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September 6, 2017

A Generous Calvinism

Generous Calvinism may seem like an oxymoron, but in Saving Calvinism Oliver Crisp helps file the rough edges off a narrow, ossified version of this venerable tradition. The result is a Calvinism that embraces the breadth of its own heritage.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 9:56 AM | Comments

January 28, 2015

The Life of the Mind

The history of evangelicalism and the life of the mind is both well-chronicled and checkered. While Jonathan Edwards is hailed by some as the greatest intellect (not just evangelical intellect) in American history, suspicion and anger has often boiled over from within evangelicalism against the university world. The 1925 Scopes Trial, for example, set off decades of distrust that affected generations of Bible-believing Christians.

Richard Mouw, mouw mind.jpgformer president of Fuller Seminary, is one such believer. He admired those who voiced simple faith in the face of intellectual challenges. Today Mouw is still sympathetic to those who think that being educated can draw one away from being holy. But he knows too that this is a false choice. One can also be a godly thinker or a sinful dimwit.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 10:35 AM

January 28, 2014

A Lukewarm Interpretation of Hot and Cold: Revelation 3:15-16

"Because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth." This verse from Revelation 3 certainly must rank as one of the most misused in the Bible. In the last month alone I have heard two speakers give it the same incorrect interpretation.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 11:06 AM | Comments (5) are closed

December 3, 2013

The Most Misused Verse in the Bible

We read it in devotional books. We sing it in church. We meditate on it in our quiet times. God's command in Psalm 46:10--"Be still, and know that I am God."

Unfortunately, the verse has nothing to do with what we usually think it does--being quiet before God, not being frantic and busy, or maybe getting ourselves ready to hear a sermon. No, it's not about any of these things. This is a verse which has been violently ripped out of context time and time again. What does it really mean?

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 10:38 AM | Comments (14) are closed

December 21, 2012

Today the World Did Not End

Today, December 21, 2012, is the day the world did not end. For years now people have been predicting, blogging, writing dozens of books and making movies claiming the Mayan calendar tells us the world ends today. News flash: It didn't.

For centuries Christians have also been notorious for setting dates when the world would end or Christ would return. News flash: They've all been wrong.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 8:41 AM | Comments (2) are closed

December 4, 2012

Stott's Influence (5): Limits and Legacy

On November 15, 2012, I presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society entitled "John Stott's Influence Through Publishing." I offer it here in five installments. The first installment can be found here.

Were there any limits on Stott's influence? At least three can be mentioned.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 8:15 AM | Comments (5) are closed

November 29, 2012

Stott's Influence (4): Common Ground

On November 15, 2012, I presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society entitled "John Stott's Influence Through Publishing." I offer it here in five installments. The first installment can be found here.

The fifth and final influence is Stott's commitment to emphasize what we have in common as evangelicals rather than pound on our differences. As an evangelical statesman, he was of a decidedly vanishing breed. He never sought to divide Christians, to win over people to the particulars of all his viewpoints. Rather he worked to unite Christians in the basic convictions of the faith. He never aimed to win so much as to be winsome. His book
Evangelical Truth (first published in 1999) is one example of this.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 9:09 AM | Comments (2) are closed

November 27, 2012

Stott's Influence (3): World Christianity

On November 15, 2012, I presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society entitled "John Stott's Influence Through Publishing." I offer it here in five installments. The first installment can be found here.

This leads to Stott's third influence. In addition to encouraging respectful engagement with the culture at large and encouraging the life of the mind, John Stott promoted an understanding and appreciation of world Christianity. In fact, Stott was a World Christian long before it was fashionable to be a World Christian. I already mentioned the many university missions around the world. He had made over 15 trips overseas to dozens of countries before the Berlin '66 Congress on World Evangelization where he gave three plenary Scripture expositions.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 9:22 AM

November 16, 2012

Stott's Influence (1): A British Anglican in American Evangelicalism

On November 15, 2012, I presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society entitled "John Stott's Influence Through Publishing." I offer it here in five installments.

To separate John Stott's influence through publishing from his influence through other avenues is almost impossible. The emphases in his preaching, teaching and worldwide pastoral ministry were entirely consonant not only with his publishing efforts but also with his own institution building through the Langham Trust and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity as well as his deep involvement in other institutions from the Lausanne Movement to the Tearfund to the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students--not to mention the Church of England.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 8:41 AM | Comments (4) are closed

November 14, 2011

John Stott Memorial

Since his death on July 27, more than two dozen memorial services have been held for John Stott on every continent, in such places as Addis Ababa, Auckland, Delhi, Hong Kong, Lima, Manila, Singapore and Vancouver. On November 11, a memorial was held in the United States at College Church, Wheaton, Illinois.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 9:54 AM | Comments (1) are closed

