Guns, Mass Killings, and an Article that Makes Sense of It

We live on the superficial edges of the debate about what conclusions we should draw for the increasingly common disasters like occurred in Las Vegas. Within  hours of the heartbreaking tragedy the discussion turned to guns. First, may God help the grieving people of that evil act!

Some of us have wondered about inconsistencies that have made their way around the web. Were there more shooters? Is information being held back? My conclusion? Who knows. I’ve heard good arguments both ways. My gut is that some things still don’t exactly add up, but I suspect we’ll never really know. I’m not in a place to get answers, and neither are any who read this. 

I’ve been thinking about this whole gun debate ( I’m for honoring the Second Ammendment, but only own old guns handed down to me–I could shoot an intruder, but couldn’t wage a small war). I am a student of history and know that all the atrocious dictatorships, especially of the Twentieth Century, took the guns away before they brutalized and slaughtered millions. I also know that a gun law could never stop someone who already intends to commit a more heinous crime. If I intended to break the law and mass kill people, would a gun law give me even a momentary pause?

On the other hand, I realize that when something terrible, and even senseless, happens, our first reaction is to do something. Unfortunately, human nature is more satisfied in doing something quickly that doing something helpful. Let’s all take a breath and remember there’s no easy answer or quick solution. Even worse, I assure you our problems are much too deep for the superficial, self-sustaining politicians of our day. 

I also know the citizens of our country are going to dismiss with a roll of their eyes my first solution: we need a major turning to God. We need Jesus Christ. Forgive my pessimism, but I suspect things will have to get worse–much worse–before it’s even considered. 

In the meanwhile, there’s some societal trends worth noting. I came across an article that’s so good I wish I had written it. It’s by a master of political writing, Peggy Noonan. I share it below. Don’t haggle over ever sentence, but interact with what she says. I hear truth in her words.

The article 
God bless!

Evangelical Theology by Michael Bird

book bird theo

Michael Bird has found a niche in the world of systematic theologies. His title explains where he’s coming from. He is striving to provide a “genuinely evangelical theology textbook”. While he doesn’t trace out every side path as some of the larger systematic theologies do, he still makes a grand presentation of what the Bible teaches about theology for those who fall in the evangelical category. Mr. Bird writes in a pleasant way that communicates deep subjects for easy understanding.

He divides this theology into eight parts. Prolegomena, the triune God, the kingdom, Jesus Christ, salvation, the Holy Spirit, the Gospel and humanity, and the community (church) are the order in which he approaches the subject of systematic theology. He begins the book with an essay entitled “why an evangelical theology?”. He presents six key factors that have defined where modern evangelicalism is today that really all centers around great debates over the last several centuries. In this essay, he, in his own words, lays his “ecclesial and theological cards on the table”. After discussing his own denominational journey, he describes himself as a follower of Jesus, an evangelical, reformed, broadly Calvinistic, yet I must praise him for his ability not to be boxed in. His confession that he has more background in biblical studies than systematic theology is clear throughout the text, but in my view, makes this a great secondary resource to go along with your favorite major systematic theology.

For purposes of this review, though I scanned the whole book, I carefully interacted what he shared about Christology. It is in this reading I did that I came to really respect this book as a great asset to have for theological study. He covered all the main points of the doctrine, he included a few extras of the unusual questions that sometimes pop up in these studies (like “did Jesus descend into hell?). Most importantly, in places where I didn’t agree with his conclusions, I still learned from him. To my mind, that makes for the ideal theological reading.

I enjoyed this work. I’m happy to have it on my shelf beside several other old standbys. The subject of systematic theology is one where one or two works are simply not enough. I suggest you add this fine work to those you consult on systematic theology.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.