Urban Apologetics

I am grateful to see the publication of Urban Apologetics! This is my endorsement of the book:

Eric Mason’s team of adept philosophers and theologians has created apologia for a community whose heterodox teachings have been misunderstood and ignored by traditional theological resources. Speaking to those who have both Whitewashed and/or Consciousness Community educations, it reveals the racial biases – evangelical and secular – that have been baptized as truth and masqueraded as the only right readings of history, theology, and Scripture. Within these pages is a corrective needed to help provide defense of the hope all believers hold while also exalting the human dignity of all persons in the body of Christ. This is a Tolle Lege call to all who have a heart that longs for the salvation of the spiritually lost within the African American community and it is a masterful work that lays bare the weaknesses of the Black Religious Identity Cults for those tempted to find hope their teachings.

FROM BOYS TO MEN; My Response to the SBC Seminary Presidents’ CRT Statement

@pastordmack always is worth reposting!

Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.

FROM BOYS TO MEN
My Response to the SBC Seminary Presidents’ CRT Statement

BY WILLIAM DWIGHT MCKISSIC, SR.

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.” (I Corinthians 13:11 CSB)

I am often asked the question, why do I remain in the Southern Baptist Convention? A recent joint statement on race made by the six seminary presidents of the SBC has brought that question back into discussion once again. The crux of the seminary presidents’ statement is as follows:

“In light of current conversations in the Southern Baptist Convention, we stand together on historic Southern Baptist condemnations of racism in any form and we also declare that affirmation of Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and any version of Critical Theory is incompatible with the Baptist Faith & Message.”

Initially…

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Get Copies of Say It! at a Great Price via Moody Publisher’s Cyber Monday Sale

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A copy of Say It! would make a great stocking-stuffer for someone you know! Yes, it is a book about preaching the Scriptures. But it also is a book about learning to read the Scriptures well — even the difficult, unfamiliar, and seemingly boring passages of Scripture. Help someone become the best reader of Scripture she/he can be. Give her/him a copy of Say It!

Mason and Dates as Preaching Masterclass Faculty

 


Congratulations to Drs. Eric Mason and Charlie Dates as they join the faculty for the Preaching Masterclass and are recognized by In Club Magazine as faith leaders to follow. Both contributed to Say It! Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition (Moody Publishers). They are faithful preachers and pastors with significant words of truth and righteousness for our times.

Application of Narrative

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Preaching Source blog graciously published a small piece I wrote on the application of biblical narrative. The word count limitation does not allow for other items I include in my classroom lectures on application. However, I hope this small piece gets us thinking about individual narratives within the larger canonical narrative.

On the Air June 8 and June 9

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on air

I am looking forward to being on the air this afternoon, 5.30 EST/4.30 CST, with Mark Eckel of The Cornelius Institute to discuss Say It!  and expository preaching. I suspect we will get into a little bit about the current expression of the pandemic of racial injustice.

I also am excited about speaking tomorrow morning, June 9, across multiple Moody Radio stations on real solutions to the racial injustice pandemic that does not seem to end:

All Times Central

5:30am WCRF Brian and Jannelle Mornings

6:00am WMBI Karl and Crew Mornings

6:30am WFCM Dawn and Steve Mornings

7:00am WMBW Mornings with Tabi

7:30am WRMB Mornings with Eric and Brigitte

Join me and invite others to listen!

Empty from a White Friend

Text MsgI am grateful for several kind texts, emails, and messages from white, evangelical friends who have expressed empathy, concern for me and my family, and outrage over racial injustice in the wake of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and in the wake of the Central Park bird-watching act of racial hatred toward Christian Cooper. Empathy from non-African Americans plays an important role in progressing toward the dismantling of racial injustice in America.

Among the many communications I have received, in addition to the one in the picture above, here is an innocent one from a young adult friend that I have permission to share:

“Hey…. I don’t post or share much on social media about these dreadful injustices and I think it’s because my head and heart have a hard time processing the emotions that take over when I hear about them. But I want you to know that I think of you and Pam every time an article or a picture comes across my screen – whether it’s of [an] Ahmaud Arbery or George Floyd. It frustrates me [when I see] the reality that [you] live in because some racist, ignorant, and/or plain stupid [expletive deleted] believes in their mind that they are superior to Black people. I don’t understand how that policeman could just sit there like he did in the video. The look on his face the whole time truly disturbed me; it was the look of indifference. Unfortunately, many people show that same face when something like this happens. I am so sorry that you have to live with your head on a swivel. I am sorry that people show total indifference. I pray that the Lord would break the staunch hearts of those who are indifferent to acts of injustice, that they would mourn with those who mourn, that they would see God’s image in the person next to them—Black, Asian, Latino/a, or whoever, that pastors would step up and train their flocks to see injustice, and that the body of Christ would come around our [African American] brothers and sisters and ask them what can we do. I love you guys so much and I am weeping with you and praying with you.”

