Monday, March 21, 2011

Florida Baptist Witness and Tom Elliff

The Florida Baptist Witness reports Tom Elliffs vision and agenda in a Q and A session here.

This article also links to his address with the trustees last Wednesday morning, March 16th, 2011.

A portion (perhaps my favorite part!):

"When you speak of unreached people groups, you editors are very well informed on this because I know you follow closely what we do. But you know that there are 6,734 unreached people groups. Now we would consider an unreached people group [to be] a group of people, an affinity group, that they are ethno-linguistically similar, that does not have at least two percent of the population in what we'd call the evangelical faith. Now that's an unreached people group. Of that 6,734 that we currently know, 3,800 are what we'd call unengaged people groups. That means no one has taken it upon themselves to draw up a deliberate strategy, take the Gospel on the ground there. They're unengaged. They're not unengaged by the soft drink industry. They're already in there. They're not unengaged by the pornography industry. They're already in there. And that's a shame. If anybody ought to care more about their product, so to speak, than the soft drink industry and porn industry, it ought to be believers in Christ. How in the world can we let these people be unengaged?

"So I will be bringing to the convention in Phoenix a proposal that brings together many of the elements that are already in place with the International Mission Board. Our church and partner services have worked on how do we engage these people. They have all the pieces. We're going to put these together and by the grace of God, beginning with this year's convention within 12 months we pray that at least 3,800 churches in the Southern Baptist Convention–that's not even a tenth of our churches, would cowboy up and say, 'We are going to strategize, we're going to pray, and we're going to do everything we can with the ultimate goal of seeing that there are boots on the ground among those people.' And I think it would be a wonderful thing if the day came when many, many churches across our convention had missionaries among churches appointed by the IMB on the field in those people groups, doing nothing but coordinate the work of their churches among those people. That would be a dream come true."

May it be, Lord. May it be.

Russell Moore on Why Hell is Forever

Very good and intriguing article by Moore here.

He offers two reasons on why hell is forever:

"First, the revolt against God is more serious than we think it is. An insurrection against an infinitely worthy Creator is an infinitely heinous offense. We know something of this intuitively. This is why, in our human sentences of justice, we sentence a man to one punishment for threatening to kill his co-worker and another man to a much more severe punishment for threatening to kill the nation’s president.

"Second, and more important, is the nature of the punishment itself. The sinner in hell does not become morally neutral upon his sentence to hell. We must not imagine the damned displaying gospel repentance and longing for the presence of Christ. They do indeed, as in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, seek for an escape from punishment, but they are not new creations. They do not in hell love the Lord their God with heart, mind, soul, and strength.

"Instead, in hell, one is now handed over to the full display of his nature apart from grace. And this nature is seen to be satanic (Jn. 8:44). The condemnation continues forever and ever, because the sin does too. Hell is the final “handing over” (Rom. 1) of the rebel to who he wants to be, and it’s awful."

Ways to Pray for IMB President, Tom Elliff

Last night I gave the WBC congregation seven ways we (as requested by him when he addressed the IMB trustees last week in Dallas, TX) as a church and a convention can be praying for Tom Elliff, the newly elected President of the International Mission Board.

Here are the seven requests:

1. Illuming awareness that he is an ambassador for Christ.

2. Pure heart.

3. Fullness of the Spirit.

4. Exhibit gifts and graces of the Spirit.

5. Never unwittingly place in Satan's hands a weapon to use to mock Jesus.

6. Protection from Satanic attacks toward family.

7. To be kept faithful to the vision.

How does Tom Elliff frame his sense of mission? By asking three questions framed around the Great Commission:

1. Is it biblical?

2. Is it balanced?

3. Is it bold?

You can read his entire acceptance speech here.

Interview with New NAMB President, Kevin Ezell

As mentioned last night in my address (if it's not a sermon, what would you call it???), I said that I would link to a recent interview Southern Seminary did with the newly elected President of the North American Mission Board (NAMB), Kevin Ezell.

That interview can be found here for audio and here for video.

I also mentioned that you could receive the Arkansas Baptist News no on-line. The most recent edition has a detailed article regaridng the 'massive overhaul' happening within the NAMB.

