Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wedding Over and Moving Full Steam Ahead

This past week has brought another school year to a dramatic close. I was installed at graduation as the W. A. Criswell Professor of Expository Preaching, delivered the commencement address, traveled to Glen Rose, Texas to attend and help officiate at my son Daniel's wedding, watched the Jerry Falwell funeral, entertained out of town guests, and preached. This summer is going to be very busy. Besides preaching each week, taking a group of students on a mission trip, and teaching international students at the Global Proclamation Academy (held on the campus of DTS) for Ramesh Richard, I will also attempt to complete writing my dissertation on "The Kingdom-driven Church: Evangelism and Ecclesiology in Eschatological Perspective."

Research for the dissertation has become a joyous, although strenuous adventure. I completed my first Ph.D. in 1982; so, this has been a lot of work for an old man! In the course of the past three years I have read nearly 400 books on the subject and untold journal articles and commentaries. I believe I have a real grasp of the kingdom and hope I will be able to make a significant contribution to the body of knowledge now available. My main objective is to relate kingdom theology to the local church.

The kingdom of God is now my passion. The Lord willing, I wish to devote the remainder of my academic life to kingdom studies. If the kingdom was the focus of Jesus' ministry, it should be ours as well.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Apologetics Study Bible

Word arrived today from Broadman and Holman that The Apologetics Study Bible is in the final edit and will be released on October 1, 2007. I was responsible for writing "The Twisted Scriptures" commentaries section. These are comments on verses the cults misinterpret to promote their false doctrines. Each note will be offset in a display box near the text in question.

This volume will be a valuable resource for pastors, Sunday School teachers, student leaders, and lay people who want to defend the faith against cults and heresies.

You will be able to order your copy of The Apologetics Study Bible from Amazon or CBD at a discount.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell is Dead? Don't Believe it!

Dwight L. Moody said, "One day you will hear reports that D. L. Moody is dead. Don't believe it. I will be more alive then than ever before!"

Likewise, Dr. Jerry Falwell is more alive now than ever!

According the Associated Press reports, Dr. Falwell collapsed in his office this morning at 10:45, was rushed to the hospital, and never regained consciousness.

I have met Dr. Falwell on several occasions. Last fall he and I were the plenary speakers at the West Virginia Baptist Evangelism Conference. We sat together, laughed, and then we preached.

Dr. Falwell was an extraordinary man. He rose to fame, but never forgot his common roots. He always had time to speak to the "least of these my brethren." His humble heart and servant spirit is what endeared him to so many. He shared the gospel at every opportunity, especially when being interviewed on national TV.

Dr. Falwell, you will be missed. But we are right behind. See you soon!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Commencement Address

Yesterday, I delivered the 2007 commencement address to the graduating class at Criswell College, Dallas, Texas. I spoke on Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus invites 1) the toilsome and burdened to come to him for rest (the rest of salvation)and 2) to take his yoke and learn of him and thus find rest (the rest of service). I challenged the graduates to go forth with more than their B.A., the first two letters of the alphabet, but to be equipped with them all A-Z, which is found in Jesus alone, the Alpha and Omega.

Earlier in the ceremony, I was officially installed as The W. A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching, a position named in honor of the college's founder. Criswell College is known for training students to exegete a text, prepare and deliver an effective expository message. Dr. Criswell was one of the best expositors among twentieth century Southern Baptists. I feel a great responsibility to our students and the Board of Trustees at the college to carry on his legacy.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


As you have heard by now, Frank Beckwith, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University and unto recently, President of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), has been officially accepted back into membership of the Roman Catholic Church. News of his conversion to Rome shocked evangelicals throughout North America and caused them to ask, “Why would Beckwith switch from Baptist to Catholic?” The opinions have varied among internet bloggers. Finally, Beckwith came out with the “official” story. But is that the true story?

In the spirit of David Letterman, we offer ten alternative reasons for his return to Rome. We start with the least plausible (Reason #10) and move to the most convincing (Reason #1). If you have other explanations, please feel free to respond.

Ten Reasons why Frank Beckwith Became a Catholic:

Reason #10 – Old habits never die: Frank couldn’t find a Baptist church where he could play Bingo.

Reason #9 – Health reasons: Frank found all the genuflection in the liturgy quite reinvigorating. He plans to drop 10 pounds easy in his first year of Masses.

Reason #8 – Economics: Since the Catholic Church does not require a tithe; Frank will boost his annual income by 7% .

Reason #7 – To ease his conscience: As a Catholic he can now drink “fermented” communion wine without scrutiny.

Reason #6 – His love for seafood: Frank missed the Friday fish dinners at the local Catholic Church.

Reason #5 – To mastermind a coup: Frank hopes his move to Rome, while maintaining his membership in ETS, will inspire Roman Catholics to join and take over ETS.

Reason # 4
– His emotional stability: The trauma of putting together the 2006 national ETS led to a complete mental breakdown and this irrational behavior.

Reason # 3 – Altruism: In the spirit of brotherly love, Frank wanted to provide Norm Geisler with a subject for a new book project.

Reason #2
– A Damascus Road experience: While listening to last year’s Presidential speech by Ed Yamauchi, Frank fell into a trance and had a vision of the Pope calling him back home to Rome.

Reason #1 – Conspiracy: Frank never really left the Catholic Church, but was actually a Jesuit priest spying on evangelicals for Rome. The forthcoming Chick tract will tell the whole story.