Thank you to every friend who has taken time to express empathy, and to show love toward me and my family after racial injustice tragedies. May your evangelical tribe increase, speak where other evangelical leaders should be speaking, and join the fight for racial justice in America in all other holy and righteous forms possible.

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The Problem of Evil in Atheism (Groothuis)

via The Problem of Evil in Atheism (Groothuis)

This is good to repeat at this time:

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In chapter 25 of Christian Apologetics, Douglas Groothuis discusses the problem of evil from a Christian perspective.  In this chapter he gives five unsatisfactory answers to evil.  The first one is atheism.  I thought this was quite helpful:

Given the surfeit of evil, atheism advances itself as intellectually and morally superior to Christianity (and any religion).  Atheism is not burdened with attempts to explain evil in relation to God. Evil just exists in a godless world. The problem vanishes.

But it does not so vanish, for two main reasons.  First, in order to speak of the problem of evil, a person must believe that objective evil exists. To justify this claim, the person needs to adequately explain the existence and nature of evil.  In order for objective evil to exist, objective goodness must exist as well, and good must exist in a more fundamental way.  This is because evil is a corruption or twisting of the good.  Evil does not exist in and of itself….  Evil is the rust on the iron or the hole in the roof.  While a person or an event may be truly evil (the evil is not illusory), that evil could not have existed without an antecedent and original good.

This discussion harks back to our argument for God from the existence of morality, where we argued for the existence of objective moral goods.  These goods eliminate both relativism/nihilism and pantheistic monism, since neither can rationally support the existence of objective moral goodness.  Neither is objective moral goodness a brute fact in a godless world.  Objective moral goodness, therefore, is best explained by the character of a Creator God who made the universe good and gave us the capacity to recognize the good as such, even now in our fallen state. (…)

Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics, p. 617-618.

Shane Lems
Hammond, WI, 54002

Three Books on Preaching to Encourage You While Sheltering in Place

So I can recommend three new and really good books on preaching for you to read while you are sheltering in place. I suspect your pastor will be very glad if you who are laypeople would read these books and draw closer into the daily and weekly aspects of the stewardship of the call to preach. Good, Christ-honoring, people-loving, exegetically and doctrinally sound, culturally sensitive, intellectually challenging, emotionally uplifting, Spirit-empowered preaching takes a wealth of prayer, loads of study, and great humility before Christ and his people. It is a community project too, for those in the pew have a responsibility to pray for the preacher to hear from God and to communicate accurately what God has said, to affirm the preaching, to be a faithful steward of the obedient responses to the sermon, to communicate the proclaimed word to the baptized and the unconverted, and to share all good things with the one who teaches. This participatory event  is at the center of the life of any local congregation and any maturing believer. Therefore it would be good and wise to know of what this task consists.

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1 — The Whole Counsel of God: Why and How to Preach the Entire Bible (Crossway). “Written to make a case for the necessity of a long-term plan for preaching through the entire Bible instead of just through individual books, this is not just a book on how to preach, but also how to plan and prepare long-range preaching programs through the whole counsel of God.” https://www.crossway.org/books/the-whole-counsel-of-god-tpb/

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2 — A Little Book for New Preachers: Why and How to Study Homiletics (IVP). “In this brief introduction to preaching, Matthew Kim helps to prepare those called to preach the Word. A seasoned preacher himself, Kim provides proven insight and guidance about the importance and history of preaching, the characteristics of faithful preaching, and the personal habits of a faithful preacher. With his help, both those training for ministry and those new to the pastoral task will be encouraged as they undertake their calling.” https://www.ivpress.com/a-little-book-for-new-preachers

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3 — Say It! A Celebration of Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition (Moody). “The contributors in this volume give examples of African American Biblical exposition in every section of the Old Testament and New Testament. They also explain how to preach from narrative, poetical, prophetic, epistolary, and apocalyptic genres throughout the Scriptures.” (Even though you know the editor, get this book because of the giftedness of the contributors.) https://www.moodypublishers.com/books/current-issues/say-it/

Happy reading!