Gary Tyra, A Missional Orthodoxy: Theology and Ministry in a Post-Christian Context (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2013). Paperback / Kindle According to research by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in 2012, from 2007 to 2012, the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as Christians declined by 5 points, from 78 to 73. By contrast, the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as having no religious affiliation increased by 4.3 points, from 15.3 to 19.6. The so-called “nones” described their religious preference as atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular.” In contrast to “Christian” America, American “nones” are tend to … Continue reading Review of ‘A Missional Orthodoxy’ by Gary Tyra
Letters typically begin with a greeting. In New Testament times, Greek-speaking writers began their letters with the word chairein, “Greetings!” (e.g., Acts 15:23, 23:26; James 1:1). Paul, who wrote his letters in Greek, transformed this epistolary convention by replacing chairein with the similar looking and sounding charis in the greeting of all his letters, and by adding eirēnē. So, this is the standard greeting in Paul’s letters: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul’s standard greeting is a wonderful way for Christians to begin their letters (or emails) to other people. … Continue reading Grace and Peace to You (1 Thessalonians 1:1c)
Sean Michael Lucas, God’s Grand Design: The Theological Vision of Jonathan Edwards (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011). $17.99, 224 pages. My doctrine of salvation is Arminian, so you may wonder why I think highly of Sean Michael Lucas’s study of Jonathan Edwards, whose soteriology was Calvinist. The answer is twofold: First, Lucas has written an accessible introduction to the biblical theology and pastoral practice of “America’s greatest theologian”—as Robert Jenson described Edwards. Whatever their theological stripes may be, interested students of theology are in Lucas’s debt for this service. Edwards’s literary corpus is large and his thought complex, but Lucas ably … Continue reading A Review of “God’s Grand Design: The Theological Vision of Jonathan Edwards” by Sean Michael Lewis
Over at Black, White and Gray, Bradley Wright is writing a series of posts on deconversion, answering the question, “Why do Christians leave the faith?” Here are the posts so far: “The Fundamental Importance of Apologetics” In reading through these testimonies, and understanding how many of the former Christians linked their departure from the faith to these intellectual and theological concerns, I started wondering if the Church has an incomplete appreciation of the role of apologetics. Typically, the defending of Christianity encompassed by apologetics is aimed at non-Christians, helping them to understand the faith as removing their objections to it. … Continue reading Why Do Christians Leave the Faith?