‘Calvinism’ Transforming and Transformed

A recent Time magazine feature, which highlights “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now,” has been making the rounds on the theological ‘nets. Coming in at #3 is “The New Calvinism,” which author David Van Biema describes as “Evangelicalism’s latest success story, complete with an utterly sovereign and micromanaging deity, sinful and puny humanity, and the combination’s logical consequence, predestination: the belief that before time’s dawn, God decided whom he would save (or not), unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision.” Justin Taylor’s blog Between Two Worlds is mentioned in the Time piece, and Taylor thinks “David Van Biema did a very nice job at seeking to find out what’s really happening and to identify some of the key beliefs and voices.” Shane Vander Hart similarly calls Van Biema’s piece “a pretty fair summary.” (Taylor also points to another Time article highlighting a “Calvinist comeback,” dating from 1947 and which relies heavily on Clarence Bouma of Calvin Seminary.) One place where Van Biema is certainly right is to point to hymnody as a relevant source for gauging the spiritual state of the church. Continue Reading...

Has Damon Linker Dethroned Natural Law?

I’ll save you the suspense. No. Linker, known primarily for betraying Richard John Neuhaus by serving as editor of First Things and then publishing a book accusing Neuhaus of scurrilous theocratic aims, now writes at the New Republic. Continue Reading...

Gratitude for Grace

Gina over at The Point links to a piece by Jennifer at Conversation Diary, which reads in part, …I got out a pen to add some things to the store list. Continue Reading...

Evangelicals and Catholics Together?

The Making Men Moral conference at Union University is over, but there are some takeaways. This was a unique engagement of many natural law thinkers such as the Catholics Robert George and Francis Beckwith with Southern Baptists like Russell Moore and Greg Thornbury. Continue Reading...

Jesus and the Parables

By happy serendipity two books of related interest caught my attention today. The first is David Cowan’s Economic Parables: The Monetary Teachings of Jesus Christ (Paternoster, 2007). Michael Kruse recommends the book in a brief review. Continue Reading...

Christmas and the Cross

Two of Eric Shansberg’s recent PowerBlog posts got me thinking of some other things I had run across in the last couple weeks during the run-up to Christmas Day. The first item, “Santa and the ultimate Fairy Tale,” quotes Tony Woodlief to the effect that “fairy tales and Santa Claus do prepare us to embrace the ultimate Fairy Tale.” Schansberg’s (and Woodlief’s) take on this question is pretty compelling and worth considering, even though I’m not quite convinced of the value of the Santa Claus fable. Continue Reading...

O Holy Night

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth. Continue Reading...

The Heavens Declare

If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend the Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar (HT: Slashdot). Simply stunning. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Continue Reading...

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

A General Thanksgiving. ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men; particularly to those who desire now to offer up their praises and thanksgivings for thy late mercies vouchsafed unto them. Continue Reading...