Posted tagged ‘Tom Schreiner’

Lord, We Agree: Interceding for Dr. Mohler

February 16, 2008

Many if not perhaps all of you have already been made aware of Dr. Mohler’s health condition and imminent need for surgery. It was not but hardly a year ago that Dr. Mohler underwent life-threatening illness with bi-lateral blood clots in his lungs. At this time, we have been informed that he has a pre-cancerous tumor in his colon. Please be in prayer for Dr. Mohler, his family, and the extended seminary family at this time.

Last week, Dr. Moore shared some warm and inspiring words to the seminary community (listen here, via Scott Lamb), and Dr. Tom Schreiner offered a very moving prayer on behalf of Dr. Mohler (listen here). Below is the transcript of his prayer, and it is my hope and desire that we agree in the name of our Lord Jesus for Dr. Mohler’s health and speedy recovery. May God’s perfect will be done, and may God’s infinite worth be displayed during these difficult times.

Dr. Schreiner, praying at chapel this past Thursday:

O Father, you are a great King. You are majestic and holy and awesome and wonderful and sovereign… You do rule and reign over all things. Lord, we do praise your majestic and holy Name. We bow before you as our God.

Father, it is so good to know in this hour when we’ve heard about our president’s health that you love your children, that you are a Good Shepherd… that you hold us in your arms. And Lord, we pray that for Dr. Mohler and for Mary and Katie and Christopher. Would you hold them close to you?

When fear comes, Lord, we pray that you would give them strength. When anxious thoughts strike, we pray for the peace that passes all understanding. When discouragement comes, Lord, we pray for hope. Lord, how we pray that you would surround and strengthen them with your Holy Spirit.

Lord, we do ask that through this, the gospel would go forth. We know your Word says that great afflictions come so that we will not trust in ourselves, but in a God who raises the dead. We confess, O Lord, we believe in such a God, we believe in a God that has raised Jesus, our Lord, from the dead. We believe that sin and death and disease cannot conquer us. They cannot ultimately win. We are victors in all things! Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lord, we praise you for Dr. Mohler because the message of the gospel, the message of hope, the message of triumph over sin and death has resounded from his life. We praise you for what has happened at Southern Seminary in and through him. We praise you that that message has resounded throughout evangelicalism and indeed throughout the world. How we thank you for his leadership, for how you have used him!

And now, Lord, we lift him to you in his need. We pray, Lord, for uncommon wisdom for the doctors and the physicians that are attending him. We pray, Lord, as the surgery takes place that you would give them remarkable insight. Give them dexterity in the midst of the operation. Give them the kind of wisdom that would bring healing and strength to Dr. Mohler.

Lord, we read in your word that we do not have because we do not ask, so we ask, Lord, for successful surgery. We ask, Lord, for healing. We ask, Lord for full restoration. We are bold to ask that it would be rapid and soon.

We bow before your will… We know you do all things well. Lord, we know how you’ve used Dr. Mohler in our midst and throughout this land and beyond. So we do plead with you that you would bring him back to us soon, strong and healthy and ministering once again.

O Lord, may the faith of all of us be strengthened through this trial and affliction. May we all be reminded that we rely on you for everything, that our lives are short, that we may not have much time left. May we have a renewed vision to live for your glory, to spread your gospel, to strengthen the saints, and to live for the glory and honor of your name.

And Lord, that is our ultimate prayer. May your Name be glorified through this. May you be honored. May you be praised.

We ask all these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

HT :: Trevin Wax

Blue Collar Theology 20: Karis, Schreiner, and Christ

February 11, 2008

Those of you who remember from last December the fallout between Acts 29 and the Missouri Baptist Convention will likely recall Karis Community Church and their pastor Kevin Larson who was one the churches defunded by the MBC for their affiliation with the Acts 29 Network.  Earlier this month, Karis held a “Theology Weekend” where Dr. Tom Schreiner spoke on the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Here’s the audio from the weekend:

“Jesus… Who?” A Forum on the Person and Work of Jesus: Tom Schreiner, Shakir Al-Ani, and Bill Haney

“Ask the Theologian” Q & A on Christianity and the Bible: Tom Schreiner

“Jesus: The Mission” A Sermon: Tom Schreiner

“Jesus: The Man” A Lecture: Tom Schreiner

What really excites me about this “theology weekend” is Kevin’s vision and passion to equip the people of Karis with a greater understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Is this not a wonderful picture of what Blue Collar Theology is all about?  I am ever hopeful that the vision Kevin has for Karis will continue in the minds and hearts of many young pastors as they seek to channel their investments and efforts into being gospel-centered and mission-driven.

