Why I went to Planned Parenthood on Saturday

Yesterday, I took part in a nationwide protest against Planned Parenthood. At over 300 Planned Parenthood clinics across the country, people turned out by the thousands to protest the nation’s leading abortion provider. Planned Parenthood performs over 300,000 abortions every year, and we now know that they are also selling the body parts of the babies that they kill. It is a macabre business that the United States government subsidizes to the tune of nearly a half billion dollars per year. We turned out yesterday to say enough is enough. It is time to end federal funding for this travesty, and it is time to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for any laws they have broken.

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Some fatherly advice for young men contemplating an affair

1 My son, give attention to my wisdom,
Incline your ear to my understanding;
2 That you may observe discretion,
And your lips may reserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
And smoother than oil is her speech;
4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death,
Her steps lay hold of the grave.
6 She does not ponder the path of life;
Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

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Evangelicalism Today: “How do you define ‘Evangelical’?”

Eight years ago, I contributed to a forum in Touchstone magazine on the state of American evangelicalism. Other contributors include Russell Moore, Michael Horton, Darryl Hart, John Franke, and David Lyle Jeffrey. A lot has changed in evangelical life since the forum was published—not the least of which is the complete collapse of the so-called emerging church.

I recently read back over my answers to the questions and began wondering how I might answer them differently now. Over the next several weeks, I am going to take a fresh look at each of the questions we were asked in 2007 and offer answers that I would offer for 2015. Here are the questions that we will be looking at:

Question #1: How do you define “Evangelical” in a way that distinguishes Evangelicals from other believing Christians? And has this definition changed over the last several years?

Question #2: Has Evangelicalism matured since the 1950s, and if so in what ways?

Question #3: Has Evangelicalism lost anything in the process of maturing (if it did)?

Question #4: Are there any fundamental differences within the Evangelical movement today, and do you think they will deepen into permanent divisions, or even have already? How might they be healed?

Question #5: What does your movement, speaking generally, fail to see that it ought to see?

Question #6: What would you say to an Evangelical tempted to become Catholic or Orthodox?

Question #7: What has Evangelicalism to offer the wider world that it will find nowhere else?

Question #8: What else would you like to say?

Here’s the 2007 answer to question one followed by my 2015 answer:

Question #1: How do you define “Evangelical” in a way that distinguishes Evangelicals from other believing Christians? And has this definition changed over the last several years?

2007: Evangelicals believe and proclaim the evangel (i.e., the gospel) of Jesus Christ crucified and raised for sinners. At first blush, it would seem that this kind of commitment to the gospel could describe almost every “believing Christian,” but several notable features distinguish Evangelical Christians from the liberal mainlines on the one hand and Roman Catholics on the other.

Evangelicals trace all of their beliefs to the inspired Scriptures, which they believe to be the sole authority for faith and practice. American Evangelicals have stressed the inerrancy of Scripture as a necessary condition of its authority (see the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy).

In addition, Evangelicals recognize the decrepit condition of humanity because of sin and the inability of any person to contribute anything to his own salvation from sin’s effects and punishment. Evangelicals therefore rely on Christ’s substitutionary atonement as God’s only way of salvation for sinners who have been alienated from their Maker.

In the Evangelical way, the benefits of Christ’s redemptive work are communicated to the sinner by grace alone through faith alone in the person of Christ alone. Thus, Evangelicals typically stress the need for conversion: that a sinner would repent of his sin and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. Evangelicals also believe in the necessity and urgency of evangelism.

2015: I would double-down on the substance of this answer. Even though many would disagree, I contend that evangelicalism has a fundamentally theological center, and that is what this definition represents.

For evangelicals, the authority of and inerrant scripture is foundational. Sinners are in desperate need of a salvation that they cannot conjure for themselves but that can only come to them through the death and resurrection of Christ. We cannot earn this salvation by works. We receive it by grace and experience a conversion that involves repentance from sin and faith in Christ alone. That conversion issues forth in a transformed life that is then set on a mission to reach the world for Christ.

That is what I believed the essence of evangelicalism was then, and that is what I affirm now. As we will see in the posts that follow, that informs how we explain the meaning of evangelicals who jettison these defining features of evangelical faith. And many have fallen away since I first answered this question in 2007.

