Apostles, Prophets, Disciples, and Healing: Nabeel Qureshi and Healing, Part 3

Rembrandt, Jesus and his Disciples (1633)

Rembrandt, Jesus and his Disciples (1633)


Part 1 of this series, “A Failed Experiment,” provides the necessary background and explains my purpose in critiquing the late Nabeel Qureshi’s views on healing.


A key argument in Nabeel Qureshi’s vlogs about healing is that not only did Jesus heal people but so did his disciples. The argument can be stated formally as follows:

Premise 1: Jesus’ disciples were able to perform healing miracles.
Premise 2: We are Jesus’ disciples.
Conclusion: We are able to perform healing miracles.

In vlog #32 Nabeel made this argument explicit. However, I think he also acknowledged a glitch in the argument when he affirmed that we are also Jesus’ disciples but then added, “in a certain way.” The problem is that the argument equivocates in its use of the term disciples.


Apostles and Prophets

The first generation of the Christian movement had special leaders whom Paul called apostles and prophets (1 Cor. 12:28-29; Eph. 2:20; 3:5; 4:11). As I stated in Part 2, the apostles were a foundational group of Christian leaders who functioned as witnesses to the risen Christ in the first generation of the church. All four Gospels report Jesus speaking to the apostles about their coming role as witnesses giving testimony to him (Matt. 10:18; Mark 6:11; 13:9; Luke 9:5; 21:13; 24:44-49; John 15:25-26; 19:35; 21:24). This understanding of the apostles as special, authoritative witnesses to Jesus is a significant theme in Acts (1:8, 21-26; 2:11, 32; 3:15; 4:33; 5:31-32; 10:39-42; 13:30-31; 22:14-15; 23:11; 26:16) and appears in various epistles (1 Cor. 9:1; 15:5-8, 15; 2 Thess. 1:10; 2 Tim. 1:8; 1 Peter 5:1; 1 John 1:2; 4:14). The apostolic witness functioned in conjunction to the prior, prophetic witness of the Scriptures, our Old Testament, to the coming Messiah (Acts 2:30-32; 3:18; 10:43, cf. 10:39-42; Rom. 3:21; Heb. 7:17).

Note that the apostles were not limited to twelve men, although the twelve were the core group of apostles. In addition to the twelve, the NT identifies as apostles Barnabas (Acts 14:14; 1 Cor. 9:5-6; cf. Gal. 2:8-9), Paul (Acts 14:14; Rom. 1:1; etc.), James the Lord’s brother (1 Cor. 15:7; Gal. 1:19; 2:9; cf. James 1:1), and possibly Andronicus and Junias/Junia (Rom. 16:7). Thus, the total number of apostles of Christ seems to have been no less than fifteen and possibly seventeen (that we know by name). In the upper room after Jesus’ ascension and before Pentecost, Judas’s replacement was chosen from a pool of up to 120 persons present at the time, and Paul refers to a group of some 500 individuals who were witnesses of the risen Christ, any of whom potentially could have been given apostolic commissions (1 Cor. 15:6).

In addition to the apostles, other individuals whom Luke and Paul called prophets (Acts 11:27; 13:1; 15:32; 21:10; 1 Cor. 14:29, 32, 37) were associates of the apostles and were also inspired to deliver special messages from Christ.

In part 2, I made the generalization that the New Testament gives accounts of healings performed by Jesus, apostles, and prophets, but not of healings performed by other individuals. There are two persons in the Book of Acts that might be considered exceptions: Stephen and Ananias. Let’s look at both of these men.

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Cessationism versus Continuationism—4 Reasons to Reject both Extremes: Nabeel Qureshi and Healing, Part 2

Nicolas Poussin - Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man (1655)

Nicolas Poussin – Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man (1655)


Part 1 of this series, “A Failed Experiment,” provides the necessary background and explains my purpose in critiquing the late Nabeel Qureshi’s views on healing.

Throughout this series, I will be citing Nabeel Qureshi’s video logs, or vlogs, simply by their number as they are listed on his YouTube vlog page. All of his vlogs were recorded and uploaded to YouTube from September 2016 through September 2017, the month he passed away.

