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Extracurricular Activities – September 28, 2013
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Last month when the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Songs for the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to exclude "In Christ Alone" from its new hymnal, the chairwoman of the committee said the popular hymn mistakenly expressed "the view that the cross is primarily about God's need to assuage God's anger."
Her comment reveals both a discomfort that many contemporary Christians have with God's wrath and also an overly simplistic dismissal of penal substitution. We who believe the Son bore the Father's wrath don't narrowly think that assuaging this wrath is what the cross is "primarily" about. What happened on the cross is a bit more complicated.
I won’t go through all the links, but if you’ve traipsed through the blogosphere in recent weeks you may have noticed a series of volleys involving Carl Trueman, Darryl Hart, and Bill Evans (among others) on the subject of transformationalism. It’s an important discussion and one that has taken place before.
Case in point: I found James Bannerman’s chapter “The Church in Its Relation to the World”–in volume one of The Church of Christ (1868)–to be some of the sanest and wisest 13 pages I’ve read anywhere on the subject.
What did women do in the church in the “early church”? (By “early church” I mean after the New Testament up to the 4th Century.) A helpful sketch can be found in Everett Ferguson, The Early Church and Today (vol. 1: Ministry, Initiation, and Worship). Ferguson, one of the world’s finest patristic scholars and a professor emeritus at Abilene Christian University, whom I would call the “F.F. Bruce of Patristics,” finds six major themes, and for each theme Ferguson sketches evidence from the earliest sources:
Eugene Peterson is one of the best known theologians of our time. Most famous for penning The Message, a contemporary rendering of the Bible, he is also author of many popular books such as A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. With the release of his memoir, The Pastor, Peterson has begun reflecting on life and the ways in which Jesus-followers can respond to God’s call on their lives. Here, we discuss his unlikely call to ministry, the work of a pastor and what, if anything, he wishes he could change about The Message.
Ben Witherington On The Problem with Preaching, In 3 Parts
Extra-Curricular Activities is a weekly roundup of stories on biblical interpretation, theology, and issues where faith and culture meet. We found each story interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, or useful in some way – but we don't necessarily agree with or endorse every point in every story.
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