Category Archives: carl trueman

That’ll Be The Day

Carl Trueman often finds himself in the thick of it when it comes to debates in evangelicalism, which of course should come natural to him as a middle-aged, white, Reformed guy. But unfortunately he’s not living up to the standards of MAWR, as displayed at the end of a recent interview he conducted on a very serious topic. Now, before I get into the true nitty-gritty of Trueman’s MAWR failure, it should be said that he made his faux pas fully aware of the ecclesial ramifications of his actions. I believe that he’s broken his confessional standard, and for this I am truly sorry. Whereas I was once a big fan of his writings, I fear that I must cease-and-desist from reading any and all that comes from his pen–I speak as an aspiring MAWR, a catechumen if you will, as I have yet to hit my fourth decade.

So, in what way did “Dr.” Trueman break his confessional vows? In the Solemn League and Covenant, a statement specifically adopted by an as-yet published revision of the Westminster Confession, it says plainly: “I solemnly covenant to league myself with those who rightly uphold the following: to read, watch, and admire Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove novel, and film, and cry when Gus dies; to defend the honour of John Wayne, even when he acted in a real stinker like The Conqueror.” Sadly, Trueman outed himself  as a “hater” (though thankfully he maintained his love for The Searchers), and didn’t list Lonesome Dove in his top-four westerns–while his top four was pretty impressive, I wouldn’t think that even ole Henry would admit to outdoing Bobby Duvall or Tommy Lee Jones. Sure John Wayne’s real name was Marion, but should that effect our exegesis of so many brilliant texts? Why wouldn’t our British friend at least have some sympathies for a man who could stand alongside Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man? It makes me want to spit my tobacky on my poor dog’s head.

And while we’re on the subject of heresy—and modalism ain’t got nothin’ on this—why no Magnificent Seven? Why no Jeremiah Johnson? Not even Rio Bravo? Oh, of course, he doesn’t like John Wayne! Not even for the crooning of Ricky Nelson?!

Finally, what amazes me even more than this—what can you expect from a Presbyterian?—is that there seemed to be a hushed acquiescence on the part of his interviewer, Clint Humfrey—shouldn’t he have lived up to his namesake and blasted the Tuco in his midst?—and the audience. Humfrey has preaching boots for pete’s sake! And here Trueman sits in front of a crowd in Calgary, Alberta, where movies like Open Range were filmed, where business execs wear cowboy hats to lunch, and he gets away with murder. Where is the Steve McQueen or Yul Brenner in their midst who would bury the slain? Is there no justice?

So, if Dr. Trueman wants a show-down on the great evangelical wasteland, and his posse chickens out and runs for the hills, who will he turn to for help? This gunslinger? In the words of a movie great, “That’ll be the day.”

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Filed under carl trueman, film, movies, westerns

Carl Trueman at Calvary Grace Conference

This weekend Calvary Grace Church in Calgary, AB, hosted its “Calvary Grace Conference” on the Reformation with Dr. Carl Trueman of Westminster Seminary (PA) and Clint Humfrey, the pastor of the church. The audio is now available on their website; I’ve linked each talk below. An interesting topic covered by two talks on Menno Simons and the Mennonites:

Luther and His Legacy – Trueman

Menno Simons and the Mennonites – Trueman

Can a Mennonite be a Calvinist? – Humfrey

Panel Discussion and Q & A – Trueman/Humfrey, moderated by Terry Stauffer

Calvin and Calvinism – Trueman

Sunday School Interview – Trueman, interviewed by Clint Humfrey

Like a Sheep Without a Shepherd – (Mark 6 Sermon) – Trueman

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Filed under audio, calgary, calvin, calvinism, carl trueman, clint humfrey, conferences, martin luther

Trueman Interview on James MacDonald

In earlier posts on the issue of James MacDonald inviting T. D. Jakes to be on his show The Elephant Room I had expressed hope that The Gospel Coalition would act appropriately about the whole matter. From what Carl Trueman says in an interview on No Compromise Radio, some Coalition worker contacted him trying to shut him up. This is very disconcerting. What will this spell for the Coalition?

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Filed under carl trueman, gospel coalition, heresy, interviews, james macdonald, t d jakes

Rob Bell Resources

Tonight I had the pleasure of giving a lecture called “Rob Bell and the Cultured Despisers: The Liberalism of Love Wins” for Chinese Gospel Church in Chinatown, Toronto. As you can tell by the title, it is a critique of Rob Bell’s recent book Love Wins, where I locate him in the history of theology, particular theological liberalism.

I reference a number of helpful sources in the paper, so I thought I’d link them here for further information if anyone who attended the lecture wanted to check them out.

Kevin DeYoung: God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School is Still True

Carl Trueman: Easy Virtues and Cruel Mistresses (on Martin Luther)

Michael Wittmer: Christ Alone site (first book length critique of Love Wins)

J. Gresham Machen: Christianity & Liberalism (foreward by Trueman and opening chapter)

Francis Chan and Preson Sprinkle: Erasing Hell 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under apologetics, books, carl trueman, hell, liberalism, rob bell

Cynicism and the Church Historian

Historian Carl Trueman, author of the recent Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of History, has a piece at Ref21 about the importance of cynical historians (sounds like he’s trying to justify his own existence!). His point is that for all of the hype and hyperbole about every new intellectual or cultural fad, most of the biggies (he even includes September 11 [I’ve stopped calling it 9/11, a la Martin Amis]) in history tend to have little impact on average people. Thus, historians are needed to put a proverbial fork “in it.” Here’s a couple of doozies:

We live in a Warhol world where everybody wants their fifteen minutes of fame, preferably while still here to enjoy it.  You can see this even in writing style.  Too many theologians think that the first person singular pronoun is like a main verb: no English sentence is properly complete without one.   It derives from overestimating the importance of the here and now; or, to put it more pointedly, the importance of ourselves and our contributions.

And this one:

And that is why church historians play such an important role and our cynicism is such a boon.  Church history keeps things in perspective. Through reading the texts and studying the actions and events of the past we can truly say that we have seen it all before.  Thus, whatever it is that the latest guru is suggesting, it definitely will not work as well as expected, probably will not work at all, and anyway it will be a hundred years or more before we can say whether it made a real difference or not.

For the entire thing see “The Price of Everything.”

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Filed under carl trueman, church history, culture, evangelicalism

Haykin Soul Patch?

I laughed hysterically when Carl Trueman offered his insights into the un-trendy-trying-to-be-trendy soul-patch adorned by so many “cool” church leaders. Apparently somebody responded to Dr. Trueman by citing our own Michael Haykin as a one who dons the patch. I, like Trueman, must come to Dr. Haykin’s defense (or is that defence?).

Dr. Haykin is anything but the cheeseball, soul-patched pastor with the spikey hair (I say that having spikey hair) and baggy pants, telling his congregation to tell the person in the pew next to them that “Jesus is Lord” ten times in a sermon while reading Foucault. I’m at least thankful that Dr. Haykin was characterised with the Puritan-era facial hair, more akin to his theology and worldview. But let us not be confused: Dr. Haykin does not equal Doug Pagitt!

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Filed under carl trueman, john bunyan, michael haykin