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(Initial HT: A Boomer in the Pew) For the last several years, Wayne Grudem — Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary and the well-known author of, among other things, the…oh, I don’t know…perhaps 50+ lbs tome Systematic Theology — has been using the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) annual conference (and, more recently, his Christian Essentials class at Scottsdale Bible Church) to test-drive his thoughts in the area of political science. Earlier in 2009, in the fourth part of an interview with Sovereign Grace Ministries’ C.J. Mahaney, Grudem admitted that if he had not gone into ministry, there was “no question” that he would have become a lawyer and entered the political realm.
In mid-November, the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) will be holding its annual conference in New Orleans. Last month, while looking over the second revision of the draft program of this year’s conference, I put together my top 10 ”Hmmm. I wonder how that presentation is going to turn out” list and posted it over at Boar’s Head Tavern, my other blogging community. There are a couple of presentations that fit directly with the theme here at Withered Grass, so I thought I’d share it here as well.
1. Phil Congdon (New Braunfels Bible Church, an Evangelical Free congregation in Texas) will be presenting on ”John Piper’s Diminished Doctrine of Justification and Assurance.” I assume Congdon will be touching on the ongoing Piper – N.T. Wright debate over justification.
2. Francis Beckwith on same-sex marriage and “justificatory liberalism” This is a subject that Beckwith previewed at First Things in December 2008.
3. One side of the ring – Joseph Cumming; the other side, Al Mohler and John Piper. The referee: JP Moreland. The issue: Muslim-Christian dialogue, evangelicals and “A Common Word“
4. Anthony B. Bradley wins the prize for most-over-the-top paper title so far: “Puritanism: A Theological Tradition of Anti-Blackness, Racism and Social Injustice”
In March 2010, Baylor University’s well-known professor of philosophy, Francis J. Beckwith, is scheduled to publish an introductory text on Christians and politics with InterVarsity Press. According to the currently-available write-up, Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft will address ” [whether] Christians, or indeed religious citizens of any faith, should set aside their beliefs before they enter the public square.” Given that Beckwith’s sub-specialty at Baylor is church-state relations, the book will also address the separation of church and state and natural rights. Politics for Christians is part of InterVarsity Press’ new Christian Worldview Integration Series, which Beckwith is co-editing with J.P. Moreland. This series will “promot[e] a robust personal and conceptual integration of Christian faith and learning” and is scheduled to include “junior and senior level textbooks focused on individual academic disciplines such as education, psychology, literature, politics, science, communications, biology, philosophy and history.”
For those who are not aware of Beckwith’s oeuvre, he is a prodigious writer and commentator and is the author of Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007, excerpt here), one of the top two books on the philosophical-legal issues surrounding the abortion debate. [The other being Hadley Arkes' Natural Rights and the Right to Choose, also Cambridge University Press, 1992.]