Denny Burk Profile picture
May 21, 2020 12 tweets 3 min read
“The intention of the human author has been consistently valued throughout most of Christian interpretation…”

-Jonathan Pennington, 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘎𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘞𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘺, p. 125

“From the ethics of Scripture itself—for example, the Golden Rule and the Ninth Commandment—we must respect and listen to what the author of a text is saying.”

-Jonathan Pennington, 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘎𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘞𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘺, p. 126

“This does not mean, however, that all texts—and especially normative texts like Holy Scripture—are simply wax noses that can be bent and manipulated into whatever shape and direction we choose...."

"This ‘anything goes’ approach is a valid cause for concern, especially for people who do consider some texts authoritative (and inspired) across all generations of situated readers,..."

"...hence the continuing role of authorial intent discussed above.”

-Jonathan Pennington, 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘎𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘞𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘺, p. 128

I am grateful for my colleague and brother, Jonathan Pennington. He's a master teacher, prodigious scholar, and faithful pastor. If you don't know him, here's a great introduction. This is from @SBTS chapel a few weeks before the lockdown.


Earlier today, I read an irresponsible attempt to call the above into question. I’m not going to go back and forth, tit for tat, with this kind of asininity. But in this case, perhaps it will help for fair-minded readers to be able to see the baselessness of the charge below:

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The tweet above refers to the following line from Dr. Pennington’s book 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘎𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘞𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘺:

“If Jesus did not appear as the named figure in both of these accounts, one would never suspect they were stories about the same person” (p. 56).

This comment appears in a section of the book noting the differences between the synoptic gospel accounts. Nothing controversial here. Dr. Pennington is merely explaining that the Synoptic Gospels have both similarities AND differences before explaining how to harmonize them.

And in fact several pages later, Pennington writes this:

“We can see that the wide differences between Matthew’s and Luke’s birth narratives don’t really contradict each other but are complementary; they can be reasonably harmonized” (p. 62).

To insinuate that Dr. Pennington believes the Bible contradicts itself or has errors is a gross mischaracterization. Indeed, it is a slander and bearing false witness.

If you really want to understand Dr. Pennington’s convictions, I encourage you to read his book for yourself. I also encourage you to watch the video below.

@dailygreek @DrJTPennington


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More from @DennyBurk

Nov 27, 2021
Thank you for the fulsome explanation. I do think that this confirms the profound nature of our disagreements.

For its entire 2,000-year history, the church has regarded homosexuality as sinful. This is not an “agree to disagree” issue among Christians. It is a watershed.

It is the reason why Article 10 of the Nashville Statement was necessary (see below). We knew that the path to the “affirming” position would include a stop at “faithful Christians can agree to disagree about this,” as if it were a second order issue.

You say that you are in some sort of a process on this issue, and yet you refer to your “LGBTQ sisters and brothers in Christ.” It sounds like your view already recognizes LGBTQ as compatible with being a Christian. That seems to be a de facto affirming position already.

Read 4 tweets
Jul 19, 2021
I’ve thought a lot about this article since reading it yesterday. It’s hard to formulate an apt response because the author does not define what he means by racism, systemic or otherwise.

If he means that Christians should fight against racial partiality or racial animus, then of course there can be no disagreement about that. It is our moral duty to love our neighbor and to treat them with equal weights and measures.

But if he means that Christians must fight against “racism” defined as any racially disparate outcome, then there is no necessary moral obligation to do that. (More on that below)

Read 6 tweets
Jun 2, 2021
You can follow Jesus, or you can celebrate Pride.

But you can’t do both.

Those who say you can are lying.

“The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

-1 John 2:4
The good news of the gospel, however, is that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—including LGBTQ+ sinners! Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and he was raised three days later to give us eternal life.

Any sinner—no matter what they’ve done—can be connected to Christ’s saving work by repenting from sin and believing in the gospel (Mark 1:15).

Read 4 tweets
May 8, 2021
“While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

-Baptist Faith & Message (BF&M)
“An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife...” -1 Timothy 3:2

“I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” -1 Timothy 2:12

We know what the Bible says. We know what the BF&M says. The former is God’s word. The latter is a faithful interpretation of God’s word.

The Bible identifies many areas of meaningful ministry for women, but that does not include the office or function of a pastor.

Read 6 tweets
Feb 15, 2021
No Christian’s ministry is so vital that they have transcended the need and the command to be vitally connected to a local church.

If you are not so connected, all is not well with you—no matter how successful you think your ministry is.

“Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

-Hebrews 10:24-25

Being a member of a local church is not a cure-all. People sin in grievous ways even in the best of churches.

Nevertheless, real and vital connection to a local church should be a threshold requirement of any Christian’s ministry.

Read 4 tweets
Feb 4, 2021
CRT really is a universal acid, burning through and destroying so many precious things.

@NYTmag reports on the effort—already well underway—to condemn and destroy classics as a discipline.

Utter madness.

“To see classics the way Padilla sees it means breaking the mirror; it means condemning the classical legacy as one of the most harmful stories we’ve told ourselves.”

“Classics and whiteness are the bones and sinew of the same body; they grew strong together, and they may have to die together.”

Read 6 tweets

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