The Cambridge Declaration (Alive and Kicking)

20 years after the Cambridge Declaration was first released, it’s worth asking:

—Is the Protestant Reformation over?

—Aren’t the five Reformation “solas” a footnote in religious history with little to no bearing on modern ministry and life?

—Isn’t the Cambridge Declaration  (published 20 years ago) yesterday’s leftovers?

We don’t think so, and we’re doing something exciting about it.

Specifically, we’re working on a new book with the following authors:

  • Michael Horton
  • James Montgomery Boice (previously published content)
  • David F. Wells
  • Aimee Byrd
  • Carl Trueman
  • (and more)

Here are some teaser promotional cards:

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What’s that I hear you ask?

—Who’s the publisher?

—When will it be released?

—Are there other authors in the works?

—Why does this matter?

—Why should I care?

—Will it be a bestseller on Amazon?

—Will there be a blockbuster tour of the book’s authors coming my way in the very near future?

Great questions.

Sign up for updates about the book at alliancenet.org/CD20 or on Twitter at #CD20.

 

 

The Gospel Coalition Review for Wells’ “God in the Whirlwind”

Today The Gospel Coalition posted my review of David Wells’ book God in the Whirlwind:

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Read it here.

Update (June 28, 2014): TGC recently reworked their website and are still playing catch-up with getting it current with past reviews. In the meantime, you can access the review through Amazon (you may have to scroll down, but it’s there.)

Wells’ “God in the Whirlwind”: Essential Resources

Here’s a list of essential resources for David F. Wells’ book God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-love of God Reorients Our World:

Wells compares the cultural and biblical understandings of love:

Wells explores how our culture influences the way we view God’s love and holiness:

Wells discusses the counter-cultural nature of the Christian worldview, especially as it pertains to the truth about God’s transcendent holy-love:

Wells on how he’s tried to “capture the truth that God has given us” related to God’s holy-love:

Justin Taylor interviews David Wells about the book:

The Gospel Coalition’s Matt Smethurst interviews Wells about the book.

—Here’s a PDF study guide for the book.

Finally, I’ll try compiling a list of book reviews as they become available.

03/10/14: The Gospel Coalition posted my review of the book.

Special thanks to Crossway for producing the videos and study guide.

[Apologies for the third video’s smaller size, as the embed code is incorrect.]

Trueman on Wells’ God in the Whirlwind

Carl Trueman wrote a review at First Things of Wells’ new book God in the Whirlwind. He interprets the title’s “whirlwind” as referring to the book of Job. His review is worth reading, but I especially enjoyed the concluding paragraph:

This is a book all Christians should read. And, while generally positive in its proposals, it has sufficient pessimism (though David, as a good fellow pessimist, will no doubt tell me he is not such a one) that this Englishman still enjoyed it. Christianity in the West is shifting to the status of an annoying, perhaps even unwelcome, sect. The future is, humanly speaking, bleak. David’s books in general are a good argument for seeing ourselves as a large part of our current problem and this book in particular offers helpful thoughts on what must now be done.

I heartily agree.

I have a review of God in the Whirlwind forthcoming for The Gospel Coalition, so stay tuned.

Sunday Meetings Matter: Here’s Why

Call me prudish, but I’ve always been troubled why so many churches in the U.S. don’t meet on Sunday. Instead, not just newer church plants, but even well-known churches such as Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis (certainly not a church catering to worshiper tastes or trends)—meet on days other than, or in addition to, Sunday.

Now I realize the decision to meet on Saturday (the preferred day) instead of imgresSunday vary and may even be complicated. For some churches, Saturday gatherings are often out of sheer necessity. This was certainly the case with Bethlehem while Piper was still the senior pastor and the church was bursting at the seams on Sunday mornings.

But I fear that many churches meet on Saturday for reasons other than necessity, namely convenience or so as not to appear staid and traditional like other churches that meet on Sunday. And even in the case of Bethlehem, adding a Saturday service, even out of necessity, comes with a downside, becoming yet another place for many congregants to double-dip, having the best of both worlds (i.e. listening to Piper’s preaching Saturday night and then returning to their local church Sunday mornings with their ordinary pastor). The all-too-familiar result? A rootless wanderer with toes dabbling in multiple places and spaces on different days. Surely this is not good—not only for the congregant, but for both churches and their respective pastors.

But whatever the reasons for meeting on a day other than Sunday, the collective result is the same: Sunday’s biblical and historical significance is flattened and marginalized. Ironically, even tragically, Saturday becomes the new Sunday, a sort of weird evangelical Seventh Day Adventist hybrid.

I’m not alone in my concern.

N.T. Wright:

…the gospels (especially John) and the early practice of the church (as in Paul) reflect the very early understanding of the church that the first day of the week, the day of Easter, has become a sign within the present world and its temporal sequence that the life of the age to come has already broken in. Sunday, kept as a commemoration of Easter ever since that event itself (a quite remarkable phenomenon when you come to think about it), is not simply a legacy of Victorian values but a perpetual sign, joyfully renewed week by week, that all time belongs to God and stands under the renewing lordship of Jesus Christ.

Of course, worship should be ‘seven whole days, not one in seven.’ Many Christians will find, for all kinds of reasons, that Sunday is a difficult day to attend long church services. But we should remind ourselves that the earliest Christians lived in a world where Sunday was the first day of the working week, much like our Monday, and that they valued its symbolism so highly that they were prepared to get up extra early both to celebrate Easter once again and to anticipate the final Eighth Day of Creation, the start of the new week, the day when God will renew all things.

Surprised By Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (pp. 261-262).

David F. Wells, in his forthcoming book God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-love of God Reorients Our World, echoes Wright’s sentiment:

Every church service is, in fact, an Easter service. So am I being narrow-minded when I ask, are we doing the right thing to cater to convenience by offering worship on Saturday evenings, on the old Sabbath? Does this not depart from the important symbolism which the apostles insisted on preserving? They worshiped on Sunday, the Lord’s day. (p.204)

So to answer Wells’s (admittedly rhetorical) questions: No to the former, yes to the latter.

Jesus’ resurrection reshapes and reorients absolutely everything—even our Sundays. Our inability or unwillingness to recognize and act on it is not only regrettable, but perhaps also an indicator of how little the realities of the resurrection hold sway in our minds, hearts, and wills.

May God do a work among the Western church to recover and rediscover the blessings and joy of meeting on Sunday, the new Sabbath and weekly commemoration of Easter.

David F. Wells Interview on Book God in the Whirlwind

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Crossway publishers interviewed David F. Wells regarding his forthcoming book God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-love of God Reorients Our World (January 2014), asking six questions:

  1. How does God in the Whirlwind contribute to the work you’ve already done in No Place for Truth, God in the Wasteland, Losing Our Virtue, Above All Earthly Pow’rs, and The Courage to Be Protestant?
  2. In the introduction, you write that the primary thing that evangelical theology lacks is an understanding of God’s character that carries “weight.” What do you mean by this?
  3. You’ve coined the term “holy-love” as a way to refer to the essential union of God’s holiness and love. You write, “Today, our constant temptation, aided and abetted as it is by our culture, is to shatter the hyphen.” How does this happen and why is it dangerous?
  4. How should Christians answer the charge that we are intolerant and exclusive in our thinking about God and salvation?
  5. You argue that our thinking is fundamentally flawed if we seek to understand God’s love through the lens of our own experiences related to loving and being loved. Why is that? Doesn’t such a claim negate the importance of the imago Dei?
  6. What is the biggest challenge the evangelical church will face in the next 50 years?

For Wells’s (oft illuminating) answers, go here.