A basic premise of Nabeel Qureshi’s thinking about healing and miracles was that there is no biblical basis for thinking that miracles ceased after the NT era (vlog #14). I fully agree with him on this point. I have never found the view that miracles ceased after the apostolic era plausible. But I would suggest this is simply one of two extreme positions.

At the “cessationist” end of the spectrum is the view that miracles simply do not and will not happen in our time. This position maintains a complete discontinuity between the apostolic era and the rest of church history with regard to the miraculous.

At the “continuationist” end of the spectrum is the view that miracles should happen in our time in just the same ways as in the New Testament era or more narrowly in the same ways as in the public itinerant ministry of Jesus. This position maintains a complete continuity between the apostolic era and the rest of church history with regard to the miraculous.

I would suggest that both of these extreme positions bear the burden of proof. That is, we should be prepared to find both some continuities and some discontinuities between the apostolic era and our time. Consider the following four reasons for adopting this view rather than total continuity (miracles should happen today just as they did in the NT period), yet without going to the opposite extreme of total discontinuity (no miracles should happen today). In what follows, please note that I frequently make various qualifications or distinctions without which it is likely that my position will be misunderstood in an overly simplistic way (perhaps by readers from both sides of the spectrum). I beg the reader’s indulgence if these qualifying comments seem repetitive.

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Learning from a Failed Experiment: Nabeel Qureshi and Healing, Part 1

file.jpgNabeel Qureshi, who passed away on September 16, 2017, was a good friend of mine. He was a well-known convert from Islam to Christianity who went on to earn two Master’s degrees as well as his M.D. degree. I met him around 2010 or 2011, I think, sometime before he finished his second M.A. (from Duke University) in 2012.

Over the next several years Nabeel and I enjoyed seeing each other at least once a year at the Evangelical Theological Society annual conventions with a group of Christian apologists that included David Wood (who had led Nabeel to Christ) and Marie Wood, Abdu Murray, Michael Licona and Debbie Licona, MaryJo Sharp and Roger Sharp, Guillaume Bignon, Ed Komoszewski, and Alex Blagojevic. Whenever this group would get together, I spent a lot of time looking up—Abdu, David, Guillaume, Mike, and Nabeel were all so tall that they looked like more like a basketball team than a group of bookish Christian intellectuals!

From 2013 to 2016, Nabeel wrote three books and spoke all over the world with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). The last time that I saw Nabeel in person was in June 2016, when he and Abdu Murray (who was and is also with RZIM) both spoke at a conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

On August 30, 2016, Nabeel announced on Facebook that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. At that stage the odds were overwhelmingly against his recovery, as he himself stated. Over the next year he pursued all medical options available to him and also actively sought miraculous healing.

Throughout the year he posted a series of over forty video logs, or vlogs, on YouTube, most of them discussing his medical condition and treatments and his prayers for healing. In seven of those vlogs from January through May 2017, Nabeel discussed his pursuit of miraculous healing and shared his understanding of various New Testament passages, mostly accounts in the Gospels of specific healings performed by Jesus.

Nabeel’s videos were painful to watch in two ways. It was difficult to watch his physical health declining, and it was difficult to hear him advocating ideas about miraculous healing that had the potential to produce some severe disappointment and even disillusionment if it turned out that he did not recover or get healed from his cancer.

On June 21, I sent Nabeel by email a lengthy letter (some 20 pages) commenting at length on the interpretation of the biblical passages. Understandably, given his rapidly deteriorating condition at that time and the difficulty of the issues, he did not respond to the letter. In my cover email, I had written the following explanation for my letter:

I take you seriously when you said, which you said more than once in your vlogs, that if someone thinks you are mistaken on these things you are open to correction. At this point I am sending this to you privately. Hopefully we can have a good discussion about these things. At some point, I think it is likely that I will want to make this material public, perhaps as an open letter or perhaps in a different form, for the benefit of those who have been following your vlogs and may have questions about the subject of God’s will in regards to healing. The body of the letter is rather academic because I am focused on the exegetical and theological issues, but my motivation is really concern for you. In no respect is this letter a rebuke or personal criticism, but only my attempt to address the substance of your reasoning on the subject at hand. I dearly love you and want the best for you, my friend.

