Articles

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

The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age V. Envy

Article by   December 2014
Envy, like our previous vice, Sloth, is often misunderstood today. In fact, I suspect many of us are apt to confuse it somewhat with Greed. Both, it seems, boil down to wanting more stuff, so that Envy would seem to designate merely the sub-set of cases in which someone else already has the stuff that you want (and perhaps their having it is what prompts your wanting it). continue

Biblical proportion and balance

Article by   December 2014
The primary service which Systematic Theology performs for the preacher is to provide him with his message. But that's not all. It should also give his message biblical proportion and balance. After all, it is only too easy to ride hobby-horses, as witness the story of the old Presbyterian minister whose sermons invariably had the simple headings, 'First, a word about the text. Secondly, a word of application. Thirdly, a word about infant baptism.' continue

Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1541

Article by   December 2014
John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, translated from the first French Edition by Robert White. Edinburgh and Carlisle, Pa., Banner of Truth Trust, 2014, pp. xxxvi + 882.Not only is there the much-publicized question of Calvin and the Calvinists,... continue

The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age: 4. Sloth

Article by   November 2014
When we come to the subject of Sloth in a Digital Age, the diagnosis might seem obvious, if a tad moralistic. We are all familiar with the couch potato glued to the TV screen, or the teenager who neglects his homework for video games, or her homework for Instagram. In the modern world, we are taught to work only for the sake of attaining leisure, and digital media have become our favorite source of leisure. The vice of sloth, then, we deem, is the sin of laziness, of failing to be as productive as God calls us to be. continue

Finding Gratitude in Unlikely Places: A Thanksgiving Reflection

Article by   November 2014
Within Christian circles, it seems verboten to mention death and thanks in the same sentence, which is a shame, really. Death, no doubt, is an evil intrusion on God's good order, and, as Dylan Thomas wrote, we have every reason to rage against the dying of the light. But death also has a purifying quality--it burns away the dross of thanklessness. It makes the simple seem sacred, and the prosaic extraordinary. At least, it can do so if we develop the habit of looking at life through death. continue

Gratitude: An Intellectual History

Article by   November 2014
Peter J. Leithart, Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor University Press, 2014), 340 pages. $49.95/₤29.99The latest book from the prolific Peter Leithart is another installment of what we have come to expect: an accessibly written synthesis of specialist research advancing a... continue

The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age: 3. Greed

Article by   November 2014
Given what I have said in the last installment about Gluttony, you might well be wondering what we could possibly say about the distinctive shape of Greed in a digital age. Digital content, by its nature, cannot be possessed in the way that the traditional objects of avarice can; not only is it physically insubstantial, but it is limitlessly replicable, much to the dismay of the music industry. Whatever our attempts to extend the logic of ownership to digital content via intellectual property agreements, the fact remains that such content is essentially consumed (without limit) rather than possessed, inasmuch as possession pressupposes a certain scarcity. continue

Proofs, Persuasion and the Truth Problem

Article by   November 2014
In much of the history of apologetics, the notion of proof has been central. A defense of the faith, so it goes, is given when one gives a proof, or proofs, for the existence of a god. Once the proof is given, the apologetic task is done, and it might be prudent for the apologist to introduce his interlocutor to his pastor so that the central details of who this god is might be discussed. continue

Emil Brunner: A Reappraisal

Article by   November 2014
Alister E. McGrath. Emil Brunner: A Reappraisal. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. XIV, 246 pp. $99.95/£45.99The needs and purposes of scholarship, along with the peculiarities of the history of theology, have resulted in a hodge-podge collection of secondary literature on 20th... continue

The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age: 2. Gluttony

Article by   November 2014
At first glance, the subject of "gluttony in a digital age" might seem almost a joke. However much gluttony might be a dominant vice in our society (and in one of the most perceptive chapters of The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis reveals it to be far more pervasive than we might have imagined), it can have little to do with the digital side of our lives. If gluttony is a matter of over-consuming food and drink, the things most central to our bodily existence, then our use of digital technologies, which we engage with the eyes and the mind, cannot be an issue of gluttony. continue

Ministry to Those Suffering Domestic Abuse

Article by   November 2014
We now come to the final article in this series. Here we will discuss hurdles victims face on the path to healing, faulty and harmful approaches to "helping" those who suffer abuse, and a few suggestions on how to minister the victims of domestic abuse. Tragically, at least one in four women experiences violence from her partner at some point in her adult life. And tragically, that rate is no different among Christian homes and homes of other faiths or no faith. In fact, research shows that Christian women stay far longer in the abusive context and in far more severe abuse than their non-Christian counterparts. continue

The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age: 1. Lust

Article by   November 2014
When the subject of "Lust in a digital age" comes up, our minds are likely to jump immediately to the suffocating epidemic of internet pornography that is sweeping our country--indeed, the world. Although it is still rarely openly discussed, most of us are probably dimly aware of the statistics, which are terrifying, and the anecdotes, which are more terrifying still. More than two-thirds of men now report watching porn on at least a weekly basis, and many report full-blown addictive behaviors, watching porn daily, for hours on end, and seeking out ever more perverse and degrading videos. continue

The Bible Tells Me So

Article by   November 2014
Peter Enns, The Bible Tells Me So ...: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It. New York: Harper Collins, 2014. $17.99/£10.99This is not an easy book to review because a review calling into question the accuracy of statements... continue

Origen and Scripture

Article by   November 2014
Peter W. Martens, Origen and Scripture: The Contours of the Exegetical Life. Oxford Early Christian Studies (Oxford: OUP, 2012) xii +280. $117.00 hb. $34.00 pb The reception of Origen is nothing if not tumultuous. Unquestionably one of the greatest minds of... continue

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