Click here to check an article with Ezell and click here to go to the home page for Arkansas Baptist News.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Calling all evangelical Christians (especially members of Wynne Baptist Church):

Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY has done the church another HUGE favor by hosting a panel with four leading evangelical thinkers on the Rob Bell issue and his new book "Love Wins."

Click here to the link where you can download the audio and/or watch the video.

It is very academic and around 90 minutes long. But I believe this is well worth your time, not just to know about Bell and what he purports in his book, but about much that evangelicals must be clear on in the days ahead. For our own souls, for generations coming along behind us, and for the glory of Christ.

Thank you Southern Seminary for helping the church!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Parents Celebrate 40 Years of Marriage

Over at her blog, my mom writes a tribute to my dad (and to the Lord!) for 40 years of marriage. What an amazing work of the grace of God to me in giving me the parents He did.

Here is how she concludes (perhaps you can get a taste as to why my dad is my hero):

"I'm very excited to be celebrating 40 years with this amazing man. There are some particularly remarkable attributes of his that I'd like to share with you.
1) Steve is a committed follower of Christ and spends time daily in prayer and Bible reading. The children and I have reaped blessings untold as a result.
2) Steve has always given me security and stability because I knew he would do whatever it took to provide what the children and I needed. In the early days of starting his vet practice in Hartselle, I knew in my heart that he would take a second job sacking groceries if there wasn't enough business through the clinic.
3) Not for a single minute in these 40 years have I ever had to doubt his love for me, or his faithfulness to me and to our marriage. What a precious gift that has been and continues to be. I have no doubt that he has read the Book of Proverbs at least 100 times in his life, and I have personally benefited from his commitment to the principles in Proverb 5:15-18:
Drink water from your own cistern, and fresh water from your own well.
Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets?
Let them be yours alone, and not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice in the wife of your youth.
4) Steve Pearson is a model husband, father, and grandfather. I love him with all my heart. I am blessed beyond measure to be his wife, and I would be so happy to spend 40 MORE years with him. Happy Anniversary, hon."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kevin DeYoung Reviews and Responds to Rob Bell's 'Love Wins'

Kevin DeYoung has written a very thorough and thought-provoking review of Rob Bell's book Love Wins.

Click here to read the entire thing (it's long). It will even allow you to download it as a PDF file.

Here is how he concludes:

"Just as damaging is the impact of 'Love Wins' on the nonbeliever or the wayward former churchgoer. Instead of summoning sinners to the cross that they might flee the wrath to come and know the satisfaction of so great a salvation, 'Love Wins' assures people that everyone’s eternity ends up as heaven eventually. The second chances are good not just for this life, but for the next. And what if they aren’t? What if Jesus says on the day of judgment, “Depart from me, I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23)? What if at the end of the age the wicked and unbelieving cry out, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:16)? What if outside the walls of the New Jerusalem “are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Rev. 22:15)? What if there really is only one name “under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)? And what if the wrath of God really remains on those who do not believe in the Son (John 3:18, 36)?

"If 'Love Wins' is wrong—if the theology departs from the apostolic good deposit, if the biblical reasoning falls short in a hundred places, if the god of 'Love Wins' and the gospel of 'Love Wins' are profoundly mistaken—if all this is true, then what damage has been done to the souls of men and women?

"Bad theology hurts real people. So of all the questions raised in the book, the most important question every reader must answer is this: is it true? Whatever you think of all the personalities involved on whatever side of the debate, that’s the one question that cannot be ignored. Is Love Wins true to the word of God? That’s the issue. Open a Bible, pray to God, listen to the faithful Christians of the past 2000 years, and answer the question for yourself."


Discussion Question from March 13th, 2011 PM Sermon

Last night I continued the series through the "Not So Minor Minor Prophets." We looked into the life of Jonah and what I considered to be the entire purpose of the book. You can watch, listen, or download the message here later today.

The title of the message was "Have a Corona with Jonah and Watch the World Go to Hell" and I focused on Jonah 4.

I leave you with one question based on this text and last night's message:

"Why Not Go?"