As Nabeel came closer to death throughout the summer, I decided to refrain from commenting publicly about his views on miraculous healing until he recovered or was healed or until he passed away. It was rather clear that one of those things was going to happen fairly soon. I would have been ecstatic if Nabeel had survived the cancer and we could have discussed the theological issues with each other, but sadly that opportunity did not come.

If ever anyone was going to be healed through the concerted prayers of Christians it would have been Nabeel Qureshi. Tens of thousands of Christians (perhaps a hundred thousand or more) prayed for Nabeel. He had hands laid on him numerous times, including by Christians reputed as being the conduits of amazing ministries of miraculous healing. Many individuals publicly stated that they “knew” that God was going to heal Nabeel, sometimes claiming to have received a “word of knowledge” to that effect. And the need was obviously great: a young man in his early thirties, with a wife and baby, potentially decades of fruitful ministry ahead of him, and a large number of Muslims prepared to gloat over Allah’s judgment on the infidel if he died.

And yet he died.

Following Nabeel’s passing, some authors blogged on the question of why God didn’t heal Nabeel. The general theme of these pieces was that we don’t know. God is good and to be trusted even though he could heal people like Nabeel but usually doesn’t. This is just one of those things we can’t understand.

I respectfully disagree with these authors. I think we can know why God usually doesn’t provide miraculous healing for the sick, even godly individuals such as Nabeel.

Over the next several days, I will be posting the material from my lengthy letter to Nabeel. Nabeel had many good and right things to say and he tried to avoid extremist and overconfident claims that his healing was certain. Nevertheless, some of the things he said fostered the presumption that he would be, or at least should be, healed. My concern at this point is to help Christians understand why such presumption is not based securely in the teachings of Scripture or in the ministry of Christ in the Gospels. I maintain that God can and sometimes does heal people, either providentially or (less often) miraculously, but he does not promise to do so all the time even for people who have faith. I will defend this position by presenting eight main arguments for it based on the teachings of Scripture, along the way responding to Nabeel’s arguments for the view that it is always God’s will to heal people who ask him in faith.

In this series of articles, I will be presenting the same material as in my letter to Nabeel, including the more academic points with regard to the exegesis of NT passages, though hopefully in a way that will be understandable and meaningful to everyone interested in these issues.

Nabeel Qureshi’s death is a tragedy, as in a sense all death is. Death is the last enemy that Christ will finally defeat at the end of the age (1 Cor. 15:26). In the meantime, God promises to work all things together for good to those who love God and are called in accordance with his redemptive purpose—a promise that extends even to death (Rom. 8:28-39). Perhaps out of this tragic loss and disappointment can come a better understanding among Bible-believing Christians of faith, healing, and the miraculous. Out of love for Nabeel, his family, and all those who have been blessed through his life, we have an obligation to pursue the truth about Jesus and to speak that truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Nabeel would want us to do nothing less.

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Top 12 Books on the Resurrection of Jesus

Caravaggio - The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (ca. 1602)

Here are a dozen of the very best modern Christian books on the subject of the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. I have attempted here to refer to as many different authors as I can while still listing what I think are the most important books on this subject.

Copan, Paul, ed. Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan. Moderated by William F. Buckley, Jr. With responses from Robert J. Miller, Craig L. Blomberg, Marcus Borg, and Ben Witherington III. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998. Perhaps the most interesting published debate on the resurrection of Jesus; Craig and Crossan are leading defenders of their positions.

Craig, William Lane. The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus during the Deist Controversy. Texts and Studies in Religion 23. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1985. Only work of its kind, with preliminary material on the history of historical reasoning about the Resurrection from the first century up to the early modern era leading into the period of Deism.

Evans, Craig A. Jesus and the Remains of His Day: Studies in Jesus and the Evidence of Material Culture. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2015. Most recent book by Evans on the evidence surrounding the death, burial, and empty tomb of Jesus.

