Articles

Fallen: A Theology of Sin

Article by   September 2014
Fallen: A Theology of Sin. Theology in Community. Edited by Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013. 320 pp. $19.99/£12.99One might not expect to walk away from a book on the theology of sin feeling very edified... continue

The Cure for Shame

Article by   September 2014
"Shame. Boatloads of shame. Day after day. More of the same. Blame. Please lift it off. Please take it off. Please make it stop." Those words are not just the lyrics to a famous Avett Brothers' song, they are also words under which a lot of us live. To live in this world is to experience shame. Boatloads of shame. continue

Systematic Theology, Volume 2

Article by   September 2014
Douglas F. Kelly. Systematic Theology, Grounded in Holy Scripture and Understood in Light of the Church, Volume Two: The Beauty of Christ: A Trinitarian Vision. Mentor, 2014. 567 pages. $39.99/£24.99A number of systematic theologies have appeared in recent years from... continue

The Problem of Theological Cataracts

Article by   September 2014
C. S. Lewis once famously said: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." If, as Christians, we see everything through the lens of Holy Scripture, we can, by the grace of God, understand the world as it really is, rather than how it might appear on the surface. continue

Biblical versus Systematic Theology?

Article by   September 2014
Systematic Theology is often contrasted unfavourably with the relatively new discipline of Biblical Theology. The very terminology immediately sets Systematics at a disadvantage, as if Biblical Theology alone were 'biblical' and anything that sets out to be 'systematic' should be viewed with profound suspicion. continue

Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction

Article by   September 2014
Nicholas M. Healy, Hauerwas: A (Very) Critical Introduction. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014. 142 pp. $23.00/£16.99Stanley Hauerwas has his share of critics, but there is something wonderfully uncommon about this book. The writing is fresh, relentless, and incisive. Healy writes as... continue

Stolen Capital: The Weight of Words in Hozier's "Take Me to Church"

Article by   September 2014
I'm not a musicologist or a respected lyrical critic. In fact, I don't know much at all about music. I'm a novice theologian who can't help but be pricked when he hears what is played on the radio during his morning commute. This week, it happened to be the song, "Take Me to Church," by Hozier. The opening melody, which is truly haunting, is what kept me from turning the radio dial. Then came what someone described as "the deep, soulful voice" of Andrew Hozier Byrne, the Irish singer-songwriter. After a few seconds, I was hooked and decided to listen to the writer's story--whatever it might be. continue

The Doctrines of Grace

Article by   September 2014
Shane Lems, The Doctrines of Grace: Student Edition. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2014. 143 pp. $9.99/₤6.99 In recent years the so-called Five Points of Calvinism have received increased attention and adherence. The Five Points seem to have a growing number of... continue

What is theology about?

Article by   September 2014
Theology, in a nutshell, is about putting people in a position where they can speak a word about God; and since almost everyone has something to say about God, almost everyone is a theologian. Even the atheist usually has very fixed views about the God he doesn't believe in; and every Christian, including those most dismissive of academic theology, is a theologian when she prays and worships, and when in times of crisis she sets her life in the context of an overruling providence. continue

Political Affections

Article by   September 2014
Joshua Hordern. Political Affections. Civic Participation and Moral Theology. Oxford Studies in Theological Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. x + 312 pp. $99.00/₤64.99How might theology contribute to reflection upon the recognized democratic deficit of western political societies? How might... continue

Disability Theology and Flannery O'Connor

Article by   September 2014
What does it mean to speak of disability? According to the World Health Organization, over 15% of the global population (more than a billion people) lives with some form of disability, though the difficulties of precisely defining disability are significant. Etymologically, the word simply signifies a lack of some ability. As such, it assumes some standard of ability as the norm, some set of capacities, competencies or characteristics. Various cultures have understood such norms in many different ways throughout history, very often in more or less unconscious ways. Interpretations of gender and race play an enormous role in such definitions, including what is perceived as beautiful. At the beginning and end of our lives, to say nothing of states in between, humans tend towards the loss of many abilities, existing in such fluid states of dependency that some choose to speak of normal as "temporarily-able bodied." continue

