Monthly Archives: October 2013


From Al Mohler’s address at Brigham Young: “More recently, Taylor has written the greatest work yet completed on the secular reality of our times. In A Secular Age, he describes three successive sets of intellectual conditions. In the first, associated with the Premodern Age of antiquity and the medieval synthesis, it wasimpossible not to believe. There was simply no intellectual alternative to theism in the West. There was no alternative set of explanations for the world and its operations, or for moral order. All that changed with the arrival of modernity. In the Modern Age it became possible not to believe. A secular alternative to Christian theism emerged as a real choice. As a matter of fact, choice now ruled the intellectual field. As Peter Berger famously observed decades ago, this is the “heretical imperative,” the imperative to choose. The third set of intellectual conditions is identified with late modernity and our own intellectual epoch. For most people living in the context of self-conscious late modernity, it is now impossible to believe.”

The rest is here:

HT: Denny Burk


It is commonly thought that the Battle of Gettysburg ended the war.  The eminent Civil War historian, Gary Gallagher, disagrees:

Gallagher’s argument began with an explanation of what he called “Appomattox Syndrome” — a complex in which historians study an event or era beginning with the end. (“Appomattox” references the courthouse where the Confederacy surrendered, bringing the Civil War to an end.) Gallagher said that this method of studying history is wrong because history didn’t happen backwards.

“Read forward in the evidence and you will find complexity and contingency far beyond what that other way of looking in the past allows you to find,” Gallagher said. “Do not ever start at the end in order to understand what happened if your goal is to understand how it unfolded.”

By studying the Civil War from the beginning, and from a historical point of view rather than relying only on memories, he said, it becomes very obvious that neither the Battles of Gettysburg or Vicksburg nor the year 1863 had very much to do with turning the tide of the war.

The rest of the article is here:

On the same subject, you can experience Gallagher’s engaging and informed style here:


Yes, having a name like Moore is very useful.
As a piggyback to yesterday’s post, let me add my own maxim:
The more conservative the Christian, the generally less aware they are that they are involved in interpreting the Bible.  The converse is also true: the less conservative the Christian, the more they are aware (again generally speaking) that everyone is interpreting the Bible.
Let me underscore again the venerable, old truth which must be at the heart of these matters: “In essentials unity, in non essentials liberty, in all things charity.”


Some Christians do not think they interpret the Bible.  Sounds crazy, but there are Christians who think everything in the Bible is crystal clear and their interpretation (though they don’t use the word!) is always the right one.

There is a critical need to remember that there is clarity and wide agreement among Christians on the most important doctrines like the trinity, deity of Christ, bodily resurrection, etc.  However, on lesser issues of importance like the age of the earth or when and how to baptize, there are a variety of views.

I don’t agree with many things Rachel Held Evans says, but she does a good job here describing that we all interpret…whether we are aware of it or not.


Recently, there were some lecture series given in honor of the one hundredth year since Dr. Carl F.H. Henry’s birth.  Many say that Henry “was the brains of twentieth century evangelical Christianity while Graham was the heart.”

While I was doing research for my M.A. thesis, I spotted Dr. Henry in the library.  He was carefully reading and jotting down notes on a yellow legal pad.  He stood up so I took that as my opportunity to approach him.  

Dr. Henry was kind and easy to talk with.  I tried to cover as much terrain as possible in our few minutes.  

I couldn’t help but notice that Dr. Henry started to walk as he talked.  He was fully engaged in the conversation, but I thought it odd that he was walking.  

Dr. Henry finally stopped, thanked me for the conversation, and walked into the bathroom that I had not noticed until then!