Christians were widely despised, viewed with suspicion and scorn, and regarded as a threat to a stable society. There is a perception out there that the academy is a community committed to neutrality, tolerance, and intellectual freedom. . Whether done privately or publicly, this is when a person simply gives their testimony of how they once thought like you did and have now seen the light. Why did you originally come to RTS Charlotte? But I am saying there is something missing with it. After all, his Lord Jesus Christ is a bit lengthy for a quick overview of his arguments. 1. Though I did consider and research other seminary options, I kept coming back to RTS Charlotte as the place I wanted and needed to be. First, Ligonier ministries just released a new 8-part video series with Melissa on contentment which would be fantastic for Bible studies, women’s groups, or Sunday School classes. Regardless, even if we grant the instance of Zephyrinus, it is the exception that proves the rule. It was Romans that Martin Luther was reading when the light clicked on regarding justification: “The righteous shall live by faith” (1:17). The Tolkien inspiration can be heard in the phrase, "In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees," which could be a reference to the smoke rings blown by the wizard Gandalf. In Michael Satlow’s book, How the Bible Became Holy (Yale, 2014), this same sort of argument appears. Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene is Fact, not Fiction. What is the church? Every week the Pastors sermon seems to include preaching about giving more money to the church. And that question is, “Should I preach from a full manuscript?”. And all these factors are highlighted in our new video about the RTS Charlotte experience. For past installments of the EQUIP series, see here. Even in the non-Christian world, a messy desk is often associated with a love of learning. So, here are five claims often made about Gnosticism that prove to be more myth than reality: [Read more…], Filed Under: Apocryphal Literature, Jesus Tradition, Orthodoxy and Heresy Tagged With: alternative Christianities, Gnosticism, Heresy, Tolerance. It reminded me of what good leadership looks like, something we desperately needed more of in 2020. Taken properly, they may be right in many ways. Although most discussions about the development of the canon focus on the patristic period (second century and later), there is much canonical gold yet to mine from the pages of the New Testament itself. So improbable, in fact, that we should never prefer a miraculous explanation over a naturalistic one. Thus, the cardinal sin in the intellectual world is to claim to know anything for sure. Unfortunately many modern pastors do not view themselves this way. This term (defined more in the book) captures a version of Christianity where we are told that people are inherently good, Christ is not a savior but a moral example, doctrine and theology are the problem not the solution, this life matters more than the next, and that our highest calling is to just be a good person. After all, there are “good Christians” who are Arminians, and there are “good Christians” who are Calvinists. That is, I enjoy watching to see how God will use each of our grads in ministry over the years. where God has no concern about the direction we take. So listen to your pastors, your professors and your wife. Building on the work of Jonathan Edwards (no surprise there), Piper makes the case that we know the Scriptures are true because in them we behold the wonder and the glory of Christ himself. I knew nothing about Presbyterianism and very little about Reformed theology in general, but I loved the emphasis on training pastor-scholars and the relationship of doctrine and piety. It was not until the 3rd and 4th centuries, it is argued, that the orthodox began to turn the tide. Of course, that is what made the game both fun and frustrating at the same time. But that’s Ok. Christians debate Calvinism vs. Arminianism, Credo-Baptism vs. paedo-Baptism, home school vs. public school education, and beyond. Last night, RTS Charlotte put on its bi-annual vision banquet at the Quail Hollow Club here in Charlotte (the location of the 2017 PGA Championship). So, here are the three categories of Bible objections. Now, of course, Christians don’t overlook Jesus generally. If Christians thought the world would end in their own lifetime, then, it is argued, they would not have been interested in composing new scriptural books. Over the last ten years, especially in Reformed circles, there has emerged a vision of the Christian life where one of the defining characteristics of a believer has now become transparency. Isn’t this sort of claim just a form of subjectivism? Would there be any ground for denying them a license? It was how (and who) they worshiped. David repeatedly affirms that he uses the Word of God as a “counselor” (v.24), to give “strength” (v.28), and to bring “comfort in affliction” (v.50). 3. You can get the MACC without moving. Engaging with Andy Stanley. Mrs. Graham said that to be successful in ministry you need to “pray for a tough hide and a tender heart.” Looking back, I see many times in ministry where, to my shame, I’ve had a tender hide and a tough heart — where I have been too sensitive about what others thought or said about me and, largely because of that, not sensitive enough to real needs that others were facing. Indeed, Christian worship seemed to hack off just about everybody. 