This is such a fun song and the title is so true!Â 🙂
This is such a fun song and the title is so true!Â 🙂
I found this article over at Desiring God recently and thought I would share it. Thankfully, if you don’t have time to read it all, Desiring God is now providing audio recordings of many of their past articles. I encourage you to listen to it in your car or while you work one day. Machen’s work and writings continue to be a strong influence today in the Reformed Protestant tradition and I think you will find this biographical sketch by John Piper a very enjoyable read. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Here is the audio:
Here is an exceprt from the article:
Machen’s Response to Modernism and to Fundamentalism
Machen’s years at Princeton were the two decades which are known for the ongoing mondernist-fundamentalist controversy. We will see Machen’s distinctive response to Modernism if we contrast it with what was known most widely as fundamentalism. In the process of defining his response the meaning of Modernism will become clear.
He was seen as an ally by the fundamentalists; and his ecclesiastical opponents like to make him “guilty” by association with them. But he did not accept the term for himself.
In one sense fundamentalists were simply those who “[singled] out certain great facts and doctrines [i.e., Fundamentals] that had come under particular attack, [and] were concerned to emphasize their truth and to defend them” (see note 18). But there was more attached to the term than that. And Machen didn’t like that. He said,Do you suppose that I do regret my being called by a term that I greatly dislike, a “Fundamentalist”? Most certainly I do. But in the presence of a great common foe, I have little time to be attacking my brethren who stand with me in defense of the Word of God (see note 19).
What he didn’t like was
1) the absence of historical perspective;
2) the lack of appreciation of scholarship;
3) the substitution of brief, skeletal creeds for the historic confessions;
4) the lack of concern with precise formulation of Christian doctrine;
5) the pietistic, perfectionist tendencies (i.e., hang ups with smoking (see note 20), etc.);
6) one-sided other-worldliness (i.e., a lack of effort to transform culture); and
7) a penchant for futuristic chiliasm (or: pre-millenialism).
Machen was on the other side on all these things. And so “he never spoke of himself as a Fundamentalist” (see note 21).
But none of those issues goes to the heart of why he did not see himself as a Fundamentalist. The issue is deeper and broader and gets at the root of how he fought Modernism. The deepest difference goes back to Machen’s profound indebtedness to Benjamin Warfield who died February 16, 1921. Machen wrote to his mother, “With all his glaring faults he was the greatest man I have ever known” (see note 22).
In 1909 at the 400th anniversary of Jon Calvin’s birth Warfield gave an address that stirred Machen to the depths. Warfield made plea that the Reformed Faithâ€”Calvinismâ€”is not a species of Christian theism along side others, but IS Christianity come to full flower.Calvinism is not a specific variety of theistic thought, religious experience, [or] evangelical faith; but just the perfect manifestation of these things. The difference between it and other forms of theism, religion, [and] evangelicalism is difference not of kind but of degree … it does not take its position then by the side of other types of things; it takes its place over all else that claims to be these things, as embodying all that they ought to be (see note 23).
So he says Lutheranism is “its sister type of Protestantism” and Arminianism is “its own rebellious daughter” (see note 24). Calvinism’s grasp of the supremacy of God in all of life enabled Machen to see that other forms of evangelicalism were all stages of grasping God which are yet in process of coming ot a full and pure appreciation of his total God-centeredness. (Continue Reading)
Dr. Ed Stetzer has helped publish a very telling and new reseach project from LifeWay Research on the beliefs of Southern Baptist pastors. I encourage you to read through it if you are interested. Here are the excerpts Dr. Stetzer provided over here at his blog:
Concern about Calvinism
Among Southern Baptist pastors, 27 percent strongly agreed and another 36 percent somewhat agreed with the statement indicating that they were “concerned.” Sixteen percent strongly disagreed with the statement and another 17 percent somewhat disagreed. The remaining 5 percent indicated they “don’t know.”
Speaking in tongues
In a LifeWay Research release in 2007, half of Southern Baptist pastors answered “yes” to the question, “Do you believe that the Holy Spirit gives some people the gift of a special language to pray to God privately? Some people refer to this as a Private Prayer Language or the ‘private use of tongues.'” In a follow-up to that question, LifeWay found that practice is much less common than the belief in its existence. Among Southern Baptist pastors, only 4 percent said they “personally speak in tongues or have a private prayer language,” while 95 percent said they did not and 1 percent “don’t know.”