Fuller, Daniel P. Easter Faith and History. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965. Includes an important argument for the historicity and authenticity of Paul’s encounter with the risen Jesus.

Habermas, Gary R., and Michael R. Licona. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2004. Two of the leading scholars on the Resurrection teamed up to produce this readable, solid defense of its historicity. The most “user-friendly” defense of the resurrection of Jesus (written as an apologetic manual for Christians); includes a CD with games to help learn the content of the book.

Licona, Michael R. The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010. Protégé of Gary Habermas advances the evidentialist “resurrection apologetic” by grounding it in a careful study of modern historiography.

O’Connell, Jake. Jesus’ Resurrection and Apparitions: A Bayesian Analysis. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2016. Recent work of scholarship arguing that the Resurrection is a better explanation of the facts than the claim that the disciples experienced subjective apparitions.

Quarles, Charles, ed. Buried Hope or Risen Savior: The Search for the Jesus Tomb. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2008. Probably the best response to the claim that the Talpiot tomb was the tomb of Jesus and his family.

Swinburne, Richard. The Resurrection of God Incarnate. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Consummate philosopher’s examination of the evidence for the Resurrection.

Walker, Peter. The Weekend that Changed the World: The Mystery of Jerusalem’s Empty Tomb. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000. Interesting exposition of the events surrounding the discovery of the empty tomb, offering numerous specific details based on archaeological research.

Wenham, John. Easter Enigma: Do the Resurrection Accounts Contradict One Another? 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. The best attempt to harmonize the Resurrection narratives.

Wright, N. T. The Resurrection of the Son of God. Christian Origins and the Question of God 3. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003. Tour de force defense of the physical resurrection against liberal reinterpretation; Wright at his best.


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Does the Book of Revelation Teach that Christ Is an Angel?

Dore, Vision of John on PatmosGustav Doré, The Vision of John on Patmos (ca. 1880)


I recently finished reading Paula Gooder’s book Only the Third Heaven? 2 Corinthians 12.1-10 and Heavenly Ascent, an academic monograph published in 2006. In the course of discussing other ancient texts about ascents into or visions of heaven, Gooder makes the surprising claim that the Book of Revelation identifies Christ as “an exalted angel.” She offers two arguments in support of this claim.[1]

First, the opening vision of the Book of Revelation describes a figure “like a son of man” surrounded by “seven golden lampstands” (Rev. 1:12-13).[2] Gooder jumps hastily to the conclusion that these seven lampstands “must be equated with the seven torches of fire burning before the throne of God.” This argument is quite peculiar. If the seven lampstands were equivalent to the “seven torches of fire” that were “before the throne” (4:5), one would think that the figure in the midst of the seven lampstands would be deity, not an angel. That having been said, the seven golden lampstands are definitely not to be equated with the seven torches of fire. Continue reading

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Top 10 Reasons for Accepting Jesus’ “I Am” Sayings in John as Historically Reliable

Mattias Stom, “Christ before Caiaphas” (ca. 1630)

In a recent online kerfuffle, various evangelicals have expressed diverse opinions about comments about Jesus’ “I am” sayings in the Gospel of John that were made by New Testament scholar Craig Evans in his 2012 debate with Bart Ehrman.[1] I do not wish to become embroiled in the “he said, she said” controversy in which some individuals on opposing sides, including personal friends of mine, made critical statements about one another that I would not wish to defend.[2] Instead, I want to address the historical question directly: Are those “I am” sayings in the Gospel of John historically reliable?

Let me first try to be as precise as I can about the question here. I am not inquiring as to whether Jesus made statements about himself that were tantamount to claims to deity. He did, as all of the evangelical participants in the recent controversy agree. My friend Ed Komoszewski and I adduced a wealth of evidence on this point from all four Gospels (as well as passages from the rest of the New Testament) in our book on the deity of Christ.[3]

On the other hand, I am not looking to defend the claim that John has given us an exact transcript of the words of Jesus in the “I am” sayings—what biblical scholars call the ipsissima verba (“very words”) of Jesus. Since I don’t think Jesus usually spoke in Greek, I assume that at best what the Gospels give us are translations of Jesus’ statements (with the occasional exceptions where they quote Jesus in Aramaic). And translations can vary in how literally (or how woodenly) they represent the words of the original-language sentences.

