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Articles by John McKinley



  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    Part 1 of this seriesintroduced the problem of why we are addicted to judging. Part 2 analyzed the actual troubles caused by both negative and...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    Part 1 of this seriesintroduced the problem of why we are addicted to judging. This second portion analyzes the actual troubles caused by both...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    I suppose that some judgments in some exceptional cases are more helpful than hurtful. Most people recognize that negative judgments are damaging,...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    I notice many helpful correlations between the activities of cooking food and the activities of doing theology. The analogy is illuminating and...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    I have been reading Devoted to God: Blueprints for Sanctification by Sinclair Ferguson (Banner of Truth, 2016). Among the many things I appreciate...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    I have heard Christians say as a matter of fact that “God sees all sin as the same.” Often, there can be some humility in this sentiment, since I...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    I have noticed when reading biblical passages that I prefer to identify with the good people in the narrative or background of the epistle. Often...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    By “keeping track,” I mean that God is watching and remembering everything that we are doing. This might seem creepy and a violation of privacy if...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    People have mixed feelings about the past. For many reasons, the past is painful, so we want to forget it entirely. The ability to forget can be a...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    We might offer many answers to this question beyond the basic reply of “becoming like Jesus” (Rom 8:28-29; 2 Cor 3:18), but there is one aspect of...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    October 31 is Reformation Day. Read Associate Professor of Theology John McKinley's thoughts on this historical event.

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    Many Christians typically follow the model of directing prayer to “our Father” but switch to the term “God” for conversation and theologizing. Why...

  • Talbot Magazine

    The Purpose in Our Everyday Strains & Pains

    How Luther’s theology of the cross helps us see God at work in our suffering

    John McKinley — 

    Sanctification is a difficult doctrine. One complication is the way the Bible talks about sanctification both as an accomplished status, calling Christians saints who have been sanctified, and how sanctification is an ongoing, lifelong process of God’s work on the Christian.

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    I often prefer to work on projects alone, instead of as part of a group or with a partner. Working alone seems efficient and clear, because I only...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    In part 1 , part 2 , and part 3 of this essay, I reflected on what makes for a balanced life in terms of the bodily needs for proper care in...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    In part 1 and part 2 of this essay, I reflected on what makes for a balanced life in terms of the bodily needs for proper care in feeding the...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    In part 1 of this essay, I reflected on what makes for a balanced life in terms of the bodily needs for proper care in feeding the body. I...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    I am not good at balance, but I am aware of the need for it. We all make hundreds of choices every day that are small in themselves, but have...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    It is easy for Christians to feel distant from God and overwhelmed with the stresses of daily life. It does not work for us to simply reproach...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    Prayer is unnatural and often dubious, so it is difficult. We wonder if we have the right motives, if we will be heard by God, and if we have...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    Imagine in the year 2047 that anti-aging therapies have developed so far that wealthy people not only cease aging, but some have begun to reverse. A few have even started to celebrate reverse birthdays in accordance with their rehabilitated age. “I found a way to fill the gap on my financial aid and expenses.” Tony was Sam’s roommate on the seventh floor college dorm. Sam had the money to buy a house near campus just for himself, but he longed for normalcy and community ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    Imagine in the year 2047 that anti-aging therapies have developed so far that wealthy people not only cease aging, but some have begun to reverse. A few have even started to celebrate reverse birthdays in accordance with their rehabilitated age. At this point, Sam had aged chronologically to ninety-three. Instead of looking ahead or behind, he could only concentrate on the day he was in ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    Imagine in the year 2047 that anti-aging therapies have developed so far that wealthy people not only cease aging, but some have begun to reverse. A few have even started to celebrate reverse birthdays in accordance with their rehabilitated age. Once sixty-seven, Sam now marks his age at forty-two. With the turn around he has re-entered life with friends of his newfound youth ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    In the fourth verse of the popular modern hymn, “In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, we hear this line that poses Hell as our enemy: “No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand.” My ear has been catching a similar idea of Hell as a powerful enemy in several other contemporary worship songs. My guess is that songwriters are (perhaps) unwittingly drawing on Jesus’ statement in Matthew 16:18, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (NASB[1], NIV, NKJV). Other translations give “the gates of hell” (ESV, NLT, KJV; the Greek text has "Hades" not "Gehenna"). I prefer the RSV and NET that give “the powers of death” by interpreting the usage of Hades in line with Sheol of the OT, referring to the place of the dead, particularly for the wicked. The slip of meaning from “Hades” to “Hell” is understandable, but this causes a problem theologically that we need to pause and consider more closely ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    John McKinley — 

    In Part 1, I observed that Christian forgiveness includes several conditions leading to reconciliation of a relationship that was violated by one person sinning against another. Jesus’ commands that the person wronged must “show him his fault” (Matt 18:15) as the first condition, to be followed by his repentance, and then we may respond by forgiving him. Common Christian talk about forgiveness tends not to include the necessity of repentance; consequently, many Christians attempt forgiveness and yet fail to live in it. Along with this claim that repentance is necessary to forgiveness, I am aware of the need for at least four caveats ...