On January 1st, we reset our calendars, reassess our plans, and recommitment ourselves to serving the Lord with grace and gusto for another year. To that end, I want to offer a reflection on what you can expect from Christ Over All in 2023. Recently I reviewed December’s theme (Christology for Christmas) and previewed January’s themes (Roe v Wade After Dobbs). At the end I gave a few hints towards the whole year. In what follows, I want to expand upon those hints with a fuller treatment of where Christ Over All is going in 2023. Yet, I must make an important caveat first.
Always, the plans of man are subject the will of the Lord (James 4:13–16). And so, everything that follows here hangs under this banner, “If the Lord wills.” As Proverbs 19:21 reminds us, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
Knowing and believing that our finite plans are subject to God’s infinite wisdom, I want to say as loudly and as clearly as possible, Christ Over All wants the Lord’s purpose to stand. Indeed, “Christ Over All” is not a catchy slogan for us. It is a vision for life and everything in it. With that Deo Volente (“Lord Willing”) firmly established, let me share what’s on tap in 2023.
The 2023 Lineup
In January, we will remember the fiftieth anniversary of Roe v Wade. Only instead of calling for the end of Roe, as Christians have in every January since 1973, we will lament the ongoing slaughter of innocents in our nation but rejoice in the overturning of Roe.
Roe did not make it to 50. Hallelujah!
And yet, we cannot rest merely on its demise. Abortions continue to be sought on demand, and so we must continue to pray for, plan for, and politic for the end of abortion. In January then, we will consider where we are and how we can to protect life in our various states. To help us do that, we have recruited friends like Kevin DeYoung, Virgil Walker, David Closson, and Ryan Fullerton to contribute articles that address our Post-Dobbs world.
In February, we will consider what it means to love our neighbor. Today, wedding invitations for so-called “same sex marriage” pose challenges for showing love. The same is true when the command to love thy neighbor is shrunk to “wear a mask,” or “get a vaccine,” or “save the planet,” or worse—”euthanatize the aged, because this is the compassionate thing to do.” Put simply, loving our neighbor raises a host of ethical challenges. And in February scholars like Robert Gagnon, Andrew Walker, and Jim Hamilton will help us address some of the biblical imperatives and ethical implications of loving our neighbor.
In March, we will address the roles of men and women serving in the church. In the 1980s, the Danvers Statement addressed the rise of egalitarianism, and since then the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) and other faithful complementarians have called Christians to abide by God’s standards in the church. At the same time, new egalitarians and complementarians (in name but not practice) have arisen to make men’s and women’s roles in the church confused and confusing.
Recognizing the importance of this issue in Southern Baptist life and the lack of action toward churches that have ordained female pastors like Rick Warren’s SBC-affiliated Saddleback Church, we will seek to speak from Scripture on what God’s Word requires. Right now, we are still collecting articles from men and women, but our two longforms will come from Colin Smothers and Jonathan Leeman.
Then, in April, we will take a break from culture to meditate on the death and resurrection of Christ. With a series of meditations on Christ’s finished work on Calvary and his victorious reward in resurrection, we will spend April marveling at the promise of a Savior who died and rose again. What could be better during the month of Christ’s resurrection than to meditate on all that he accomplished by his death and resurrection?
May will follow with a turn towards history. In 1923, J. Gresham Machen wrote his classic work, Christianity and Liberalism. This book gave a rigorous defense of biblical Christianity over against Liberal Protestantism, a kind of religion that is not Christian at all. A century later, the issues raised by Machen continue to afflict and infect the church. So we will spend our time retrieving Machen’s work, learning from it, and applying its timeless truths to our own day.
In June, we will turn towards the home. And during that month, we will consider the “household codes” in the Bible, the necessity of Christian marriages, and ways parents should raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (and especially fathers; cf. Eph. 6:4). One goal for the month will be answering the question: How do Baptists, who do not welcome children into the covenant through infant “baptism,” disciple their children?
Christ Over All is a ministry led by Reformed Baptists. Our founding documents include the Second London Confession (1689) read through a progressive covenantal lens. We are indebted to and thankful to God for our Reformed and Presbyterian brothers and sisters in Christ, and we will continue to seek and publish them. But we are confessionally Baptistic. We are not shy about holding those views, and we want to articulate a vision of the home that is basic to the biblical instructions. In many ways, this is shared by all Bible-believing Christians. But because credo-baptists are not paedo-baptists, there will be some differences too. So stay tuned for more.
That’s where, as the Lord allows, we are going for the first half of 2023. In the second half of the year, we will continue to engage the Bible, theology, church, and culture.
Concisely, in July, we are planning a month with Virgil Walker from G3 ministries to address the subject of Civil Rights, as we think about justice in the Bible and justice in America’s history. In August, we will go back to Genesis 1–11 and show how those chapters are foundational for a Christian worldview. Then in September, we will consider the subject of Progressive Covenantalism, which charts a course between Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology in the vexing question of how the New Covenant relates to the Old Covenant. We will furthermore consider how Progressive Covenantalism applies to the Bible, theology, and the church.
In October, with a framework of Genesis 1–11 and Progressive Covenantalism still in mind, we will take up everyone’s favorite hot button issue, Christian Nationalism. And by God’s grace, we will add some light to a subject overwhelmed with heat. In November, we will polish off the year, looking at how the Bible instructs us to do more than engage or fight culture. With the gospel at the foundation, and the making of disciples as the mission, Christians are called to build cultures—in the home, in the church, and in the world. And to that end, we hope to give a positive vision of what culture-building looks like from a Reformed and Baptistic perspective. Then finally in December, we are planning a month of miscellanies—an assortment of articles that cover various and far-ranging topics connected by the fact that Christ is Lord over each one.
Join Us in Prayer and Publication
On the point of submitting articles, let me offer an invitation. If you have enjoyed the content here and are a writer who is looking for an outlet to express biblical and theological views similar to that of Christ Over All, we would invite you to consider sending a proposal our way.
So far, we have culled the best biblical and theological voices we know to help us produce and podcast evergreen content—content that will stand the test of time. But that proactive work does not deny the place for receiving articles from readers like you who may have a special insight into one of these topics. If one of these subjects listed above interests you and you’d like to contribute, please reach out to us here.
At the same time, I would ask that you would pray for the work of Christ Over All. We truly believe we cannot do anything unless the Lord confirms the work of our hands. And to that end, we would invite you to pray for Christ Over All, for its writers, editors, supporters, and readers.
We are deeply thankful for the prayers God has answered in 2022, and we enter the New Year with confidence that the Lord who rules over all will continue to accomplish his purposes in and through us. Christ will be glorified in his church and by his people (Eph. 3:20–21), and we simply pray that we might be fulfill our calling as Christians and laborers in the local church to see Christ exalted in all areas of life.
To that end, we wish you a blessed new year. May the Lord be pleased with all we say, do, and write.