Discussion Questions from March 13th, 2011 Morning Sermon

Yesterday at WBC, continuing through Luke, I preached on Luke 23:18-25. The title of the message was "Missing Verse, Divine Murder, and Barabbas...What in the World?" You can watch, listen, or download the podcast here later today.

After having heard the message, here are some questions to aid in your continued application and understanding of the text.

1. Who ultimately was responsible for the killing of Jesus? What Scriptures can you use to verify your answer?

2. Why is this good news?

3. Read Proverbs 17:15. Did God commit an abomination against Himself? Why or why not?

4. How is what goes in this account with Barabbas a picture of the heart of the Gospel?

5. What does this text reveal about the heart of God for awful sinners?

6. How would 'counsel' a wife of one of the men whom Barabbas murdered who 'just happened' to be in the crowd the day Barabbas was released? How might you lead her in a discussion of the Gospel, knowing that God directed and ordered the whole thing?

7. Are there those in your life right now that you are refusing to forgive? How does the story of Barabbas free you to forgive others?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

One of the Most Important Paragraphs I Have Read Recently (Outside the Bible)

From J. I. Packer and Mark Dever's In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement.

"Early in the visionary chapters of the book of Revelation, where images are prodigally piled up, one on another, in order to convey thoughts to readers' minds, the Lord Jesus announced as 'the Lion of the tribe of Judah' who will open the scroll for the consummation of world history (5:5). But the Lion appears not as a lion but as 'a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain' (v. 6 ESV). The Lamb appears thereafter twenty-eight more times, battling, conquering, shepherding, and finally functioning as the lamp that gives permanent light to his bride, the holy city, new Jerusalem, that is, the church perfected in glory (21:23, cf. 22:1-5). In this book, then, the slain Lamb is the key image for the Lord Jesus Christ. Where did it come from? Clearly, from (1) the Passover lamb, the blood of which shielded Israel from the destroyer at the time of the Exodus, plus (2) the God-prescribed ritual of killing a lamb, with the transgressor's hand on its head, as a sin offering (Lev. 4:32-35), plus (3) the required daily sacrifice of two lambs as sinful Israel's offering to its holy god (Ex. 29:38-42; Num. 28:3-6), plus (4) Isaiah's description of God's servant, the vicarious sufferer who became a sin offering, as being led 'like a the slaughter' (Isa. 53:7), plus (5) John the Baptist's identification of Jesus as 'the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world' (John 1:29, 36). And for the Lamb to be the lamp of the city of God means that the thought of the Son of God made flesh and slaughtered for our sins in order to save us will never leave the minds of glorified saints as they fellowshi with the Father and the Son and will frame all their thinking about everything else.

"So all we who hope for the life of heaven ourselves, and especially those among us who as pastors are statedly committed to prepare others for that heavenly life, will do well to adjust our thinking here and now to the absolute and abiding centrality of the atoning cross in Christian life here and hereafter and to labor to express this awareness in all our preaching, teaching, and modeling of Christianity, day by day."

Very, very thought provoking and would serve us well to 'chew on' for a while.

Order the book from Amazon here.

Surprised By Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels

In preparation of tonight's message on Jonah, I got some help from Tullian Tchividjian who wrote Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels.

Click here to order the book from Amazon.

The quote I plan to read tonight came from an interview done with Tchividjian regarding the book. I thought it provided a good summary of how the book of Jonah points us to Christ.

The interview, called "The Gospel According to Jonah" is here.

The quote is here:

“Jesus says that he is 'greater than Jonah.' He is the greater-than-Jonah who succeeded where Jonah failed. For instance, in sending Jonah as his messenger to sinful Nineveh, God showed his boundless grace and faithfulness. But centuries later, God sent another messenger to sinful mankind. Only this messenger went willingly and joyfully because he knew the heart of God. In fact, he was the heart of God. He would be called “the Word” because he himself was God’s message. He was everything God wanted to say to the world—all wrapped up in a person.
Instead of fleeing from God’s call in rebellion and running away from his enemies, this new messenger ran toward his enemies, in full submission to his Father’s will, despite what it would cost him. For 'we were enemies' of God (Rom. 5:10)—all of us—so much so that we rejected and crucified his Son.

