Historical Theology Articles

  • Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation in the Reformation Movement: Impact on Ministry with Children in Churches Today [i] , Part II As I shared...

  • Kevin E. Lawson — 

    Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation in the Reformation Movement: Impact on Ministry with Children in Churches Today [i] , Part I As most of you...

  • Thaddeus John Williams — 

    The 16th century church was in dire need of a Reformation. What about today, a half millennium later? Is the 21st century church due for another Reformation, a Re-Reformation? Professor Williams shares his thoughts ...

  • Karin Stetina — 

    About half the world is made up of women. Books such as Half the Sky (Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn) and Half the Church (Carolyn Custis James) highlight how important it is for the Evangelical church to consider God’s vision both locally and globally for women. In the light of the Gospel, the church during the Reformation also wrestled with women’s place, in the church, marriage, and society. While the Protestant Reformers did not set out to define women’s roles, as they fleshed out their theological convictions of sola Scriptura and the priesthood of all believers, they were faced with addressing the question of how women are to participate in the church and the world as both receivers and conveyors of the Gospel. Did the Reformers’ responses result in “constraining” women by moving their ministry from the convent to the home (as Jane Dempsey Douglass argues), or did it provide them with “new dignity” (as Stephen Nichols suggests)? The answer to that question is complicated ...

  • Mark R. Saucy — 

    Imagine my double-take when I was confronted with this assessment of our comparative religions by an Orthodox believer several years ago back in Ukraine: “Mark, you Protestants follow a religion of professors, whereas we Orthodox … the religion of monks" ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Dr. Ken Berding is a colleague of mine at Biola University. Like me, he is very interested in the Apostolic Fathers. He recently wrote a brief and interesting introduction to the Apostolic Fathers called The Apostolic Fathers: A Narrative Introduction, which is different from any other book of its kind. Professor Berding was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about some of the earliest church fathers and his recent book. Enjoy! ...

  • Octavio Javier Esqueda — 

    En este año se celebra alrededor del mundo los 500 años del inicio de lo que se conoce como La Reforma protestante. El 31 de octubre de 1517 el monje agustino Martín Lutero clavó en la puerta de la Iglesia del Castillo en Wittenberg en Alemania 95 tesis en las que criticaba abiertamente las ventas de indulgencias de la iglesia católica romana. Lutero escogió ese día deliberadamente ya que era la víspera del Día de Todos los Santos y tanto la facultad de la universidad como muchos fieles asistían a la iglesia. Lutero inicialmente no tenía la intención de romper con la iglesia romana sino enfatizar la supremacía del evangelio de Cristo basada en su simplicidad y a la vez en su gran profundidad ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    For many years I have been curious about a Roman governor known to us from history as Pliny the Younger. My interest initially arose because I resided for four years in one of the principal cities he governed—not to mention that one of my four daughters was born in that city. Moreover, since I have expended significant effort studying the writings of the earliest Christian authors after the period of the apostles (those authors known as the “Apostolic Fathers”), I continue to be intensely interested in learning anything I possibly can about the lives of Christians who lived during the first half of the second century ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I just finished reading Owen Strachan’s book, Awakening the Evangelical Mind: An Intellectual History of the Neo-Evangelical Movement. He has some good words for how to keep evangelical universities, well … evangelical. These three paragraphs are worth the three minutes it will take you to read them ...

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Kenneth Berding (Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology) recently wrote and published The Apostolic Fathers: A Narrative Introduction. We wanted to learn more about this book, so we had Ken respond to some questions ...

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    In my previous post, I introduced my book on warfare in the ancient Near East and the Old Testament. Before we look at more serious topics, we will begin our survey of the book by looking at a very practical matter: going to the bathroom in battle. Unfortunately, the ancient kings did not often refer to the topic in their martial accounts. However, a few details have come down to us!

  • William Lane Craig — 

    This is the weekly Q & A blog post by our Research Professor in Philosophy, Dr. William Lane Craig. Dr. Craig, ... Recently I was witnessing to a friend of mine who is an atheist and he had a friend with him who is a religious studies major. As we got into the historicity of Jesus and His resurrection I argued for the origins of the church and the subsequent conversions of James the brother of Jesus and Saul of Tarsus. I was a little thrown off by the response of the religious studies major who stated "Hardly any scholar believes Paul actually existed. It is believed it was a pseudonym for a number of anonymous church members to get their beliefs into church doctrine" ...

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Darian Locket (Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Talbot School of Theology) recently wrote and published Letters from the Pillar Apostles: The Formation of the Catholic Epistles as a Canonical Collection. We wanted to learn more about this book, so we had Darian respond to some questions ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    What was unique about Christian practices and teachings in the first three centuries of the church? And how did such a minority faith — which was considered irrelevant, extreme, and at odd with the role “religion” is supposed to play in a pagan society — ultimately prevail? In his recent book Destroyer of the gods, New Testament scholar Larry Hurtado focuses on the first of these questions. But his book also has powerful implications for the second.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I have just finished reading through (most of) the new 1,200+ page book, The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures, edited by D.A. Carson. This book is a splendid example of deep thinking about important subjects presented in a format readable not just for advanced students and scholars, but also for other deep-thinking Christians. I am not saying that the topics are simple. Quite to the contrary, this book tackles some of the most difficult questions surrounding the authority of Scripture. The doctrine of inerrancy in particular is underscored throughout the book ...

