Tried With Fire: Chastening

We must beware of mixing the metaphors that God uses to teach us about salvation. For example, the work of salvation can be viewed under the metaphor of a courtroom in which the guilty sinner stands before God as judge. In this metaphor, God charges the believing...

Give to the Max Day 2019

In 1763 Britain emerged from the Seven Years’ War as the world’s leading power. Ten years later George Macartney wrote of British rule as a “vast empire on which the sun never sets, and whose bounds nature has not yet ascertained.” For more...

Sword Thrusts or Honey?

Words are powerful things. Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Our words can produce negative effects (“rash words are like sword thrusts” – Prov 12:18) and positive ones (“gracious words are like a...

On Using Labels

In the movie classic “The Princess Bride,” Vizzini repeats the word “inconceivable!” again and again as the masked pursuer of him and his ruffians keeps gaining ground. Finally one of his cohorts, Inigo Montoya, proclaims, “You keep using...

Toward a Softer, Gentler Science

My previous essay briefly introduced the limits of scientific knowledge and the rise of Scientism, the modernistic belief that science is superior to other disciplines. Unlike knowledge that deals with intangibles such as religion and philosophy, hard science, we are...

Scientism

Science has become a proper noun. Its hegemony and authority are all but unrivaled. Sitting atop the pantheon of disciplines, it enjoys both prominence and preeminence. All other disciplines look up at it in awe and to it for guidance. If one needs proof of this...

Tried With Fire: The Afflictions of Christ

For all humans, believers and unbelievers alike, life in this world and in this present body is filled with pain. Mortality takes its toll both in us and around us. Children experience diseases and mishaps. Growing up entails meeting new forms of distress, and while...

Theological Education in a Complex World

Debates over theological education are nothing new. Why do we have seminary theological education? What are seminaries meant to do? What about theological education for the non-pastor? Fortunately, we do not stand alone in trying to answer these questions. Mining the...

Tried with Fire: That Ye Faint Not

The apostle Paul knew how to write with exceptional clarity. Sometimes, however, he chose to express himself in ambiguous ways. A clear example of Pauline obscurity can be found in Ephesians 3:13. Paul writes, “Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my...

Tried with Fire: I’ve Got This!

Is self-reliance a virtue or a vice? The Bible includes passages that appear to answer this question with a yes. It also includes passages that appear to answer it with a no. In favor of self-reliance, the book of Proverbs counsels industry as a way of avoiding...

Tried with Fire: Lest I Should Be Exalted

The apostle Paul was not given to self-aggrandizement. He understood himself to be the chief of sinners, rescued only by God’s grace. Only when forced to defend his ministry and apostleship was he willing to talk about his gifts and attainments—and even then he...

Thoughts on Baptists and Independence

[This essay was originally published on September 25, 2015.] Sometimes things that look alike are actually quite different. One mushroom cooks up into a delectable repast, while another that appears almost identical can kill. A gold nugget will buy a new car, but a...

Vocation and Vocations

[This essay was originally published on February 5, 2016.] The Reformers erected the doctrine of calling in reaction to the Romanist distinction between clergy and laity. At the time, Catholics recognized only two vocations: the calling to consecration (which...

Tried with Fire: Suffering and Glory

How perplexing! Christians are supposed to be children of God, heirs and joint heirs with Christ. We are no longer under condemnation—God’s wrath has been cancelled for all our sins. We have received unimaginable privileges in Christ. Yet we ache when we get up...

Tried with Fire: The God of All Comfort

To all appearances the apostle Paul was less than average. He was probably so short that he couldn’t see over the heads of a crowd. He was no golden-tongued orator—in fact, his preaching was known to put people to sleep. Many believe that he had an ocular...

Tried with Fire: Want Wisdom?

On our first Thanksgiving in Denver, my wife and I wanted to drive to Iowa to see her family, then to Wisconsin for my parents’ silver wedding anniversary. The problem was that a snow storm was blowing in from the Rockies. Snow swirled the whole night before we...

About In the Nick of Time

Occasional Essays and Other Stuff for Christian Students Presented by the Research Professor of Systematic Theology of Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis.

 

American Christianity needs Christian leaders. Christian leaders explain the Scriptures, bringing them to bear upon life’s urgent questions. Christian leaders exemplify the life of faith, finding their ultimate satisfaction in God alone. They unite intellectual discipline with ordinate affection, turning their entire being toward the love of God. These essays are dedicated to the task of inviting Christian students to become tomorrow’s Christian leaders.

 

—Kevin T. Bauder

 

“Be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”