Articles

How to Teach the Doctrine of the Blessedness of God [Part 4]

Article by   January 2015
Divine blessedness is fruitful. Of course the divine blessedness itself, the beatitude of God, is fruitful, as the source of everything that has come into being. But my point here, as in the earlier articles in this series, is that the theological doctrine of God's blessedness is also fruitful, and that once it has been recovered for Christian life and thought, it will be productive of a hundred insights and connection points. Some of those will seem strikingly new because they have been so thoroughly forgotten in modern theological discourse (and we do well to remember that blessedness was not benignly or accidentally forgotten from such discourse, but was aggressively banished with extreme prejudice) continue

Preaching Christ from Daniel

Article by   January 2015
Sidney Greidanus, Preaching Christ from Daniel. Foundations for Expository Sermons. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012.The present volume merits attention as it brings together two issues of great interest: Evangelicalism's perennial fascination - arguably an unhealthy obsession! - with the Book of... continue

Modern Opposition to Divine Blessedness [Part 3]

Article by   January 2015
The doctrine of divine impassibility has been much discussed, and it deserves to be: it is crucial for the Christian church to be able to confess the right thing about the omnipotent God precisely at this point, at the foot of the cross where the rulers of this age crucified the Lord of Glory (1 Cor 2:8). For most of Christian history, theologians considered it utterly axiomatic that the divine nature was not capable of suffering continue

Two Books on Scripture

Article by   January 2015
Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy and The Question of Canon are two very worthwhile books on different aspects of Scripture, the first doctrinal and the second historical.J. Merrick & Stephen M. Garrett. Gen. eds, Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Grand... continue

Divine Blessedness in Non-Christian Theologies [Part 2]

Article by   January 2015
Christians ascribe blessedness to our God, but we were not the first to call a God blessed. Other worshippers in other religions, and other thinkers in other theological systems, have also considered beatitude to be an attribute of divinity. In fact, even the key terminology used in the Christian tradition for the theology of blessedness is language taken over from the pre-Christian Greco-Roman theological background: the crucial Greek word makarios, by the time it shows up in the New Testament to describe God (most prominently at 1 Tim 1:11 and 5:16), has a long history of attachment to those unscrupulous characters, the gods of Olympus. The terminology was pagan before it was Christian. continue

John Henry Newman: A Biography

Article by   January 2015
Ian Ker. John Henry Newman: A Biography. 1988. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Due to his beatification by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, there is a renewed interest in the life and thought of John Henry Newman. Among Protestants... continue

Freedom is a joke. Specifically, a satirical joke

Article by   January 2015
The recent terrorist attack in Paris highlights perhaps the great political dilemma of the current age, that of Western freedoms being used to destroy Western freedoms. But perhaps just as importantly, its target was perfectly chosen. continue

'Mindfulness' or the mind of Christ

Article by   January 2015
The singularly brilliant Christian apologist of the seventeenth century, Blaise Pascal, noted the existential reality that the human condition was one of inconstancy, boredom and anxiety. For him, the only real cure was made known in history by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and was not located in the abstract ideas of philosophers and scholars. The solution to man's condition was the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ, who declared, "Come to me all you who are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28)." continue

The Gospel of the Glory of the Blessed God

Article by   January 2015
In 1 Timothy 1:11, Paul says that he has been entrusted with "the gospel of the glory of the blessed God." It is a weighty phrase in every way, but Paul's use of the word "blessed" is especially striking. In only a handful of instances in the New Testament is God explicitly said to be "blessed." More often the word is applied to humans: blessed (makarios) are the peacemakers, blessed are they who did not see but believed continue

New & Noteworthy Books in 2015

Article by   December 2014
We're on the eve of a new year and I thought it might be fun to post a list of books to look out for in the upcoming year. Undoubtedly my doing so is dabbling in the realm of wishful thinking, especially since there are plenty of books that I have yet to read from 2014. Nevertheless, I offer you, the reader, an opportunity to see some books that I think will be worthwhile and significant in 2015. Where I had opportunity, I was able to inquire with some of the authors about their respective books. So, if there happens to be some credit left on those amazon gift cards received from loved ones over the holidays, here are some tempting suggestions to help populate your book shelves: continue