The usual term used by scholars to denote the view that the Gospels give us a reliable presentation of what Jesus said but not in his exact words is ipsissima vox (“very voice”). I am comfortable with this expression as long as we don’t use it too loosely. I think this may have happened in the current controversy. For example, to acknowledge that Jesus made statements that were tantamount to claims to deity, but nothing like the “I am” sayings in John, would as best I can see be a denial that John gives us the ipsissima vox of Jesus. On the other hand, if John is paraphrasing statements that Jesus actually made, so that each statement in John corresponds as a whole to something Jesus said, then John would be giving us Jesus’ ipsissima vox.

I’m sure much more could be said about this theoretical matter, but let’s get into the specific issue.

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What’s in Your Christology? Comparing Trinitarian and Nontrinitarian Views of Jesus Christ

Jesus famously asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” (Mark 8:27). The answers people were considering at the time were generally variations on a single notion, which was that Jesus was some sort of prophetic figure. Today the views that various religions proclaim about Jesus are far more diverse. However, we can classify most of these “Christologies”—doctrines about the person of Christ—into five basic types.

Unitarians believe that Jesus is a man, nothing more, although Jesus was a unique human being because he was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life. He died, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and was given an honorary status as God’s human representative. The ancient counterpart of this Christology is known as adoptionism (the idea being that God “adopted” Jesus as his Son). A growing movement known as Biblical Unitarianism seeks to make the case against the Trinity and for the Unitarian doctrine of Christ from the Bible alone.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is God’s first created being, an angel (specifically Michael the archangel). His life force was used to create the man Jesus. When Jesus died, his life force was used to re-create him as an angelic being again. Strong rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity is a prominent aspect of the teachings of the Watchtower Society. The closest ancient analogue to this Christology was Arianism, named for the fourth-century Alexandrian teacher Arius.

Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, believe that Jesus was the firstborn of the billions of spirit sons and daughters born to Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Jesus became a God and along with the Holy Ghost (perhaps another spirit son) joined the Father in the Godhead, a group of three Gods that rule our world. Jesus came as a mortal, died, rose from the dead, and was exalted as a greater deity because he now had a glorified, immortal physical body, which Mormonism teaches the Father also has. As God’s other spirit children, we can also become Gods like Christ and like our heavenly parents. Frankly, none of the ancient forms of Christianity taught a Christology that bore much resemblance to the Mormon view of Christ. In the medieval period some theologians held views that the church criticized as forms of tritheism, or belief in three Gods. However, none of those censured theologies came close to the explicit tritheism, or even polytheism, of Mormon theology.

Oneness Pentecostals believe that Jesus is a man in whom God the Father manifested himself in flesh. In effect, Jesus is God the Father, or more precisely the Father’s human manifestation. Jesus died, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven as God in the flesh. The ancient doctrine known as Monarchianism, Modalism, or Patripassianism (a term meaning that the Father suffered) is very similar to the Oneness doctrine (although ancient Monarchians do not seem to have been at all “Pentecostal”).

Trinitarians (orthodox Christians, whether Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or evangelical Protestant) believe that Jesus is God the Son become incarnate. This means that Jesus is both God (the Son) and man (fully human). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are viewed as one God and yet as personally distinct from one another. Jesus died, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where he rules from God’s throne as the God-man. The key terminology of Trinitarianism (Trinity, three persons) was in use by the late second century and the doctrine was given formal expression in the fourth century in the Nicene Creed, which was composed around early confessional statements found in the New Testament itself.

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10 Favorite Articles about Nabeel Qureshi

My friend Nabeel Qureshi, whom I had the pleasure of knowing for several years, passed away on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Nabeel was a convert from Islam to evangelical Christianity, having come to know Jesus Christ as his great God and Savior after trying to disprove Christianity. In a very short time he became an influential Christian apologist. Only 34 years old, Nabeel died after learning just last year that he had stage 4 stomach cancer. I am on my way to Houston for the memorial service tomorrow.