"Fully knowing that this death was his destiny, this new messenger nevertheless pursued God’s rescue mission with a totally engaged heart. 'For the joy that was set before him,' the Bible tells us, he 'endured the cross' (Heb. 12:2) so that God’s enemies, you and I, could become God’s friends.

"Like Jonah thrown overboard, this new messenger would be a sacrifice, with the result that others were saved.

"This new messenger, like Jonah, would spend three days in utter darkness. But unlike Jonah, he would emerge with wholehearted determination to pursue his enemies with life-giving love. He went on this mission because he wanted to—not because he had to.

"When God’s mercy was shown to Jonah and to his enemies, Jonah was intensely angered. But this new messenger was the happy extension of God’s grace toward his enemies—not angry and embittered, but 'anointed . . . with the oil of gladness' (Heb. 1:9). Jonah is all about self-protection; this new messenger is all about joyful self-sacrifice. So Jesus and his Good News, rescue of sinners, is all over this story of Jonah."

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Oh Mya, Obadiah! Can God Really Do That?" Sermon Discussion Questions

Last night, the minor prophet Obadiah was introduced and overviewed from the WBC pulpit. If you missed the service, click here to watch, listen, or download the podcast.

Some discussion questions based on the message:

1. Does God have enemies? How do you know that? Would our society agree with this? Why or why not?

2. How do you know whether or not you are God's enemy or God's friend?

3. Edom was guilty in putting their hope/trust/security in things other than God (see Obadiah 1:2-4). Ask the Lord if there are areas in your heart and life that you look to for security other than Him. What should you do to adjust that?

4. How does the book of Obadiah show that God is sovereign even over sin? How might it seem as if God is being unjust in condemning Edom for doing what they did? If God is not unjust in what He did, how do we reconcile that?

5. How can it encourage us to know that God will always, without fail, fight for His children?

6. If the kingdom is the LORD's (see Obadiah 1:21) and Jesus is the King of God's kingdom (see Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), how does one get to be a subject of the kingdom of God? (See John 3:36)

"As For Me, Where Could I Go With My Shame?" Sermon Discussion Questions

Yesterday morning I preached from Luke 22:63-23:16. I also discussed how to apply what was going on in the Luke text from an Old Testament passage, 2 Samuel 13. If you missed the sermon, you can catch it here later today or tomorrow.

Some questions to aid in your own personal application:

1. Read through Luke 22:63-23:16 again. What are some "key words" from your own personal vocabulary that come to mind as you read?

2. Why do you think Luke continues to stress that the authorities understood Jesus to be "not guilty"?

3. Read through 2 Samuel 13 again. What words come to mind as you think about Tamar's shame and what happened to her?

4. Read 2 Samuel 13:12-13. How would you answer Tamar's question?

5. What about areas in your own life where you are hiding shame? Where can you go with your shame?

6. Read Isaiah 53:4-6. How are you trying to 'prove yourself' to God? In what ways have you not, by faith, transferred your guilt and shame 'deserved punishment' over to Jesus?

Tim Keller said, "Jesus Christ is the Creator who came here not to smite us, but to be un-created so we could be re-created. . . the maker who came to be un-made so we could be re-made . . . the judge who came not to bring judgment, but to bear judgment, to take what we deserve so the Holy Spirit could come into our lives, once our sins are forgiven, and begin to remake us.”

7. What is preventing you from being set free? How is the Holy Spirit remaking you?

Evangelism Books Recommended During Church-Wide Sunday School

Following Kirk Owens' very good and practical teaching on helping equip us being better evangelists, I recommended two books relating to personal evangelism.

The first was The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever.

Click here to order from Amazon.

The second was Marks of a Messenger by J. Mack Stiles.

Click here to order from Amazon.

Also, Kirk referenced another helpful book as it relates to improving personal evangelism tools. He mentioned Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman.

Click here to order it from Amazon.

'Rid of My Disgrace' - Book Referenced During Yesterday Morning's Message

Yesterday morning, I quoted (several times) from a new book I have been reading entitled Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb.

Click here to order the book from Amazon.

