites to become an ETS approved study group. If the group does not meet the preconditions, the Executive Committee outlines what the group must do to meet the requirements. As ETS is currently set up, the Executive Committee proposed that we initially form a “Creation Consultation” group that would meet for three years beginning in November of 2008. During this consultation period, a five-member steering committee, comprised of two advocates of a young-earth creation model, two supporters of an old-earth creation framework and one member who is undecided, recruit people to present papers in a continuous time-block in one room with three to four sessions. At the end of three years, after the November 2010 annual meeting, the Creation Consultation Group will hopefully be upgraded to a Creation Study Group.

The seed form of the 2008 Creation Consultation group goes back to 1999 when a group of recent creationists, the ETS Creation Fellowship (ETSCF), started unofficially meeting at the annual ETS meetings. I first met with the group back in November of 2003 in Atlanta. The ETSCF had a number of worthy goals. One of the goals was to dedicate a book to Dr. John C. Whitcomb that provided an academic defense of key biblical subjects related to the age of the earth and it was a delight to have this book, Coming to Grip with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth, available at the 2008 annual meeting (for additional information, click here). The second objective was to form an ETS approved creation study group. This year’s meeting of the Creation Consultation group was the first step toward completing this objective. With the 2008 meeting our discussion was about the Framework Interpretation of Genesis 1. Next year’s discussion will focus on Noah’s Flood. I suspect that a discussion of Noah’s Flood will draw a crowd, just as last year’s discussion of the Framework View did.

Besides being a part of the launch of the Creation Consultation group, a second reason why the 2008 annual ETS meeting was significant for me was because the theme of the first meeting was on the Framework View of Genesis 1 and I read a paper evaluating the Framework. Here is how our session broke down. Our meeting was on Wednesday morning, November 19, from 8:30 to 11:40 AM. After the three papers were presented a forty minute panel discussion concluded the morning. Dr. Richard Averbeck from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School moderated all the sessions. As it turns out, Dr. Averbeck had been the moderator of my dissertation committee back in 1985 when I graduated from Grace Theological Seminary. He did a great job as an objective and serious-minded moderator, just like was true of him when I was at Grace. This morning session was a little déjà vu for me. Dr. Terry Mortenson, from Answers in Genesis, presented the first paper on “The Age of the Earth: Why Does It Matter?” Dr. Miles Van Pelt, from Reformed Theological Seminary, gave the second paper on “Genesis 1 and 2: An Exegetical Defense of the Framework View”; and I presented the third paper on “A Critique of the Framework Interpretation of the Creation Account.” Each paper was thirty minutes in length followed by ten minutes of discussion. A forty minute panel discussion brought our meeting to a conclusion. Besides myself, the other members of the panel were Drs. Van Pelt, Dave Fouts and C. John Collins, from Covenant Theological Seminary (for more information, check out p. 9 of ETS’s 2008 schedule).

Over all, I felt like the first meeting of the Creation Consultation group went well. We had good attendance for all four sessions. I thought all the papers were well-written and the discussions after each session had moments of serious probing but were conducted in a respectful manner. Hopefully, everyone involved in our Creation Consultation meeting profited from our morning together (since I made some clarifications to my chapter in Coming to Grips with Genesis, click here to read the paper).

Technorati Tags:

America’s Modern-day Holocaust: Abortion

Fetus7weeks.jpg

January 22 of this year marked 36 years since United States Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark decision to legalize abortion in the Roe v. Wade case. My concern about the abortion issue was expressed last year on January 22 with my entry “The 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade.” I am as concerned about the abortion issue today as I have ever been. What has concerned me over the past ten years or so is the apathy among evangelical Christians about the abortion issue in spite of clear biblical evidence, as well as medical data (for more information, click here) that modern technology clearly provides about the unmistakeable humanity of unborn babies. The growing indifference towards abortion is inexcuseable. And, as a Christian, it is very disappointing to realize that the the US is the most liberal industrialized nation in terms of permitting a woman to have an abortion at any time and for any reason during her pregnancy. In light of our recent election, I have no expectation that we will surrender this ignominious distinction. America’s permissiveness about the killing of unborn babies is something of a modern-day holocaust.

I have been following a number of websites over the past week that focus on this modern-day holocaust. For a listing of key links about abortion, check out Andy Naselli’s post about abortion with the listing of links from Justin Taylor’s recent posts and John Piper’s. In addition to this listing, check out Al Mohler’s recent six part series on abortion.

What Makes Abortion Plausible? What Makes Abortion Unthinkable?, Part One

What Makes Abortion Plausible? What Make Abortion Unthinkable?, Part Two

What Makes Abortion Plausible? What Makes Abortion Unthinkable?, Part Three

What Makes Abortion Plausible? What Makes Abortion Unthinkable?, Part Four

What Makes Abortion Plausible? What Makes Abortion Unthinkable?, Part Five

What Makes Abortion Plausible? What Makes Abortion Unthinkable?, Part Six

As the above links provide details about the biblical evidence on abortion and how it relates to our culture, it would also be good to hear a testimony of an abortion survivor. During the presidential campaign, I listened to Sean Hannity’s stirring interview with Gianna Jessen who lived through an attempted abortion. To ponder the significance of her surviving an abortion, listen to her testimony in Australia. Take some time to look at the above links and consider the biblical evidence. May God grant that we see abortion for the evil it is as a violation of “You shall not murder” (Exod 20:13) and may he grant that we do our best through his sovereign grace to oppose this modern-day holocaust.

A Leading Challenge to Literal Days in the Creation Account: The Framework Interpretation

frame-work.jpg

Each year The Mid-America Conference on Preaching is planned by Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary and held at Inter-City Baptist Church. This past year’s MACP was held on October 16-17 and focused on the topic “Culture, Contextualization, and the Church.” Over the past thirty to forty years, the framework interpretation of the creation account has become a leading challenge to a literal interpretation of the creation account. Because of the increasing popularity of this interpretation, I did a workshop entitled: “A Leading Challenge Literal Days in the Creation Account: The Framework Interpretation.” To read, click here.