Tangled Up in Blue: Depression and the Christian Life

Article by   August 2014
"Why doesn't the church know what to do with depression?" That's the question I've been asking myself since the almost unbearably sad news broke that Robin Williams had taken his own life last week. There were a plethora of responses. Some touching. Some naive. More than a few lacking the nuances and gentleness of grace. What was undeniably clear is that we still don't know what to do with people struggling deeply with depression. Like Job's counselors, we often move too quickly to either a cause, or a quick cure. We don't know how to simply sit with people in sadness, much less know how to take their hand and walk with them through it. continue

Calvin on the Christian Life

Article by   August 2014
Michael Horton, Calvin on the Christian Life: Glorifying and Enjoying God Forever. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. 271 pp. $19.99/£12.99Crossway Books are doing the church a great service with their wonderful series on theologians on the Christian life. The epigram--'gaining wisdom... continue

Living in Wonderland or Lost in Wonder, Love and Praise

Article by   August 2014
This tenet has a host of ideas supporting it, and it may help to clarify the terms used in order to make explicit some of those ideas. When we think of the antithesis as "absolute," we are pointing to the fact that the ground or foundation of the antithesis is not measured on a relative scale. For example, the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian does not depend on how each one is acting at a particular time. It is not measured by how much "good" a non-Christian accomplishes, or how much sin a Christian commits. The way in which God has chosen to identify mankind, since the fall, is that one is either in Adam or one is in Christ. So, when God looks on the host of people on the earth, he sees those who either abide under wrath, by virtue of being sinful in Adam, or under grace, by virtue of being counted righteous in Christ. There is no third "place" to be. There is no sliding scale with God. No one can be partially in Adam and partially in Christ. One's foundation before God is defined by one of these two "Adams," the first or the last (I Cor. 15:45). Because of this, we all operate -- we live and move and have our being -- in terms of the one to whom we are united. continue

The Great and Holy War

Article by   August 2014
Philip Jenkins, The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade. New York: HarperCollins, 2014. 448 pp. Hardcover. $22.99/ £18.99One hundred years ago this month marked the onset of what was then known only as "The Great... continue

Theology for International Law

Article by   August 2014
Esther D. Reed, Theology for International Law. London and New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013. 350pp. $26.99/£19.99The big issue which this book addresses is: what does theology have to say to those who argue that international relations are nothing more... continue

Union with Christ and Sanctification

Article by   August 2014
One of the chief benefits of the recent debates regarding sanctification is a renewed emphasis on the believer's union with Christ through faith. If we realize how often the apostle Paul situates our salvation "in Christ," we will also realize that Christ truly is the fountain of every spiritual blessing for the Christian. It is for this reason that the fourth affirmation of the Gospel Reformation Network on the gospel and sanctification highlights the centrality of union with Christ: continue

The German Roots of Nineteenth Century American Theology

Article by   July 2014
Annette G. Aubert. The German Roots of Nineteenth-Century American Theology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, 402 pp. $74.00.  In this volume, a revision of her doctoral dissertation at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), Annette Aubert aims to recover the central... continue

The Gospel Includes Sanctification

Article by   July 2014
In this article, I want to examine the third of the Affirmations & Denials of the Gospel Reformation Network, which makes a point at the very heart of our concern in presenting a balanced view of the gospel: We affirm that the gospel provides salvation for the whole man, including man's need for both imputed and imparted righteousness. Matthew's Gospel tells us that Jesus began his ministry in Galilee, where he went "proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people" (Mt.4:23). continue

Paul and the Faithfulness of God: A Review

Article by   July 2014
Let me begin by stating the fact that most obviously strikes the recipient of a copy of Paul and the Faithfulness of God (henceforth, PFG): it is 1658 pages long. At one point, probably about a third of the way or half-way through, I had a feeling which - unprompted - interpreted itself in words similar to those of John Newton's Amazing Grace: 'When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun | We've no less days to sing God's praise, as when we first begun'. I felt at this stage at the book that, having read hundreds and hundreds of pages, I still had as many to go as I did when I first begun. One of the chapters is over 250 pages. But I did make it all the way through to what I assume was the George Herbert allusion at the end. continue

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