3. Tarico is confused about the genre of early Christian writings and assumes they would all cover the same territory. As I visited with the students, I realized they were from all over the country, including Oregon, Texas, Alabama, Virginia, and more. Oden received his Ph.D from Yale under Richard Niebuhr and was enamored with the theology of Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and Bultmann. And the comparison has been (rightly) used to expose how intellectually vacuous the transgender cause really is. Because of my own interest in the subject, I was pleased that yesterday in the mail I received the new volume edited by Andrew Gregory and Christopher Tuckett, The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Apocrypha (Oxford, 2015). 7. Whether it’s the argument that the Bible doesn’t address politics (option #1), or that political parties are equally flawed (option #2), or that good Christians disagree (option #3), or that God cannot fully endorse a particular party (#4), all these arguments are trying to say it doesn’t matter what political views Christians support. This is when we discover whether we really have a “theology of suffering” that can deal with the hard parts of life. So here are five leadership lessons we can learn from Ted Lasso: [Read more…], Filed Under: Culture & Politics, Ethics & Morality, Pastoral Ministry Tagged With: abusive leadership, bully pastors, leadership crisis in evangelicalism, Leadership Lessons, Ted Lasso. But it runs into a significant problem: [Read more…], Filed Under: Apocryphal Literature, New Testament Canon, Orthodoxy and Heresy Tagged With: diversity, Heresy, NT Canon, Orthodoxy, The Heresy of Orthodoxy, Walter Bauer. In addition to a full slate of meetings, I will be involved in the following three sessions: 1. No one made them become Christians. But, in this short post, I simply want to observe (and respond to) something noteworthy about Ehrman’s methodology. Online shopping from a great selection at Movies & TV Store. Filed Under: Culture & Politics, Justification, Reformed Theology, Social Justice & Mercy Ministry Tagged With: cultural influence, New Perspective on Paul, R. Barry Matlock, Social action. But others may wonder, “What is so important about the second century anyway?”, So, just a few quick thoughts on why I wrote this book: [Read more…], Filed Under: Ancient Manuscripts, Apocryphal Literature, Culture & Politics, Orthodoxy and Heresy Tagged With: Christianity at the Crossroads, heresy and orthodoxy, NT Canon, second century, sociology of the church. How does he know that reliable knowledge of God is impossible to attain? You can also download each handout individually. —Gloria Furman, author of Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, “This book is like sitting down for an extended mentoring session with an experienced mother who warmly shares her world and her love for the Lord Jesus. But, of course, that is precisely the issue. Indeed, the theological descriptions of the Protestant (and Catholic!) After writing that article, and seeing the response that it received, I decided to poke around Twitter to see how common this belief “all sins are equal” really is. Most books on mentoring don’t answer those questions, so meetings often devolve into small talk and prayer requests. That is undeniable. But, in 1971 the book was translated into English. What we do observe is that the entire Godhead is integrally involved in the prayers of the saints. If you are interested in taking that course, or just auditing that course, see here for more info. But, it would still be helpful to revisit the question about when Christians began to conceive of Jesus as God. On a popular level, this is simply known as Calvinism. I can’t tell you how many times people have approached me over the years and expressed a desire to dive deeper into God’s word, or to explore church history, or to understand Reformed theology, or to learn how to defend the faith. By God’s grace, I persevered through those doubts and now have the privilege to be a professor who argues that the Bible can be trusted. Jesus. Filed Under: Academics & Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary Tagged With: Alumni, Blair Smith, Doug Kelly, RTS Charlotte, Where are They Now? 14. As for why a women’s study, I simply thought that might work better in terms of building community among the participants. Or even the way Jesus invested in his disciples, particularly Peter, James, and John. While these evangelicals intend to influence the academy, very often the academy ends up influencing them. Yes, we want to preach Christ (though we need to define what that means more carefully). But, Chalmers recognized the opportunity to be a professor would allow him to (effectively) invest in hundreds of congregations through the ministers he trained. Professors are not the most relational folks (on either side of the table). And did the earliest readers of these books know what they were reading? I was joined by my friend Andreas Köstenberger (co-author of The Heresy of Orthodoxy). And all those dreams are wonderful. In recent years, scholars have expressed increased skepticism about whether these writings can inform our understanding of the development of the canon. Students were asking questions that I didn’t have answers for, and that pushed me to seek more training. Just recently, Lee McDonald has repeated this claim numerous times in his latest volume, The Formation of the Biblical Canon, vol. Some end up abandoning the very commitments that led them towards advanced study in the first place. Not surprisingly, Tarico begins with the fact that secular