Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Dr. Steve Blakemore, associate professor of philosophy at Wesley Biblical Seminary, has written an article for Catalyst Magazine. In Making the Truth Real: Ecclesial Challenges and the Millennial Generation, Dr. Blakemore asserts that the gospel the youth in our churches are learning is not the biblical gospel. He refers to the message the youth are receiving in our churches as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. He defines Moralistic Therapeutic Deism in the second paragraph:

"Reductionist and generic in what it believes about humanity, salvation, and morality — even God’s nature — MTD posits god minimally as a deity that created and ordered the world that watches over human life. Second, this deity wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions. The third claim of MTD regarding this god’s purpose for us is that the central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself. Ironically, however, in spite of this divine destiny, MTD’s fourth pillar contends that god is not personally involved in one’s life (perhaps, because god is not needed?) except to resolve unusual crises. Finally, the ultimate category for human existence and morality is this: good people go to heaven when they die. Therefore, the designations 'Moralistic' (second and fifth propositions), 'Therapeutic' (proposition three), and 'Deism' (principles one and four) are apropos."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Dr. John E. Neihof, Jr. has been named as Wesley Biblical Seminary's new President. You can click the link to learn about his background. I have never met him, but he has solid academic credentials as well as deep Wesleyan holiness roots. Please pray for him as WBS has undergone some turmoil in recent months. WBS is a holiness seminary unlike any other in the Wesleyan holiness tradition. It would be a blow to the holiness tradition if it were no longer there to serve those who want a quality education in the holiness tradition. It is a key player in keeping the Wesleyan world from being tranformed by theological liberalism.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Dallas Willard wrote some of the most important Christian books of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Among his most significant works were The Spirit of the Disciplines, The Divine Conspiracy, and The Renovation of the Heart. I discovered him in seminary when I checked out his lectures on The Divine Conspiracy. Had I discovered him earlier, I believe I would have matured sooner as a Christian. Here some tributes not only to his work but to the man himself:

Mark Roberts, Parts 1 and 2.
From Scott McKnight at Jesus Creed.
Christine A. Scheller, John Ortberg, Richard Foster, from Christianity Today.
Kevin Watson, from his Vital Piety blog.
Scott Smith, from the Evangelical Philosophical Society blog.
J.P. Moreland, from his blog. Also from J.P. Moreland's blog, this short tribute from Juliet Setian.
Wesley Hill at First Things.