Social Justice and the Gospel: What is the Core Mission of the Church?

helping the poor

There has been much talk in the last number of years regarding the role of mercy ministry (advocating for social justice) in the life of the local church.  I have addressed that issue in a number of previous posts, including this one here.  In addition, I recently led a faculty forum–an informal discussion time between students and faculty–on the topic here on the RTS Charlotte campus.

In that faculty forum, I acknowledged the legitimacy of doing “mercy ministry” in the local church.  After all, Christians should be known for acts of kindness and grace.  Indeed, in my own research on second-century Christianity it was clear that the early believers were different …

Continue reading...

Does the Bible Ever Get it Wrong? Facing Scripture’s Difficult Passages (#5): John Currid

John Currid

In a prior post (see here), I announced a new blog series designed to address problematic passage in the Bible.  This new series will feature guest posts from other evangelical scholars and is largely a response to the series by Peter Enns’ entitled, “Aha moments: biblical scholars tell their stories.”

The contributor for this installment is my friend and colleague John Currid (Ph.D., University of Chicago). John is the Carl W. McMurray Professor of Old Testament here at RTS Charlotte and the Project Director of the Bethsaida Excavations Project in Israel (1995-present).  He is the author numerous books including, Against the Gods (Crossway, 2013); Doing Archaeology in

Continue reading...

By Faith Magazine Highlights the RTS Charlotte Counseling Program

By Faith

In the most recent issue of By Faith, the magazine of the PCA, there is an article on the new RTS Charlotte counseling program.  The article includes a brief interview with me about the need for, and the distinctives of, the Charlotte program.  The article is only in print version (so far), but I have included a scanned pdf of it here.

The article highlights a key part of RTS Charlotte’s approach, namely that we see counseling as part of the “ministry of the word.”   The By Faith article quotes me in this regard: “Whereas preaching is the public ministry of the Word, counseling can be understood as …

Continue reading...

One of the Main Ways that the Earliest Christians Distinguished Themselves from the Surrounding Culture

Early Christian marriage ring

In the first century, while Christianity was still in its infancy, the Greco-Roman world paid little attention.  For the most part, the early Christian movement was seen as something still underneath the Jewish umbrella.

But in the second century, as Christianity emerged with a distinctive religious identity, the surrounding pagan culture began to take notice.  And it didn’t like what it saw.  Christians were seen as strange and superstitious–a peculiar religious movement that undermined the norms of a decent society.  Christians were, well, different.

So, what was so different about Christians compared to the surrounding Greco-Roman culture?  One distinctive trait was that Christians would not pay homage to the …

Continue reading...