This is my attempt to pull my findings around the web into one place, the good, bad, and the ugly. Most of it will be centered around theology blogs but I am definitely not limited to that. I hope to post articles that are helpful, and also those that I can’t help but mock. Not everything I post will be from my perspective.
Justin Taylor and Jared Wilson wrote an interesting and satirical letter from the perspective of a 1st century Christian in response to the Apostle Paul’s tone in the letter to the Galatians.
Similarly, we find your tone and resorting to harsh language not in keeping with the love of Christ. “Foolish Galatians.” “Let him be accursed.” “Emasculate themselves.” Really? Can you not hear yourself? You think this is Christlike? Does this sound like something our Lord would say? Do you think this flippant, outrageous, personal, vindictive manner of speech speaks well of God’s love or the church? It is clear you are taking this way too personally. Indeed, you ask the Galatians if you are now their enemy. Does everything have to be so black and white to you?
Along the same lines, Denny Burk has written about Doctrinal Controversy and the reality that, while some controversy is silly and unwarranted, sometimes it is necessary.
While it is true that controversy can be unchristlike and thus unhelpful to the kingdom, it is not true that all doctrinal controversy must be that way. Likewise, while there may be some responses to Bell that have been unchristlike and unhelpful, it is not true that all of them have been that way… To dismiss those out of hand without seriously engaging the substance of the matter seems to me to be an evasion.
From a very different perspective, the Red Collision blog, by Michael Manley gives Love Wins a review entitled, Safe Christians and a Dangerous God
The immediate negative reaction from good men and good pastors show something rather transparent in today’s religious climate. We aren’t to be trusted. We’re to be controlled. We can’t let “unorthodox” thought into the conversation for fear of what? What man might do with it or what God might do with it?… I don’t mean to imply some nefarious scheme on their behalves. But I do think there is something going on deep down that reveals an insecurity not only in their own rigid beliefs but in the Holy Spirit as well. It’s as if the headway made by Luther during the Protestant Reformation has somehow come back and circled around. We used to proclaim “priesthood of the believer” but now the new medieval Catholic Church has just become the modern day Christian.
Ed Stetzer gets in on the Love Wins action, not by necessarily offering critique, but rather instructing on how to rightly critique.
Before you criticize, be sure you understand the person and perspective with which you are taking issue. If you lack understanding you are essentially picking a fight with an opponent who does not exist. You’ll make a lot of noise, sell a few books, or attract people to your blog, but your criticism lacks wisdom and integrity.
Finally, and on a different note, Michael Horton shows How To Do Biblical Theology on The Resurgence blog. It is getting near the end of the semester and I have a Biblical Theology paper due soon—this comes along just in time.
To do biblical theology properly, we need to attend closely to the text, moving back and forth constantly between the whole and the parts. It’s not just systematicians who must be careful not to impose their system on the text; biblical theologians can just as easily “over-read” their sweeping surveys and miss the trees for the forest.
For my first attempt, there’s a lot of interesting and not much irritating, but I believe in total depravity so just give it time.