Friday, January 21, 2011

Rachel Held Evans wants to love God with her mind

I thought this was--as usual--a thoughtful and very frank piece from Rachel Held Evans. She's not quite writing about evolution, though the topic does come up, but is really trying to draw attention to the difficulties of trying to love God with one's mind in American evangelicalism.

I'm reminded of the opening line from Mark Noll's The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, to which it sounds like (perhaps ironically, here) Al Mohler would object: "The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind."

Check out the post over on RHE.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Baptists and social drinking

The Associated Baptist Press reports that the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (SBC) has recently decided to 'study' the question of social drinking.

Good for you, North Carolina.

Though I have not been attending a South Baptist church for the last year, my membership is still with an SBC-affiliated body, and I have been heavily involved in SBC churches for the last decade. So you can take my opinion with a grain of salt, or however you like it. But I for one and glad to hear about this development--though I doubt that this will lead to any significant changes in the South Baptist stance on alcohol use (total abstinence) in North Carolina or anywhere else. The very fact that the question is being raised is good enough for me at this point.

As I have blogged before, I do not support drinking. I think alcohol abuse is too great an evil in the US for Christians to (and not all drinking Christians do this, I know) thoughtlessly engage in social drinking. This may not be the case in other countries, but here I find it to be so.
Nevertheless, I agree with C. S. Lewis that a crusade for 'biblical teetotalism' such as that you regularly find in the SBC is "tyrannic and unscriptural insolence." The scriptural support just isn't there (regardless of what Mr. Lumpkins might suggest in the ABP article), and I resent a vocal misrepresentation of the Bible's teachings. That is why I am glad to hear of Baptists raising such issues--of all places, in a denomination where scripture is given such emphasis and authority, the Biblical word on drinking ought to be faithfully taught and preached. Once this is taken care of, then I'll ask the SBC to consider supporting prohibition.

But in the meantime, good for you, North Carolina.