In previous generations, churches geared towards church growth often subscribed to a form of pragmatism and revivalism that in one popularized personalities and marginalized doctrinal development.  Perhaps that day is soon coming to a close.  In any case, I am eagerly anticipating more expressions of and efforts for a Blue Collar Theology from churches across America.

HT :: Karis

Witherington Takes on Christian Hedonism

November 23, 2007

For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.
Romans 15:8-9

In his book, Desiring God, John Piper writes,

God’s saving designs are penultimate, not ultimate. Redemption, salvation, and restoration are not God’s ultimate goal. These he performs for the sake of something greater: namely, the enjoyment he has in glorifying himself. The bedrock foundation of Christian Hedonism is not God’s allegiance to us, but to himself.

If God were not infinitely devoted to the preservation, display, and enjoyment of His own glory, we could have no hope of finding happiness in him. But if he does employ all his sovereign power and infinite wisdom to maximize the enjoyment of his own glory, then we have a foundation on which to stand and rejoice. (31)

In case you missed it, Dr. Ben Witherington has written a critique of this idea of Christian Hedonism as well as Dr. Schreiner’s NT Theology in his post, “‘For God so Loved Himself?’ Is God a Narcissist?” Witherington concludes,

I suppose we should not be surprised that in a culture and age of narcissism, we would recreate God in our own self-centered image, but it is surprising when we find orthodox Christians, and even careful scholars doing this.

Recreate God in our own self-centered image? Quite the charge I must say. Denny Burk has written a nice response/rebuttal to Witherington’s scathing analysis. Here’s an excerpt:

Only with God is self-exaltation a virtue, since He is the first and best of beings, the only One who can satisfy the soul. When sinful humans exalt themselves, it is not loving because it is a distraction from the One who truly can meet the deepest needs of fallen humanity. It is a vice for sinful people to call others to admire them and so to distract them from admiring God. God is love. Therefore He must exalt Himself so as to draw people into worship. This is not narcissistic because it is no vice for Him to exalt the beauty of His own perfections for His creatures’ enjoyment and blessing. Witherington misses all of this, and like other Arminians, removes the firmest grounding that we have for God’s love—God’s own desire to exalt the glory of His own perfections.

Michael Spencer (iMonk) has chimed in over at The Thinklings blog.  Spencer writes,

Would that statement- God so loved himself that he gave…- disturb most young Calvinists today? I tend to think a significant number wouldn’t see any problem. Once you have a truth, you can over-compliment that truth to the point of distortion, lack of ability to read Biblical texts honestly, rejection of those who use different language than you do and overall clarity.

This is happening with sovereignty, God-centeredness, inerrancy. Piper specializes in the “highest” possible logical form of theological statement, to the point that theology that doesn’t join him at the pinnacle of language and illustration (rejoicing in God’s sovereignty after your child is killed in an accident for example) is doubt and heresy. . . .

I have a feeling this is what BW is offering: does Piper’s God “come off” as a Narcissist when we hold conference after conference and publish book after book saying all that matters is God God God?

This is why I call myself a Christian Humanist. The light of the incarnation is the light by which I know MYSELF as well as God. We matter. A lot. Not in ultimate terms, but in created, God-reflecting terms. But these theologians are on the path to saying 100 things about God and nothing about humanity except we suck and it’s amazing Jesus died for such scum.

I have heard arguments similar to what Witherington has posited, such as while we should be God-centered, God is man-centered. One particular article worth reading is Piper’s “Is God for Us or For Himself?” which was written at the start of his ministry at BBC (1980).  What do you think?  Do you think philosophical commitments have clouded Piper’s vision of biblical texts?  Schreiner’s NT Theology does not do justice to the love of God?