For all of my students past and present, I would recommend Tom Oden's book, Agenda for Theology: After Modernity . . . What? (Zondervan, 1990). Tom Oden--in his own words--was for many years a "movement theologian." He embraced whatever fad was in vogue (feminism, marxism, freudianism, etc.). Then, over time he began to read Evangelical theology as well as the Church Fathers. Slowly Oden made the trek back to orthodoxy. In God's good providence I discovered this book while a student at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky (some 20 years ago). Reading Oden's Agenda for Theology was like drinking cold water during a drought. I knew I would never be the same. It was one of the most meaningfuly reads of my time in Louisville. I made it a goal to meet Tom Oden--and did. If you are or were my student, please read this book. If you are thinking of pursuing graduate work in theology, or are doing so: read this book.
For virtually all of my adult life the culture and times in which I live have been concerned with the question of "the environment." Various trends come and go, and the latest is "global warming." It is essential that Christians think long and hard about who man is (particularly as revealed in Holy Scripture), and how man is related to, and should relate to, the rest of the created order. It is striking to me how otherwise sane and sober-minded persons can get rather odd when it comes to "the environment." I am appreciative of the work of the Cornwall Alliance, an organization which offers some good thinking--theologically, scientifically, and economically. Their web page is: www.cornwallalliance.org
The world is sometimes filled with many official pronouncements and "declarations" on this or that. It is easy to get cynical. However, I am pleased to have signed "The Manhattan Declaration," an important and timely document dealing with some of the most pressing moral issues of the day.
It addressess the following issues:
- the sanctity of human life
- the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
- the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
I would encourage you to look at it: www.ManhattanDeclaration.org
Augustine and the Beauty of Perseverance
It is worth noting that when Augustine speaks of the “peace that surpasses all understanding” (a peace that flows from the cross), he suggests that “we can only know it by coming to it.”
Augustine through the course of his writings gives great emphasis to the grace of God in initiating our salvation, helping Christians to grow in grace, and in persevering His people. And Augustine quite consistently and repeatedly denies that human merit has anything to do with bringing about God’s grace. He writes: “the grace of God both for beginning and for persevering up to the end is not given according to our merits, but is given according to his most hidden and at the same time most just, most wise, and most beneficent will.” . . .
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- Published: 30 November 2009 30 November 2009
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