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Archive for the ‘Denny Burk’ Category

Some of the most viewed posts in the history of this blog have concerned certain controversial teachings and actions of Mark Driscoll and especially the response (or lack thereof) from Calvinistic leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention and elsewhere who I thought should know better.  It was certainly the period in which I was most active in blogging, both here and elsewhere.  (Hopefully I will start posting more regularly in the near future.) To find these 2009 posts, you can click the “Mark Driscoll” category in the sidebar to the right, with the more important posts being here, here, and here.)

This evening while checking Twitter (a rare occurrence these days) I happened upon this review by Dr. Denny Burk of Mark and Grace Driscoll’s book Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together.  While the book evidently includes a good bit of profitable material, (as is the case with Driscoll’s ministry as a whole) apparently the content in the book regarding sexual practices within the confines of marriage goes beyond what some of us took issue with in the blog battle royal in which I was engaged in 2009.

After reading Dr. Burk’s review, I posted the following comment on that post:

Thank you for this review. I found your discussion of 1 Cor. 6:12 to be particularly helpful in light of how it is often used today.

While there is much to admire in Mark Driscoll’s ministry, I am sorry that he has chosen to put into print some of the things that have previously been hinted at on his website with regard to what many would consider to be questionable and/or deviant sexual practices within the confines of marriage. This includes (or in the recent past included) a link on the Mars Hill website to the website of a Christian sex toy vendor where sodomy was also discussed. But I have to say when looking into this issue a few years ago that I don’t recall any mention there or elsewhere of female on male sodomy!

Well, one plus (if you can call it that) is that now this is very clearly out in the open and those raising concerns cannot be accused of just dredging up the old cussing accusations. When I blogged several times about this almost three years ago, that was often the response, along with accusations of being a prudish rube from the “Old South” who doesn’t understand what it takes to reach people today in what is largely a post-Christian (if only in a nominal sense) culture. Ironically, my past is very likely much more wicked than the vast majority of those who defended the approach you call into question in this post, with some of them being pastors who are sons of prominent SBC ministers and in general being men who were raised in conservative evangelical homes.

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Yesterday Boyce College, the undergraduate college at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, hosted a discussion on N.T. Wright’s forthcoming book, Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision, which is largely a response to John Piper’s The Future of Justification.  Denny Burk, who moderated the forum, posted about it here.

I spent about three years in conservative confessional Presbyterianism, and this justification controversy was raging at its hottest at that time.  During that period, (the middle part of this decade) practically every major confessional Reformed and Presbyterian denomination in the USA as well as most related seminaries denounced this teaching along with the related Federal Vision teaching that at least to some degree sought to apply some of the purported insights of the New Perspective to Presbyterian and Reformed churches.  A related justification controversy had erupted in the late 1970’s with the teaching of former Westminster Theological Seminary professor Norman Shepherd, ultimately resulting in his departure from WTS.

I find that this issue generally isn’t on the radar screen for most Baptists, whether Southern Baptist or not.  But it seems that a number of seminarians and others are becoming enamored with at least some aspects of Wright’s teaching on justification and related issues.  Of course, the blogosphere isn’t necessarily an accurate gauge of what’s going on, but I do have to confess to being somewhat concerned with the number of people who have expressed that they would have preferred to have seen “both sides represented” or a desire for “equal time” at the Boyce Forum.  In my opinion, Wright’s views lend themselves much more readily to a hypercovenantalist paedobaptist context (as with the Federal Vision) or maybe something like the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, not to a confessional institution like Southern Seminary that is dedicated to proclaiming justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

There are many resources on the web and in print that address Wright and the New Perspective on Paul.  I’ve linked several pages that those who haven’t delved into this controversy might find helpful:

This program from Albert Mohler’s radio show addresses the New Perspective.  Dr. Mohler’s discussion with John Piper and Ligon Duncan on the issue begins about halfway through the show.  Dr. Duncan rightly identifies the NPP as having originated with liberal theologians.  It is now influencing some evangelicals through the influence of N.T. Wright.

Here’s an interview with John Piper about his book critiquing Wright.  You can find other pages on his website that address the New Perspective on Paul here, here, and here.

Piper’s book The Future of Justification:  A Response to N.T. Wright can also be downloaded in its entirety for free from his website here.

Here are some pertinent articles by John MacArthur:
http://www.gty.org/Resources/articles/1393
http://www.gty.org/Resources/articles/22

Here is a three part series by Pastor Gary Gilley, who has also written some helpful works on the seeker sensitive movement:
Part 1
Part 2 (Good information here on how the NPP serves Wright’s ecumenical and social agenda, which includes ecumenism (unity) with Rome.)
Part 3

Dr. James Galyon has addressed Wright and the New Perspective in the article Retreating to Rome: The New Battle Over Justification.  The article interacts with others who are in sympathy with Wright’s views as well, particularly in Presbyterian and Reformed circles in which a related movement known as the Federal Vision arose about 6 or 7 years ago.

In 2005, The Master’s Seminary held a Faculty Lecture series on the New Perspective which consists of 4 lectures.  You can download the lectures by visiting this page and scrolling down to the lectures dated 1/1/2005.

Here’s a helpful article on the New Perspective from Theopedia.

Many more resources are linked here.

Douglas Wilson, who is in the Federal Vision camp referenced above, has nevertheless been critical of aspects of Wright’s teaching on justification (and imputation specifically) in recent years, including Wright’s response to John Piper.  Here’s a link to his blog posts on the topic of N.T. Wrights and Wrongs.

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