Pastors were also asked about their church’s practice of receiving members who were baptized in other churches. The question was, “Our church admits people into membership of our church who have been sprinkled or baptized in the following ways (without requiring baptism in OUR local church).”
A full 92 percent of Southern Baptist pastors said they would not require baptism of new members who were immersed after conversion in another church that has the same beliefs as a Southern Baptist church.
If the candidate for membership had been immersed after conversion in another Southern Baptist church, 84 percent of Southern Baptist pastors said they would not require baptism.
If the prospective new member had been immersed after conversion in another church that does not believe in eternal security, 26 percent of Southern Baptist pastors said they would not require baptism.
If the prospective new member had been immersed after conversion in a church that believes baptism is required for salvation, 13 percent of Southern Baptist pastors said they would not require baptism.
If the prospective new member had been baptized by sprinkling or pouring after conversion, 3 percent of Southern Baptist pastors said they would not require baptism prior to admittance into membership.
If the prospective new member had been baptized as an infant by sprinkling, pouring or immersion, 1 percent of Southern Baptist pastors said they would not require baptism.
“Baptism is always an important question for a denomination that values baptism so much that the word ‘Baptist’ is included in their name,” said Ed Stetzer director of LifeWay Research. “The results here are interesting. First, there is a small percentage of SBC churches that do not accept the baptism from other SBC (or like-belief) churches. Second, more than one-fourth of SBC pastors indicate they would receive into membership someone baptized in a church that does not believe in eternal security, possibly including such churches as a Free Will Baptist or an Assemblies of God church.
“Finally, and I am guessing most surprising, one-eighth indicate their church would accept a baptism from churches that believe baptism is required for salvation, possibly including such churches as a Church of Christ,” he said.
‘Southern’ in the ‘Southern Baptist Convention’
Among Southern Baptist pastors, 7 percent strongly agreed – and another 20 percent somewhat agreed – with the statement, “Having the name ‘Southern’ in the ‘Southern Baptist Convention’ is a hindrance to the work of SBC churches.” Forty-one percent strongly disagreed with the statement while 27 percent somewhat disagreed and 5 percent “don’t know.”
To further clarify opinions on the denomination’s name, Southern Baptist pastors were also asked their level of agreement with the statement, “Having the name ‘Southern’ in the ‘Southern Baptist Convention’ is a hindrance to the work of SBC churches outside of the South.” As the focus shifted to Southern Baptist congregations outside the convention’s historic strongholds, 16 percent of Southern Baptist pastors strongly agreed and 26 percent somewhat agreed, while 29 percent strongly disagreed and 21 percent somewhat disagreed. The remaining 9 percent “don’t know.”
Who makes decisions
In churches with average primary worship attendance of 250 or more, 8 percent identified “staff-led,” compared to 2 percent in churches under 250 in attendance. By the same token, only 24 percent of churches with average primary worship attendance of 250 or more identified “congregation-led” as the primary decision-making process, compared to 45 percent of churches under 250 in attendance.
This question was brought up recently over at the Desiring God blog. Here are the resources that Abraham shared in the post…
If God is sovereign over evil, can it be said that he causes it? Or does he just allow it? Is there really a difference? These are some of the questions we’ve received in response to John Piper’s article about the bridge collapsing and the post on his upcoming sermon series.
I expect the sermons he’ll preach over the next few weeks on God’s power over sin and his purposes in it may answer some of these questions. Until then, you may find the following resources helpful:
I also want to reference a post I made a while back on the what type of explanation is Biblically and logically acceptable when talking about God’s relationship to sin and His “permissive will”. Here is that post.
Enjoy the reading and please let me know your thoughts below!
In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,
Mark Dever has finally finished his series on answering the question above. It’s very interesting and thought provoking. Below you will find the top 10 reasons that have spurred on the Calvinistic resurgence over the past several years. Read them and let’s discuss!
1 ) Charles Spurgeon
2 ) Lloyd-Jones
6 ) Presbyterian Church in America
7 ) JI Packer
8 ) RC Sproul and John MacArthur
9 ) John Piper
10) The rise of secularism and decline of Christian nominalism
In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,
[HT: Unashamed Workman]