sources don’t talk about Jesus in the first century. The college campus is one of the most critical battle grounds in our world today, and we are please to play a role in sending well-trained men and women to labor there. Zephyrinus was certainly no Ebionite, Gnostic, or Marcionite. Meetings vary widely in their effectiveness. There was an even article about the fragment in Forbes. The postmodern individual is, in essence, claiming that every single religious person on the planet who claims to have knowledge of God is flat out wrong. Who ever heard of a lion singing?’”, Then Lewis (as the narrator) offers the most profound insight: “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. While the single-bishop model might have developed for practical reasons, the plurality of elders model seems to go back to the very beginning. Most of us can come up with a great ‘stump speech’ or two, but ministering God’s Word to the same people, time after time, is a whole different thing. And much of it depends on how the questions are asked. 1. The key issue is whether the video has been edited in such a way that it distorts the message. Indeed, sometimes illustrations can do more harm than good. They did not give him his intellectual freedom. Taken properly, they may be right in many ways. Of course, some who are committed to the superiority of the modern will no doubt respond by saying, “Just because the church believes something doesn’t make it right.” True. He writes, “The good news is that the seeds of God’s good news are planted in every dying culture. How do modern psychological theories fit with the Christian worldview? 5. Maybe it’s a good one. The opening prayer for the evening was offered by Will Huss, newly appointed national Coordinator for Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). And incredibly, even the consummate biblical critic, Bart Ehrman, has responded to Carrier in his book, Did Jesus Exist? Of course, Kevin is well known through his speaking, teaching, and writing ministry. Indeed, Hebrews 12:1-2 employs athletic imagery from the Greco-Roman world to describe this great race: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. These manuscripts can be a “window” into the development of the biblical canon. Skeptics have argued that the wild theological diversity in early Christianity would not only have led the church to have different canons, but it would also have led the church to have different texts. However, you should know that you wouldn’t have been given an interview if we didn’t already think you had the academic chops to pull it off. We just can’t pull it off. Standing up close to an impressionist painting gives you one view of the master’s work – the intricacies of design, the vibrant colors, and the individual brush marks. [Read more…], Filed Under: Ancient Manuscripts, New Testament Canon, Textual Criticism Tagged With: Book of Seven Seals, NT Canon, Revelation. The commitment to this cultural idol was nationwide–everyone bowed down from the least to the greatest. This particular understanding of the phrase is designed to do away with the notion that God is “for” one political party and “against” another. ), Behind this “take your medicine” approach to the biblical languages are a couple of assumptions that need to be challenged. In short, their deep writings were the product of their deep friendship. They can impact real lives. So, how in the world do these two things connect? 13. If one understands the flow of the argument in the book, and sets chapter seven in the larger context of the prior chapters, it will become clear that the exploration of these manuscripts is not intended to provide a definitive answer to which books are in the canon. Preceptive will. What makes this book unique is simple. For this reason, I am very excited that this week my wife Melissa’s new book was released, Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood (Waterbrook, 2015). After all, that is what the Reformers were. And third, the topic of hiring women on church staffs was raised last year at the PCA General Assembly. For whatever set of reasons, monepiscopacy had won the day. However, each of these claims is in serious doubt. If they were looking for a way to undermine this new religious movement (and they were!) But, in the end, we are weak, scared, and hiding. And I can’t imagine two books about Jesus more different from one another. Even though David graduated before I arrived at RTS Charlotte, over the years he has become a dear friend. Second, this defense is not actually a defense at all because it never addresses the main issue. These individuals, on the surface, look like they have it all. In this post, we will see that he thinks that Christians also have a behavioral problem. It is the source of one’s illustration that can make or break its effectiveness. But, the question isn’t whether you have the skills now, but how you will develop those skills in the future. Two New Resources, Apocryphal Gospels, Conspiracy Theories, and the Mainstream Media, 7 Tips on How to Survive an Ordination Exam, Persistent Myths about the Origins of the New Testament, @RTSCharlotte Launches Women in Ministry Scholarship, Five Reasons to Include Women on Your Church Staff. A totalitarian state that simply indoctrinates rather than educates. I am currently teaching a covenant theology course and am so thankful for having been taught the unity of the Scriptures and the centrality of the cross by those, and other, professors. Holding nothing back, Celsus tells us what he really thinks about the Christian