I will have some things to say about Nabeel’s lost fight against cancer at a later date. For now I want to share ten excellent articles posted online in the past few days.

Brown, Michael. “God Can Still Work Miracles. Why No Miracle for Nabeel Qureshi?” The Stream, Sept. 19, 2017. Reposted from AskDrBrown.org.

Karnuth, Julie. “A Memorial to Nabeel Qureshi.” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Sept. 16, 2017. A collection of quotations from No God but One, Qureshi’s last book.

Keener, Craig. “Nabeel Qureshi’s Passing and Hope.” Craig Keener (blog), Sept. 17, 2017.

Kelhawk, Terry. “Nabeel Qureshi and the Koran.” Huffington Post, Sept. 18, 2017.

Licona, Mike. “Remembering My Friend Nabeel Qureshi.” LogosTalk (blog), Sept. 18, 2017.

Moore, Art. “Ex-Muslim, Author, Evangelist Nabeel Qureshi Dead at 34.” WND, Sept. 18, 2017.

Murray, Abdu. “Steaks, Smiles, and Steely Faith: Remembering My Friend Nabeel Qureshi.” RZIM (blog), Sept. 19, 2017.

O’Neil, Tyler. “Nabeel Qureshi Shows Christians How to Die Well, With a Message of Love and Trust in Jesus Christ.” PJ Media, Sept. 16, 2017.

Taylor, Justin. “Nabeel Qureshi (1983-2017).” Gospel Coalition, Sept. 16, 2017.

Turek, Frank. “Why Didn’t God Heal Nabeel Qureshi?” The Stream, Sept. 18, 2017. Also posed on Townhall.com, Sept. 19, 2017.

Also worth your time is this video by David Wood, the Christian who led Nabeel to Christ: “Famous Last Words of Jesus, Muhammad, and Nabeel Qureshi” (YouTube, Sept. 18, 2017).

And please consider contributing to Nabeel’s fundraising campaign, which is now of importance to his wife and young daughter: https://www.gofundme.com/NabeelQureshi.


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The Bottom-Line Guide to Jesus, Parts 1 through 3

I recently completed the third installment in a series of articles entitled The Bottom-Line Guide to Jesus. This series of articles addresses common questions regarding what can be known about Jesus historically. The purpose of the articles is to equip readers to see through common skeptical objections to the Gospels’ accounts of Jesus’ life, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection as well as to be discerning with regard to various religions’ claims about Jesus that are contrary to the New Testament. Here is a brief overview of the three articles done so far:

Part 1: Did Jesus Exist?

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Evangelicals, Conservatives, White Supremacists, and Racial Politics in America

As an evangelical and a political conservative, in the wake of the recent events in Charlottesville, I want to contribute to the effort to draw a clear, unmistakable line between the beliefs I and millions of other American evangelicals espouse and the evil doctrines of racist ideologies such as white supremacism and white nationalism. To that end, I have collected various articles and essays, most but not all from just the past few days, that address this and related subjects from the perspective of evangelicalism, conservatism, or both.

If you know of a useful article that is worthy of being added to this list, please tell me about it in the comments. Given the fact that discussions on these matters often become inflammatory, please read the guidelines for commenting on this blog (linked toward the top of the page) before you comment. I will delete without explanation any comment that is inappropriate. Recommended links that I find particularly helpful will be added to the blog so that others may benefit from it.

Note: This article has been updated twice as of August 29, 2017. My thanks to E. Calvin Beisner for drawing my attention to some excellent additional items.


Benson, Guy. “The Charlottesville Dystopia: Dark Souls, Tested Principles, and Presidential Weakness.” Townhall, Aug. 14, 2017. Fair-minded analysis.

Burton, Tara Isabella. “What a unanimous Southern Baptist condemnation of the alt-right says about evangelicals in America.” Vox, June 14, 2017. Liberal media outlet’s report acknowledges (somewhat grudgingly) that Southern Baptists have made great strides in race relations.

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