October 24, 2011

Arthur Holmes, 1924-2011

Yesterday I attended the memorial service for Arthur Holmes, IVP author and beloved professor of philosophy at Wheaton College, who died earlier this month. Born in Dover, England, in 1924, Art has influenced generations of students since he started teaching there in 1947. Among those who came under his tutelage were many who have gone on to significant academic careers of their own in philosophy, history and biblical studies--David Lyle Jeffrey, Merold Westphal, Marianne Meye Thompson, Mark Noll, Roger Lundin, Walter Hanson and C. Stephen Evans among others. The last three of these offered their memories of their beloved teacher at the service.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 9:34 AM | Comments (1) are closed

August 1, 2011

John Stott and IVP

Sometimes a publishing house can become so closely associated with a single author that both come to mind when either is mentioned. With the passing of John Stott on July 27, 2011, I can't help but reflect on how true this is for IVP.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:24 AM

July 27, 2011

Remembering John Stott

John Stott passed away today at the age of ninety. And it is as if a giant oak of the Christian landscape has fallen. As he has faded from public view in the last few years, some may not appreciate the massive effect this strong, humble leader has had. Not only in his native England, but in North America and across the world his beneficial influence was felt. In Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength. Linda Doll and I looked back on his life's work in this way:

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 2:42 PM

April 26, 2011

John Stott at 90

InterVarsity Press is privileged to have been associated with the ministry of John Stott for over fifty years. His clear, balanced, sound perspective on Scripture and life has been filled with a grace and strength that seems rare in this era of extreme viewpoints and harsh rhetoric. As tomorrow marks his ninetieth birthday, I want to consider just one aspect of his character and vast influence.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:27 AM | Comments (3) are closed

November 10, 2010

To Change the World 5: Seeking the Common Good

James Davison Hunter tells us, in To Change the World, that the political frameworks of the Christian Right, the Christian Left and the neo-Anabaptists are inherently defective. Is there another option besides these three, which Hunter reframes as “defense against,” “relevance to” and “purity from” the culture? What’s his solution?

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 8:50 AM | Comments (3) are closed

November 3, 2010

To Change the World 4: Three Choices Both the Same

Often I have wondered in frustration, Why does everything seem so politicized? Why are the extremes the only apparent option? Where are the sober, even-handed, reasoned, moderate alternatives?

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:44 AM | Comments (2) are closed

October 28, 2010

To Change the World 3: Between Presumption and Hope

What’s the central dilemma for Christians who want to change the world? James Davison Hunter answers: Even though populism is organic to American Christianity, what actually brings about change instead is the to change the world 2.jpegcombination of powerful institutions, networks, interests and symbols. And when it comes to the latter, American Christianity is decidedly on the outside looking in.

The ten biggest independent foundations give away billions; the ten biggest religious foundations give away millions (pp. 82-83). Professors at Christian colleges have twice the teaching load of their counterparts at elite and research universities—so they are at a huge disadvantage in any ambition to lead their academic disciplines (p. 86).

Then he quits preachin’ and starts meddlin’.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:27 AM

September 14, 2010

Uncommon Decency

People like Jesus. They don’t like Christians. Why is that?

It’s no surprise people like Jesus. He loved children, opposed legalism, stood up for outcasts, healed the sick, comforted the weak, preached the good news to the poor.

But why would so many people not like the people who follow him? Aren’t Christians supposed to be like Jesus, to be Christ-like, literally, “little Christs”? Shouldn’t Christians be known for their compassion, their wisdom, their love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:37 AM

November 18, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

In my car in recent days, I've been listening to Sara Paretsky's Fire Sale, featuring her favorite detective, V. I. Warshawski.

Many fans of this genre have recommended Paretsky to me, so I thought this would be a pretty painless way to test her out. In ways the book is predictable: evangelical Christians are the bad guys--greedy, hypocritical, even violent. Or they are good-hearted but impossibly naïve.

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 8:11 AM

May 23, 2007

What Evangelicals Are For

What do those in the upcoming generation think of Christians, and of evangelicals in particular?

In the book Unchristian, to be published by Baker in October 2007, David Kinnaman presents the results of his research on this question. (Is this industrial espionage? Nothing so sinister. I was at a conference where Baker handed out a sample chapter to all attendees.) Kinnaman found that over 85 percent of those aged sixteen to twenty-nine think we are antihomosexual, judgmental and hypocritical. As Kinnaman says, "We have become famous for what we oppose, rather than who we are for."

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Posted by Andy Le Peau at 9:28 AM

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Get to Know IVP

book cover"Some publishers tell you what to believe. Other publishers tell you what you already believe. But InterVarsity Press helps you believe," says J. I. Packer. Andy Le Peau and Linda Doll describe how this came to be a hallmark of InterVarsity Press in Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength, an anecdotal history spanning the sixty years from the founding of IVP in 1947 to the present day.