movement: [Read more…], Filed Under: Apologetics, Culture & Politics Tagged With: Celsus, Christians as unedcuated, Critiques of Christianity, women in early Christianity. This new series will include 7 videos that tackle key intellectual questions about the Christian faith. Given that many of us are self-quarantined and/or working from home these days, we may find that we have more free time than ever before. As for the background to the lecture series, Dr. Harold O.J. First, the characterization of pastoral ministry as somehow incompatible with the languages (due to busyness, or other causes), is an unfortunate misunderstanding of what a pastorate is all about. Filed Under: Academics & Seminary, Ancient Manuscripts, New Testament Canon, Textual Criticism Tagged With: annual meeting, Evangelical Theological Society, NT Canon, Papias, Textual Criticism. Of course, I recognize that there are also seminary husbands, but there is a unique challenge for seminary wives as they sometimes struggle to find their own calling in the midst of their husband’s pursuit of ministry. You can watch here: [Read more…], Filed Under: Apocryphal Literature, Jesus Tradition, New Testament Canon Tagged With: Gospel of Thomas, Ligonier, NT Canon, R.C. So, not all de-conversion scenarios are the same. (1) The translators simply made a mistake or switched metaphors, or (2) the translators were using ἀνατολή to highlight the “glow” half of the alleged “glow/grow” semantic field of צמח. Thus, the committee encourages preferring women for non-ordained staff positions. It cannot be done. Thus, we can vote for whomever we want as Christians because God does not wear a lapel pin of a donkey or an elephant. Prior to coming to Peace, I was on staff with Cru for 15 years, most recently at Duke University. But, most others try to do it by arguing that we’ve merely misunderstood the Bible. We cannot repeat all the details in a blog post, but here are some highlights: (a) Irenaeus and the majority of other fragments about Papias affirm that Papias knew John the apostle (Shanks, 288-291). Utilizing his skills as an investigative journalist, he has taken a deep dive into the saga of the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, building upon his 2016 article in The Atlantic. After working with CRU for 15 years, Cole is now Senior Pastor at Peace PCA in Cary, NC. [Read more…], Filed Under: Divinity of Jesus, Historical Jesus, Jesus Tradition Tagged With: Christology, Divinity of Jesus, How on Earth Did Jesus Become God?, Larry Hurtado. 8.3).Here we are told that the church leadership structure is a plurality of “presbyters” (πρεσβυτέρων) or elders. It is well known by now that one of RTS Charlotte’s newest faculty members is Kevin DeYoung. Well, it’s that time of year. All the chapters in the volume are helpful, but the first two are the most foundational. It’s not just that he trusts, studies, and uses the Word of God. I just received a Fed-Ex package that contained the latest volume I’ve been working on: A Biblical Theological Introduction to the New Testament (Crossway, 2016). You have to sniff around a bit to determine what some people really believe. A human judge in a court of law may not “want” to send a criminal to prison for life, but he will still do so because he is a just judge. Given that the book was quite pricey when it came out in hardback–and even in paper back isn’t cheap ($50! Over the last several years, I have been running a RTS Charlotte alumni series called “Where Are They Now?” (see the complete series here). And it has been a delight having him back. 2. I took a course on Christianity and Culture that RTS was offering remotely in the Raleigh area, and I was hooked–from that first class on, I encountered at RTS a theological richness and depth that I had never experienced before. Facing Scripture’s Difficult Passages #1 (Greg Beale), Does the Bible Ever Get it Wrong? Or a wife marry three husbands? There is a non sequitur in Tarico’s argument here. Because of their very positive experience at RTS Charlotte, our alumni often prove to be life long supporters of the school. We have early, widespread, and uniform patristic testimony that this Gospel was written by Mark the disciple of Peter, and that the Gospel therefore contains Peter’s eyewitness accounts. Investing in a single congregation is a worthy and godly endeavor. Debunking Some Myths about “Alternative” Christianities, Book Notice: The New Archaeology Study Bible Edited by @RTSCharlotte’s John Currid, The Center for Church Planting @RTSCharlotte: Some Exciting Upcoming Events. On the contrary, early Christians were quite open about the problems with these books and overtly stated why they should be rejected as part of the biblical canon. Based upon the 2011 book of the same name by Ernest Cline, the film is a futuristic dystopian drama set in 2045. The second-century sources are also examined individually to see the evidence they are able to present collectively. For most Roman citizens, your religion was not easily distinguished from your citzenship–the two were bound together. Well, despite the popularity of this position, I find it to be highly problematic. This should be a refreshing realization for some who feel the pull towards both pastoral ministry and scholarship. In the introduction of the inaugural volume, editor John Muether provides an explanation of what RF&P is trying to accomplish: We write from convictions that comport with the mission of RTS, which is “to serve the church by preparing its leaders, through a program of graduate theological