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Sam Allberry on Ministry and Homosexuality

The Center for Gospel and Culture at Boyce College is very grateful to have hosted Sam Allberry on campus a few weeks ago. His messages on “Ministry and Homosexuality” were insightful and timely. The first message above is Sam’s testimony along with some biblical exhortation. The three below are:

  • “What the Bible Teaches about Homosexuality”
  • “Gospel-Ministry to the Same-Sex Attracted”
  • “Q & A with Sam Allbery”

If you haven’t yet read Sam’s book, you need to. It’s Is God Anti-Gay (Question Christians Ask). See the rest of the videos below. Continue Reading →

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Sam Allberry to speak at Southern Seminary, March 4

Southern Seminary and Boyce College are pleased to welcome Sam Allberry to campus next week for a series of messages on “Homosexuality and Ministry.” The talks will focus on how to do faithful gospel ministry among those who are same-sex attracted. Sam Allberry has shared his compelling story in his watershed book Is God Anti-gay?, and he will be fleshing-out those themes in his talks on campus.

Boyce College’s Center for Gospel and Culture is sponsoring Allberry’s visit, but we want to welcome the entire seminary community to attend this important event. The event is free and will be held next week on Wednesday, March 4 in Heritage Hall. There will be refreshments provided in the afternoon sessions. Here is the schedule for the day.

Wednesday, March 4 – Heritage Hall

10:00am – Session 1: Boyce Chapel, “Sam’s Story”

1:00pm – Session 2: “What the Bible Teaches about Homosexuality”

1:45pm – Break

2:00pm – Session 3: “Gospel Ministry to the Same-Sex Attracted”

2:45pm – Session 4: “Q&A with Sam” (led by Denny Burk)

3:30pm – End

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Panel Discussion on the Gospel and Race

[vimeo 111377904 w=600 h=337]

Boyce College, the undergraduate school of Southern Seminary, recently hosted a panel discussion on “The Gospel and Race.” Dr. Dan DeWitt, Dean of Boyce and Associate Professor of Worldview and Culture, led a diverse panel in a candid and wide-ranging conversation about how the gospel of Christ informs, confronts, and reconciles ethnic division. Topics included definitions of race and racism, various forms of prejudice, race in American culture and beyond, and dynamics of multiethnic families and churches, all in biblical and theological context. The six-member panel included:

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Does the Bible Endorse American Capitalism or Favor Communist Central Planning?

The Bible does not endorse American-style Capitalism, nor did the early church practice Communist central planning in the early chapters of Acts. You will not find Adam Smith prophetically foretold in the Scriptures, nor any allusion to Karl Marx. Republican Party economics is not a required part of Christianity.

Yet, the Bible contains clear economic principles and the early church grew in an environment of buying, selling, borrowing, and hiring. In essence, an economy of free markets and entrepreneurship follows from the commands given by God, though sin has marred the business practices that we experience today. Free markets only require recognition of property rights and the freedom to trade with other people. Further, comparative advantage (people are gifted in different ways) and subjective valuation (people prefer different things) mean that both parties can profit from any voluntary transaction. This mutual benefit from trading is at the heart of free markets and over the past two centuries has lifted the vast majority of people in the world out of abject poverty.

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Conference with Wayne Grudem at SBTS

The Center for Gospel and Culture is happy to partner with the Commonweal Project to welcome Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus to the campus of Boyce College and Southern Seminary. Poverty plagues every nation and should be the concern of every Christian. Boyce College is serious about equipping Christians to bless the nations with the gospel and its fruit, including the alleviation of economic suffering. This conference brings theologian Wayne Grudem (Phoenix Seminary) and economist Barry Asmus (National Center for Policy Analysis) to the Boyce College campus to address “The Hard Work of Human Flourishing.”

From their recent work, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution (Crossway 2013), Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus will present an integration of historical analysis, biblical theology, and sound economic principles to explain the reasons for poverty and to describe what is necessary for nations to move forward into prosperity. An excellent panel of breakout speakers will address the current issues of the nature of human work, economics and ethics, income inequality, and marketplace professionalism.

There are scholarships available for anyone who wants one. If you would like to have a complimentary registration, you can register by emailing Ken Magnuson at kmagnuson@sbts.edu. Be sure to include in your email your name and the two breakout sessions that you would like to attend (breakout sessions are listed below).

If you are not seeking a scholarship for your registration fee, you can register at the link below.

REGISTER NOW

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Welcome to The Center for Gospel and Culture!

Welcome to the website for Boyce College’s Center for Gospel and Culture (CGC). The Center exists to equip God’s people to engage the culture from a biblical worldview perspective. To that end, the CGC will be sponsoring conferences in the Fall and Spring. Stay tuned to this site for details and for the latest on what is happening at the CGC.

Thanks for reading!

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