  • William Lane Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, Your ministry has radically changed my life. As a direct result of your arguments and debates, I went from a nihilist to a staunch Christian. However, I have encountered a problem with the ontological argument. Is there a contradiction between perfect justice and perfect mercy in a maximally great being? The way I have seen this objection posed is that the Christian God is just and merciful. Mercy is defined as the suspension of justice. Thus there is a contradiction. I have also seen the argument being put as perfect justice is giving everyone what they're due, and perfect mercy is giving some people less than what they're due. Is this objection as crushing as its proponents make it out to be? ...

  • Ryan Peterson — 

    Christian anthropologies have been of vital importance throughout the history of the church because at each point in history there are cultural assumptions and philosophical perspectives about the nature of humanity that call the gospel into question, that question God’s Lordship, humanity’s servanthood, and their genuine fellowship in Jesus Christ. To maintain a biblical understanding of salvation, Christians have needed to emphasize humanity’s existence as embodied and as spiritual, as moved by intellect and by desire, as motivated by the will and as motivated by habitual acts that shape the will. These realities of human existence have been uncovered as theologians have thought through the logic of the gospel and its proclamation in their context ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    In his classic book on sanctification, Holiness, J.C. Ryle includes a poignant paragraph on the divine and human natures of Christ.

  • Sean McDowell — 

    In my recent book The Fate of the Apostles, I examine the claim that the apostles died as martyrs for their faith. One apostle who often gets overlooked is James, the brother of Jesus. While James wasn’t one of the Twelve, there is good reason to believe he was not a believer of Jesus during his public ministry (Mark 3:20-35; John 7:5), he saw the risen Jesus (1 Cor. 15:7), and became the key leader in the Jerusalem church (Gal. 2:9; Acts 21:17-26) ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    Since the release of The Passion, faith-based films have been coming out from Hollywood at an increased rate. On the one hand, faith-based films are often cheesy and unrealistic. On the other hand, many lose the spirit of the original story and are utterly inaccurate (Noah, anyone?) With a bit of hesitancy, my wife and I went to see Risen last night. All things considered, we were both pleasantly surprised! ...

  • Sean McDowell — 

    In my recent book The Fate of the Apostles, I make the historical case that the apostles were all willing to suffer and die for their belief that they had seen the risen Jesus. This does not prove the truth of their claims, but that they were sincere. But what about Joseph Smith? Didn’t he die as a martyr for his faith? Does that mean he was equally sincere, and hence Mormonism may be true as well?

  • Mark R. Saucy — 

    You know that part of your Bible where the gold leaf on the pages still looks pretty fresh? Some of the pages might still even be stuck together. Or, more au courant, the portion you rarely scroll to on your phone or iPad … That’s right, for most of us it’s that part of the Bible starting right after Psalms and going all the way to Matthew. A lot of prophets big and little, and a good bit of Israel’s Wisdom tradition—but it just doesn’t get a lot of air-time in most evangelical churches or personal Bible-reading. Now, I’m the first to admit that last claim stems from my own highly subjective internal polling data, and I’m glad to be proven wrong; but I don’t think I am, because I know a good bit of it’s true in my own life ...

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    On April 25, 1967, the church lost a great Christian philosopher and apologist named Edward John Carnell. He was almost 48 years old. Today marks the 48th anniversary of his death. He was a graduate of Wheaton College and of Westminster Theological Seminary. He later earned doctoral degrees in theology and philosophy, at Harvard Divinity School and Boston University, respectively ...

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    Arnold Lunn was born to a Methodist minister, but he was himself agnostic and a critic of Christianity—until he was 45 years old, when he converted to the faith. Lunn died on June 2, 1974. Lunn was a professional skier and full-time enthusiast. He founded the Alpine Ski Club and the Kandahar Ski Club. He brought slalom skiing to the racing world, and he’s the namesake for a double black diamond ski trail at Taos Ski Valley. Lunn credited his agnosticism to the wholly unconvincing cause of Anglicanism. He looked in vain for persuasive arguments for the existence of God and the truth of Christianity. Later he would say that “an odd hour or two at the end of a boy’s school life might not be unprofitably spend in armouring him against the half-baked dupes of ill informed secularists” (The Third Day, xvii). He wrote in criticism of the faith and debated Christianity’s prominent defenders ...

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    Born in 1861, W. H. Griffith Thomas died on June 2, 1924. His greatest and most sophisticated work is his book The Principles of Theology, a commentary on the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church. But one short and reader-friendly book that should interest students of Christian apologetics is How We Got Our Bible ...