We Need Heretics—Here’s Why

heretic-nametag

We all need a good heretic.

Richard Mouw, writing for First Things:

…it is a good thing to have a couple of favorite heretics. Some false perspectives are illuminating, and it can be healthy for Christians who love ideas to be challenged regularly by perspectives that we can disagree with in productive ways.

Mouw concludes:

Perspectives that are both false and illuminating are in short supply these days.

Read Mouw’s article on how Nietzsche, Sartre, Bertrand Russell and other heretics are good for Christians here.

And When Everyone’s Gospel-Centered…

Many evangelical book publishers, churches, ministries and individuals claim to be gospel-centered, gospel-driven, etc. Google search “gospel-centered”  and you’ll find a staggering 5,600,000 results, while Amazon produces over 2,000 “gospel-centered” products. (Tim Challies provides a helpful breakdown of some key books and ministries here.)

Much like First Things editor R.R. Reno recently imposing a ban on robust, I suggest we consider similar sanctions on gospel-centered, driven, etc. Can’t we be more creative in our descriptions? One day “gospel-driven” and similar monikers risk becoming like the word evangelical.

Syndrome’s council has robust gospel-centered implications:

Robustly Reformed Best Baggage?

Even though he uses “robust” twice in a quick span (a word First Things Editor R.R. Reno recently retired from his vocabulary due to overuse), Carl Trueman’s article on why Reformed Christianity provides the best basis for faith today is worth reading.

An excerpt:

“The Reformed Church has its own baggage, but given the nature of its origins and our own moment, it is the right baggage….”

Yes, this article is in a (gasp!) Roman Catholic periodical. Ironic?

Read Trueman’s article here.

Driscoll and the Complicit Reformed Leaders

Carl Trueman, writing in First Things,

And then, finally, there is the silence. The one thing that might have kept the [young, restless and reformed] movement together would imgreshave been strong, transparent public leadership that openly policed itself and thus advertised its integrity for all to see. Yet the most remarkable thing about the whole sorry saga, from the [T.D.] Jakes business until now, has been the silence of many of the men who present themselves as the leaders of the movement and who were happy at one time to benefit from Mark Driscoll’s reputation and influence. One might interpret this silence as an appropriate refusal to comment directly on the ministry of men who no longer have any formal connection with their own organizations.

Read the article here.

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.