In Case You Missed It

Recently at The Gospel Coalition, Trevin Wax asked: “Can we ‘agree to disagree’ on sexuality and marriage?“. Trevin writes:

The biggest issue confronting evangelicalism today is not over homosexuality and marriage, but whether or not these are “agree-to-disagree” issues.

The question takes various forms:

 

  • Can progressive evangelicals who advocate same-sex marriage share a measure of unity with the rest of the global church?
  • Is it possible to see one’s view of sexual ethics as a dividing line between evangelical churches (similar to debates over baptism, speaking in tongues, etc.), but not something that necessitates a divorce within evangelicalism as a whole?
  • Can believers simply “agree to disagree” on this contentious issue and allow various views to exist within what is commonly accepted as “orthodoxy?”

In a recent blog post, Dr. Jamie Dew reflects on why he loves Anselm. Dr. Dew writes:

“Teach me to seek You, and reveal Yourself to me as I seek, because I can neither seek You if You do not teach me how, nor find You unless You reveal Yourself. Let me seek You in desiring You; let me desire You in seeking You; let me find You in loving You; let me love You in finding You” (Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion, ch. 1).

 

What a prayer. Over the years and through the seasons of questioning, wondering, and even doubting, these words from Anselm have been the cry of my heart. Allow me to introduce you to Anselm, to the Proslogion, and to one of the greatest theological works ever written. If you are looking for a good paperback version, I recommend this one.

 

I’ve had the great pleasure of studying and teaching Anselm for over ten years in my Philosophy and History of Ideas courses. His insights and reflections are constantly nourishing to my soul. Theologically speaking, the Proslogion is dense and meaty. But, it is rather short and each chapter is brief, making it easy to work through. In fact, it can be read in one sitting if you so desire. Nevertheless, we’ll take the next few weeks to highlight a few key chapters and reflect on some of the most important points that Anselm makes. There are 26 chapters in the Proslogion, and each one is no more than just a few hundred words.

Let’s begin with chapter 1.

Joe Thorn recently published an article reminding pastors that the sheep aren’t stupid.

Pastors sometimes say stupid things. Sometimes those stupid things are catchy and wind up being repeated by many other pastors. One of the more preposterous statements I’ve heard many preachers say is, “Sheep are dumb.” They say this as shepherds in reference to the sheep of the church—the congregation. The idea is that sheep are dumb, and must be led well. We shouldn’t be surprised when they do stupid things.

 

My problem with this statement is that it disrespects people made in God’s image and redeemed by God’s Son. Its mocks the church and exalts the self. The church isn’t stupid. Sinful, yes. Stupid, no. Speaking of the church in this way will get a chuckle from some leaders (who aren’t already bored by the worn-out expression), but will create distance between leadership and the people pastors are called to lead.

 

The sheep aren’t dumb. In fact, we would do much better if we thought of the sheep the way the Puritan Thomas Watson (1620–1686) described them in his sermon, “The Good Shepherd.

The Amazing Word of God was the subject of a recent blog post by SEBTS PhD student Spence Spencer. At the end of this post, Spence shares a great video which gives the account of how a seemingly chance interaction with Scripture led to Salvation.

The word of God–the Bible–is an amazing thing. God has spoken through prophets, through poets, and through the pens of the people who wrote the Old and New Testaments by divine inspiration.

 

This is often difficult to prove from deductive arguments. If someone assumes that Scripture is not the word of God and thus not authoritative, then citing passages within Scripture that affirm the reliability, authority, and inspiration of Scripture is likely to have no effect.

 

But, the word of God is infused with life through the Holy Spirit.

In a guest post at Dr. Jamie Dew’s blog, Dr. Stephen Ladd gives an invitation to logic. Dr. Ladd writes:

One of the great joys I have in academic life is teaching an undergraduate course in traditional logic. It is also called formal, predicate, term, or syllogistic logic, but because Aristotle’s method for making valid arguments was the earliest treatment of the subject (Prior Analyticsand De Interpretatione in Aristotle’s larger workOrganon), his method developed into the traditional version taught for centuries also known as Aristotelian logic. All refer to the same discipline, however, and it has generally been taught to young people (middle school age) as the way to develop clarity in the reasoning process.

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