The quotes I read yesterday:

“Tragically (Tamar’s) experience includes manipulation, force, violence, negation of her will, emotional trauma, debilitating loss of sense of self, display of grief and mourning, crushing shame, degradation, forced silence, and prolonged social isolation with desolation. Tamar’s social and personal boundaries are clearly violated. . . .
The effects of Tamar’s assault are disgrace, shame, and reproach. After the assault, Tamar is privately and publicly traumatized by shame. . . .
It is clear in several verses that Amnon’s actions of assault are violating, shameful, forceful, and humiliating. Violence permeates his words and actions. The words used to describe Amnon’s feelings and physical state express sick emotions rather than life-giving ones…Amnon reduces Tamar to the state of a ‘disposable object.’ After he assaults Tamar, Amnon commands her to leave by telling his servant, ‘Get this woman out of my sight.’ Other translations say, ‘Throw this woman out.’ Amnon barely speaks of her as a person. She is a thing Amnon wants to throw out. To him, Tamar is trash.”

“Tamar’s robe is a special symbol of her elevated social status; however, she tears her robe. The rending of clothes-often articulated biblically as ‘sackcloth and ashes’ – is an act of grievous affliction, revealing the sorrow of the heart, and is an expression of loss and lament. Tamar had her dignity torn from her, and the invasion is now expressed with physical gestures. The narrator describes Tamar as a person. But after this violation, her beauty is exchanged for feelings of shame and loss expressed through symbols of emotional distress. Tamar has become a person who has experienced loss of control over her body, over her life, and over her dignity.”

“Jesus Christ was killed, not for revenge but to bear her shame on the cross and to offer her a new robe of righteousness to replace her torn robes of disgrace. How Tamar felt after the assault, described in verse 19, is shockingly similar to what Jesus experienced leading up to and during His crucifixion. Jesus entered her pain and shame as Tamar’s substitute to remove the stain of sins committed against her, and he rose from the dead to bring her healing and hope.”

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New York Times on the Rob Bell Controversy

Interesting article by Erik Eckholm of the New York Times on Rob Bell's new book.

A particularly intringuing comment from Eckholm:

"Judging from an advance copy, the 200-page book is unlikely to assuage Mr. Bell’s critics. In an elliptical style, he throws out probing questions about traditional biblical interpretations, mixing real-life stories with scripture.

"Much of the book is a sometimes obscure discussion of the meaning of heaven and hell that tears away at the standard ideas. In his version, heaven is something that begins here on earth, in a life of goodness, and hell seems more a condition than an eternal fate — “the very real consequences we experience when we reject all the good and true and beautiful life that God has for us.”

So, from a secular author (I know nothing of Eckholm's religious affiliation...I am basing this off of his writing for a secular organization) who has read Bell's book hell seems more of a "condition than an eternal fate."

It continues to stir. Thoughts?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Currently Reading - Tim Keller's "King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus"

To think more often and deeply about the Person of Jesus, I am currently slowly reading through Tim Keller's new book entitled King's Cross. Click here to order it from Amazon.

In it Keller walks his readers through the Gospel of Mark, offering superb thoughts, insight, and commentary.

A quote I read this morning from a thought he had on Mark 1:14-15:

"Jesus says, 'The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!' What is the good news of the kingdom of God? In the book of Genesis chapters 1-2, we see that we were created to live in a world in which all relationships were whole - psychologically and socially perfect - because God was the King. But Genesis chapter 3 tells the next part of our story: that we have each chosen to be our own king. We have gone the way of self-centeredness. And self-centeredness destroys relationships. There's nothing that makes you more miserable (or less interesting) than self-absorption: How am I feeling, how am I doing, how are people treating me, am I proving myself, am I succeeding , am I failing, am I being treated justly? Self-absorption leaves us static; there's nothing more disintegrating. Why do we have wars? Class struggle? Family breakdown? Why are our relationships constantly exploding? It's the darkness of self-centeredness. When we decide to be our own center, our own king, everything falls apart: physically, socially, spiritually, and psychologically. We have left the dance. But we all long to be brought back in. This longing is embedded in the legends of many cultures, and though the stories are all different they all have a similar theme: A true king will come back, slay the dragon, kiss us and wake us out of our sleep of death, rescue us from imprisonment in the tower, lead us back into the dance. A true king will come back to put everything right and renew the entire world. The good news of the kingdom of God is this: Jesus is that true King."

