Why do you only talk about Soteriology?
Well, that is the purpose of this particular blog, but I don’t include all my disciplines, works, ministry involvements on this blog.
Here are other ministries with which I oversee or am actively involved:
(Listen to the first 13 minutes of THIS PODCAST to here a more thorough explanation.)
The way I try to explain it to those who accuse me of being imbalanced on this subject is to ask this question: “Is your podiatrist unbalanced because his medical focus is on feet and not the heart or the brain?”
One could argue the heart or brain is more important than feet and maybe they are right, but is it wrong for a professional in the field to have a primary focus of his study? After all, the brain and heart are much more effective on a body with healthy feet.
Some “professional theologians” have a primary field of study but are still engaged in other topics and certainly aren’t neglecting other disciplines of the faith such as evangelism.
It’s an ad hominem fallacy to attempt to discredit my work because you feel I focus too much of my attention on this particular field of study.
That said, you would be imbalanced if your only source of teaching was my podcast on this particular subject just as it would be an imbalance to only visit your podiatrist on all health related matters.
WHY NOT OTHER TOPICS?
Why not dive into ecclesiology, eschatology, inerrancy or maybe even some SBC politics?
I understand that talking about one subject carries the risk of sounding obsessed, consumed and out of balance theologically. However, I have given careful thought to this direction, and here are my responses:
1) Soteriology is not all I actually talk, write, or think about in my “real life.” Those visiting the podcast and this blog are seeing a relatively small slice of the pie. I also serve as the Director of Apologetics for Texas Baptists and am typically focused on directing conferences called unApologetics; or events related to Youth Evangelism like Super Summer, YEC, Hot Hearts, SYATP, REFUEL, and Real Encounter. I am also a teaching pastor in my local church, an adjunct Professor for Trinity Seminary, and a family man with a wife and four great kids. For those who are really bored, you can stalk me on Facebook or twitter where I discuss other topics in life.
2) As an Adjunct Professor of Theology who teaches primarily online classes I have been challenged to come up with creative ways to engage students via online media. This particular topic can be difficult and has many various facets, so an online class is just one of my attempts to bridge that gap and make this topic as engaging and understandable as possible. There is more than enough subject matter to cover for a lifetime of discussions.
3) Some guys can talk about football, golf, fishing or a host of other topics for hours on end. And while I enjoy those topics at times, my real passion is theology. I especially enjoy discussing the doctrines having to do with salvation and God’s amazing grace. I submit this question for consideration: Is there really any more important subject in the world than God’s grace and our salvation?
4) Soteriology, as it relates specifically to Calvinism and its resurgence, is a pressing issue in this generation. It is a conflict in churches all over the country and thus many are looking for biblical perspectives to address theses difficult questions.
5) I was greatly impacted in my formative years through the theological journey into and then back out of Calvinism. My home church growing up went through a split over the doctrines and I was one of the individuals supporting Calvinistic theology in that split. In fact, I later became a staff member at the new “Reformed” church that was started as a result. Family members and dear friends were all significantly impacted by this conflict. I developed deep relationships with other like minded believers in that decade of my life. So, the journey into Calvinism hurt many of my relationships with my non-Calvinistic friends and family, then my journey back out of Calvinism hurt my relationships with my new Calvinistic brethren. Nothing about that was easy. It affected me deeply and still does to this day. It is a “passion topic” not only because of its significance theologically, but because of the role it has played in my life.
6) My doctoral dissertation was focused on soteriology, which I just completed in 2016, so at this stage in my life it is consuming more of my thoughts and energies than it has at other times. My desire is to develop a curriculum that helps young people better understand the historical context and culture of the biblical writings so as to interpret it more accurately. Westerns are typically individualized thinkers and many of us are ignorant of how a first century communal culture thinks or understands the world. In addition, few understand the concept of God’s judicial hardening of Israel and its unique purpose at the time of Paul’s writings, which leads to much confusion surrounding this topic.
Hopefully, this helps others to see why I’ve pinpointed my topic to soteriology alone. This does not mean if I’m directly asked about other topics that I wouldn’t engage them as well, but as far as this podcast/blog goes my purpose is fairly narrow.
Blessings and let me know if you have questions.
7 thoughts on “One String Banjo?”
Leighton, I would love to hear more about your dissertation! It sounded like it was something you were presently working on, or are you already finished? I would like to offer to be available to help you, if you are still working on it. I have sat on a few dissertation committees as a reader since completing my doctrinal program in 2012. I love doing research as well as reviewing. Let me know if you think I can help.
Awesome…email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can get your email. Thanks!!
Please pm it to me! 🙂
Interesting introduction, Leighton! 🙂
If I could ask, if you think you can, what is your eschatological position? (I don’t want to argue, I am just curious!)
Dr. Flowers, I am very thankful for your SOT101 site. The more information I can acquire, especially from former Calvinists, the better!
I am especially interested in sociological and psychological aspects of Calvinism.
My sincere thanks! :-]