education, based upon the authority of the inerrant Word of God, and committed to the Reformed faith.” An ecclesial focus will, we hope, be especially prominent in these pages as we seek (in the language of the RTS vision statement) to serve Christ’s church “in all branches of evangelical Christianity, especially Presbyterian and Reformed churches.” Thus our pledge is that we will commend the Reformed faith with a particular view toward the well-being of Reformed churches. We were thrilled to see the enthusiasm last week as we had record Sunday School attendance across our seven classes (many with standing room only!). Here’s My Top Ten List for Books on the Authority of Scripture. It provides a presuppositional context for Warfield’s work, and reminds the reader that Van Til and Warfield had more in common than some people assume (though there are still differences). Stories are taken more at face value (though the challenges and issues are not ignored). And there are great preachers who do not. Given Tomas’ own good work on canon, I was grateful for what was a very positive review. 16. One might also ask if the call for tolerance that this sticker implies would extend to those people in America who are pro-life or believe in traditional marriage. This is a great book to give to a fellow Christian struggling with these issues. The move to justify incest will be next. Bible Study with fellow disciples …feeding on the Word of God together as a family of those who strive and fight to live by faith in the unseen riches that are ours in Christ. ©2007-2021, NepBay Inc., All Rights Reserved. While para-church ministries have their place, the church needs these women and thus the committee was looking for ways to address this issue. They were insightful, profound, enlightening, convicting and encouraging. A good place to start is the rebuttal volume to Ehrman, How God Became Jesus. I have argued in numerous places–articles, blog posts, books–that Scripture played a central role in the life of early Christians. Let me try to explain. Be humble. Because, as he said, these people “understood themselves to be followers of Jesus.”. 5. 3. A Preview of the Sizemore Lectures at Midwestern Seminary, Interested in Getting a Biblical Counseling Degree without Moving? The absolute absurdity of such an argument is its own refutation. And what is Kevin’s vision for his new role? But when I got to college, some upperclassmen introduced me to Reformed Theology and a covenantal framework for reading Scripture. But, there was one little problem. Why? One other interesting part of the course is that we will do in-class reading from high resolution photos of the Greek manuscript P66, an almost complete copy of John’s gospel dated c.200. This step ought to naturally for the follow the first one. But perhaps most people just assume that the whole idea of a “canon” is a late development anyway, and thus we wouldn’t expect to find anything about it in the New Testament books themselves. Tolkien and C.S. This course is part of Charlotte’s biblical counseling degree program. We worked with a core group of 33 individuals from Beaufort who initially began the process of starting an independent church. Some are exegetical. Texts About Jesus: Non-canonical Gospels and Related Literature, Jörg Frey But in other ways, unfortunately, it is not. Much attention is paid to the first century (for obvious reasons! If a church is going to be the key instrument in spreading the gospel, then it must implement the key means that God has ordained to accomplish that task: preaching. Carson, John Currid, NIV Study Bible, Old Testament. Gnosticism was a heretical version of Christianity that burst on the scene primarily in the second century and gave the orthodox Christians a run for their money. To this day, I can still remember watching those “rapture” movies in my middle school youth group. 16 of Owen’s Collected Works (Banner of Truth, 1988). First, consider Paul’s language in 1 Cor 8:5-6: For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. I was unable to find a book on canon that answered the questions my students were asking. And those skills won’t develop by sticking with a full manuscript. Darfur. I have written those posts with a wide audience in mind, hoping they are helpful for just about anybody who wants to learn more. Then I gave two lectures at North Shore Fellowship (PCA), kindly hosted by senior pastor Robby Holt. As Brett McCracken recently observed over at TGC, “Ted Lasso is probably the most feel-good thing I saw on television this year.”. Here are some options: [Read more…], Filed Under: Culture & Politics, Ethics & Morality Tagged With: culture, Culture & Politics, Democrat, Republican, taking back Christianese. Filed Under: Justification, Reformed Theology, Salvation Tagged With: Justification, Lee Irons, New Perspective on Paul, Righteousness of God. Although she presented herself as African American–a bit of a prerequisite for heading up a chapter of the NAACP–it turns out that she is not black after all. Sadly, however, the critiques don’t come from just non-Christians. 6. @RTSCharlotte Vision Banquet with @SandraMcCracken. Such knowledge just isn’t possible. Then we might have the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Philip in our Bibles instead of, say, Matthew and John. Shifting sexual mores have made Mormon polygamy and sacred undergarments a matter more of… A phrase, encouragement or advice? Indeed, we will become what the liberals have always said they want to avoid. 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