Carson on Ecumenism and John 17

farewellD. A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14–17 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980), 201–4:

To some people, the term ecumenism has only good connotations. Utter the word, and they hear harps playing and angels singing; or if harps and angels are deemed too ethereal, at very least a certain fire lights up their eye. To others the same word evokes only images of evil. Ecumenism is intrinsically a doctrine of compromise which emasculates the gospel and wickedly flirts with apostasy and assorted forms of unbelief. The first group tends to cite John 17 in its favor; the second group tends either to ignore John 17 or else to include within the unity only a very small group, while defining the unity in such innocuous terms (e.g., making it entirely a positional unity with no entailment for conduct) that it becomes difficult to see how such unity could ever serve as a witness of anything to the world. What does the text say? [Read more…]

Jim Hamilton’s Salvation History for Kids: A Biblical Theology That Rhymes

storyThis (very) short children’s book releases today in the states:

James M. Hamilton Jr. The Bible’s Big Story: Salvation History for Kids. Illustrated by Tessa James. Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2013. 24 pp.

My endorsement:

This poetry memorably summarizes turning points in the Bible’s storyline and views the whole Bible with Christian eyes. My kids love it!

On his blog, Jim explains the book’s history and rationale, and he challenges dads to “step up and play the man.”

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson is currently finishing the last volume in the Wingfeather Saga, a four-part fantasy series for young readers. I gave the first three volumes to my daughter for her birthday earlier this year:

book1 book2 book3

  1. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness: Adventure, Peril, Lost Jewels, and the Fearsome Toothy Cows of Skree. The Wingfeather Saga 1. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook, 2008.
  2. North! or Be Eaten: Wild Escapes, a Desperate Journey, and the Ghastly Fangs of Dang. The Wingfeather Saga 2. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook, 2009.
  3. The Monster in the Hollows: Sneakery, Betrayal, and the Deadly Secret of Chimney Hill. The Wingfeather Saga 3. Nashville: Rabbit Room, 2011.

I read all three aloud to my daughter, who also listened to the audiobooks for books 1 and 2. [Read more…]

Two Kinds of Legalism

I recently highlighted how Sam Storms defines legalism: “the tendency to regard as divine law things that God has neither required nor forbidden in Scripture, and the corresponding inclination to look with suspicion on others for their failure or refusal to conform.”

Some thoughtful friends of mine graciously pushed back on that definition. I replied to one of those friends with this comment: [Read more…]