The Hole in our Holiness

Article by   December 2014
Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in our Holiness. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2014. Paperback. 160 pages. $11.99/₤7.99Personalities, Polemics, and ProgressWhen one's theological diet consists entirely of blog posts for meals and tweets about blog posts for snacks, it can be easy to... continue

Abraham Kuyper: Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat

Article by   December 2014
James D. Bratt. Abraham Kuyper: Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat. Library of Religious Biography. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. 455 pages. $24.99/₤19.99Abraham Kuyper must be one of the most quoted figures in Evangelical churches, and it is usually the same quote: "There... continue

Is Evolution Biblically Acceptable? The Question of Genesis 1

Article by   December 2014
Given what World Magazine has called a "major, well-funded push" to promote the acceptance of evolution among evangelical Christians, the case must be persuasively made against the compatibility of evolution and the Bible. In answer to this pro-evolutionary stance, I am one of those Bible teachers who believe that the implications of evolution involve sweeping changes to the Christian faith and life. continue

The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age: 7. Pride

Article by   December 2014
Now as we conclude our series, we come at last to the vice of Pride, "the Great Sin" as C.S. Lewis calls it, and as the Christian tradition has consistently taught. It is both the first and the last of sins: the mother which gives birth to all the others, but which, when grown to its full stature, can supersede, even devour the others, and last long after they have been subdued. It is the mother of all other sins because Pride is, at its root, self-love, or rather, inordinate self-love. There is an appropriate self-love that in fact acts as a check on other vices, particularly sensual ones, in which we recognize ourselves as a creature and servant of God, and in due regard for our Maker and the task to which He has called us, seek health and well-being, and seek to pursue excellence of body, mind, and soul. continue

The Accident of Two Legs

Article by   December 2014
Part of what it means to love the Lord our God with our minds is that we are meant to interpret the world around us, the people we meet and see, ourselves and our relationships, in light of the sovereign plan and purpose of God. In other words, we are to interpret these things as they really are, and not as somehow irrelevant or inapplicable to Christianity. continue

Interstellar

Article by   December 2014
At the end of one of Christopher Nolan's most memorable films, The Prestige, one of the duelling magicians, Robert Angier, lies dying, and reproaches his rival, "You never understood why we did this. The audience knows the truth: the world... continue

The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas

Article by   December 2014
Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak. The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul's Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014. 201 pp. $18.00.Paul Copan and Kenneth Litwak have provided Christians with an interesting... continue

The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age: 6. Wrath

Article by   December 2014
As we come to Wrath in a Digital Age, we must once again by asking, "what is this vice exactly?" Is Wrath a vice like Gluttony - too much of a good thing, or wanting a good thing in the wrong way? Or is it more like Envy - intrinsically disordered, and purely destructive? continue

The Christian, Torture and Intercessory Prayer

Article by   December 2014
So the government authorizes, or the apparatus of the state undertakes, torture. So what? We live in a fallen world and we are not surprised that criminal activity insidiously seeps into the highest reaches of public authority and command. We are realists, we are not shaken. Of course, we may also not be shaken for other reasons which are equally theologically revealing. Exposed to the discourse of the 'war on terror', from news to TV shows and movies, it is likely that we live as citizens in fear. Our fear may be under control, but its control is technological. Surveillance, security, screening, and suspicion are the guarantors of our fragile peace. continue

Blood: A Critique of Christianity

Article by   December 2014
Gil Anidjar, Blood: A Critique of Christianity. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014. xvii + 441pp. $36.99/₤24.99Gil Anidjar's book is, as the subtitle indicates, a critique of Christianity: not some aspect of Christianity, or an inquiry into some part of Christian history,... continue

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