On Saying ‘Merry Christmas’
How pathetic is it that the battleground for the future of Christian civilization is perceived to be retail-store interactions? Christians have a millennia-long heritage of civilization building, and it has come to this: The farthest our imaginations can take us…
On the Methodist Addition to the JDDJ
Christianity Today published a review on Protestant-Catholic relations that focused upon two books, the first written by Protestant-turned Catholic Peter Kreeft, the other co-authored by Protestants Kenneth J. Collins (Catholic converted to Wesleyanism) and Jerry L. Walls, a Baptist. Both books address the JDDJ, with Kreeft calling it, “the greatest ecumenical achievement in the five hundred years since the Reformation.” Collins and Walls dedicate an entire chapter to the JDDJ, in which they echo the concerns of the LCMS and hit the same points that I addressed in my previous post.
The World Methodist Council adopted the JDDJ in August, 2006, with some additions to reflect distinctly Wesleyan understandings of justification. It is interesting that the Methodists constantly cite John Wesley to express their theological points and scriptural interpretation; the Catholics, Lutherans, and Reformed all cite their exegetical tradition or confessional statements, not individual theologians.
The Methodist additions to the JDDJ, like the Lutheran comments, functionally defer to the Catholic structure of understanding justification. Any notable doctrinal difference between the Methodists and the initial JDDJ undercuts the common consensus on the foundational nature of justification that the Lutherans and Catholics are attempting to achieve….
On Images of Christ on Websites
Brad Isbell and D.G. Hart have raised criticisms of the Presbyterian council members of The Gospel Coalition for tolerating, or at the very least refusing to acknowledge the confessional incongruences that come from tolerating, the use and praise of images of Christ at TGC website. I have deep reservations about parachurch groups and the “networks are the future of Christianity” ethos of TGC. I also affirm the Westminster Standards’ understanding of the law and the regulative principle. The Reformed tradition’s history of exegesis on the second commandment notwithstanding, I do believe Isbell and Hart have misunderstood our confessional documents on this issue. It is the Standards, after all, which we have vowed to uphold, not the exegetical tradition…