Book and Video Referenced During Thursday Morning's "The League"

I am really enjoying the time with the 25 or so men on Thursday morning's as we read and discuss Darrin Patrick's Church Planter: The Man, The Message, the Mission along with other pertinent and related (sometimes!) issues. It is good for my soul to talk about the Gospel and how it applies in various areas of life and ministry.

This morning, in light of our discussion of the Gospel and Patrick's book - chapter 8 - I mentioned one of the best books on Jesus' Passion and atonement I have ever read. John Stott's The Cross of Christ is a must read. I encouraged the men present to order it from Amazon when they got home and have it ready to read through during the Easter season. Click here and go straight to it at Amazon.

I began the morning by showing a video about Robertson McQuilkin speaking on behalf of his love and devotion to his wife. Click here to see the video and link to the accompanying articles I gave out today.

May McQuilkin's tribe increase!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thinking about Universalism and Hell is Healthy

Regardless of what you and I think about the whole Rob Bell controversy, I do believe it is very healthy for us (conservative, evangelical Christians) to think through issues like universalism and hell. The trajectory of our nation and world are forcing us to have good, solid, biblically based answers to hard, difficult, postmodern questions.

Two more places that I have found helpful in recent days to think through these things carefully are:

Danny Franks' blog post here entitled "Hell? Yes."

[Note: Even though it is a very serious post, Danny is one of the funniest men I know. I would put the coffee mug down if I were you while reading ANYTHING he writes....enjoy, and, trust me.]

At one point, Franks very wisely notes:

"This isn’t a doctrine to gloat over. I fear that many pastors, bloggers, and armchair theologians will use the Rob Bell controversy to prove once again that they’re cackling pharisees waiting to blast someone for error. If Bell proves to be a universalist, that’s most certainly an error. But universalism isn’t something for us to be self-righteous over, it’s something for us to weep over. Heaven and hell are on the line, and we can’t waste our time getting into heated debates in blog comments. We must be all the more passionate about clearly sharing the gospel and calling people to repentance."

And Tim Keller titled "The Importance of Hell" linked here.

He offers four reasons as to why it is so important:

1. It is important because Jesus taught about it more than all other Biblical authors put together.

2. It is important because it shows how infinitely dependent we are on God for everything.

3. It is important because it unveils the seriousness and danger of living life for yourself.

4. The doctrine of hell is important because it is the only way to know how much Jesus loved us and how much he did for us.

So, at the end of the day, regardless of Rob Bell is on the issue (and I hope and pray I am wrong in my own assessments, or if I am correct, he will repent), I think it will serve all of us well to think through these matters biblically and from wise and biblically saturated advisors.

Al Mohler on the Rob Bell Deal

If you have followed this blog for any period of time, this probably goes without saying. But if Dr. Al Mohler writes it, I usually try my best to read it. At his web-site in the section "Marked Urgent," he weighs in on the Rob Bell discussion. You can link to the article here.

A portion that is especially helpful:

"The publicity surrounding Bell’s new book indicates that he is ready to answer one of the hardest questions — the question of the exclusivity of the Gospel of Christ. With that question come the related questions of heaven, hell, judgment, and the fate of the unregenerate. The Bible answers these questions clearly enough, but few issues are as hard to reconcile with the modern or postmodern mind than this. Of course, it was hard to reconcile with the ancient mind as well. The singularity of the person and work of Christ and the necessity of personal faith in him for salvation run counter to the pluralistic bent of the human mind, but this is nothing less than the wisdom of God and the power of God unto salvation...

"The Emerging Church movement is known for its slick and sophisticated presentation. It wears irony and condescension as normal attire. Regardless of how Rob Bell’s book turns out, its promotion is the sad equivalent of a theological striptease.
The Gospel is too precious and important to be commodified in this manner. The questions he asks are too important to leave so tantalizingly unanswered. Universalism is a heresy, not a lure to use in order to sell books. This much we know, almost a month before the book is to be released."