I used to be an unreconstructed Southerner. It didn’t last very long, but it wasn’t that long ago. I would never have admitted to being a racist (I’m pretty sure I wasn’t), and I would have argued very strongly that racism and love for the Old South had no necessary connection to one another, but did I read a lot of historical revisionism regarding the Civil War and the Old South, I did regard “the North” as a symbol of “Big Government” and modernity, and I even went to two League of the South Meetings. Among the many things in my life that would surely disqualify me from ever running for president, this brief prior of my life has got to be near the top. But here’s the important thing to know—I was not raised that way and it was never my heritage. Continue reading
So I haven’t written much on this blog in a while, and I thought the best way back would be a nice, juicy, controversial topic. Well, ok, it doesn’t have to be that opportunistic, but I’ve had the issue of church organization, specifically the practice of “head of household” grouping and voting, on my mind for some time. It is a common practice in my denomination (the Communion of Reformed and Evangelical Churches), and we even practice it at my church. It’s also very controversial, within my own church (though we are all well behaved about it) and among other churches that I’ve known. There are some people who are very unhappy with it, and the concern often raised is what a church’s means of representation says about its larger theology. There also people who think it’s really great. So let’s talk.
1) First let’s define our terms. It might surprise you, but people almost always equivocate on “the church.” Baptists have a different definition of the word than do Presbyterians, and Presbyterians have a different definition than do Lutherans, and Lutherans have a different definition than do Episcopalians, and they all have a different definition from Roman Catholicism, so let’s say what exactly we are talking about.
For matters of church polity and voting, we are talking about congregations. Continue reading
Peter Escalante and I are ready to unveil a new web project. The Calvinist International will be a new site where we will post regular essays, editorials, and book reviews. I will be focusing my energy there for the foreseeable future, and so I invite you to follow the newest material over there.
I finally stopped ripping him off, and I decided to just come out and co-author a paper with Peter Escalante. We were energized to take on the recent misuse of Christology in anti-Calvinist polemics. The paper is over at the Credenda Agenda site now.
The paper will read like inside baseball to a lot of y’all, and I apologize. We felt that we needed to get down and dirty with a few points for the sake of those most intrigued by modern (and postmodern) “Christology.” The thesis is actually pretty basic though- The traditional history is actually pretty close to correct when it comes to Christological theology. The Reformed knew about this stuff and weren’t just poking their hands in the sand.
And most importantly, Christology should be about messiah and salvation. Whenever other interests take up the majority of your interest, you’re misusing the categories.