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Theology Articles

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I was recently reflecting on my doctoral training and I realized that I learned a few things (ten, to be precise) beyond the actual subject matter of my discipline. For starters, I learned that footnotes can be overdone.

  • Mickey Klink III — 

    In an earlier post I mentioned a book on biblical theology that my colleague and I had nearly finished writing. The book is finally finished, and is entitled: Understanding BIblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice (Zondervan).

  • John Hutchison — 

    Paradox has a prominent place in Christian theology. Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it" ... While these paradoxical statements are challenging and even confusing at times, they can also become a source of great comfort and encouragement when life does not turn out the way we expect.

  • John McKinley — 

    “Here I am again. What does it mean to do this in Christ?” This was my thought as I rode my carbon-fiber bicycle on the streets of Torrance on Sunday afternoon. I was nervously warming up for my first bicycle race after having been away from the sport for 19 years. Many things were familiar and came back to me automatically: pinning the race number on my jersey so the wind wouldn’t catch it, calming myself as I rode around the course, checking how the wind was blowing, and sliding in to the start line so as to be in the front.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    It's Good Friday, just after noon.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    At the intersection of Christian psychology and theology, much has been made in recent decades of our identity in Christ. I am assured that grasping the fact that I am “chosen, holy, and loved by God” (Colossians 3:12) is indispensable to a true view of myself as a Christian. Appropriating my identity in Christ forms the crucial foundation for healthy relationships with others, as well.

  • Mark Saucy — 

    So here on the eve of Biola’s Conference “Israel the Church and the Middle East Crisis” I’m flushed out of my long blog hiding (or lethargy). That’s right, my maiden venture to blog-country is urged by some real angst in my heart about neglect of Israel. Now, Israel-angst of this kind is a subgenus to a larger malady I’ve seen around me in evangelicalism for some time—Eschatolitis—a form of the passive neglect of doctrine in general, but in this case, the doctrine of the End Times.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    This post is written for and dedicated to those who desire a deeper communion with God through prayer and who struggle with distractions, distortions, or disillusionment.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    Human sacrifice is at once a most disturbing and inspiring theme of the Scriptures. It can demonstrate both what is wrong with the world and what is right. Let me explain.

  • David Talley — 

    Men are called to be leaders in their homes, but what does this mean? Does it mean that we make sure we pray with our families, have regular family Bible readings, own a good set of commentaries so we can be the “Bible Answer Man” when called upon, make sure the family is at church whenever the doors are open, create Power Point presentations to teach our family Bible doctrine, set up guidelines for our children that come straight out of the Bible, etc.? What does godly leadership look like on a day to day basis? In order to answer this question, I want to offer a definition of godly leadership in the home and then propose two major errors one makes in seeking to be a godly leader.

  • John McKinley — 

    Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History, Diana Lynn Severance (Ross-Shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2011) 336 pp. $15 ($12 on Amazon; or $11.39 on Kindle) Overall, the book is challenging and informative for me as a male Christian. I have been mostly ignorant of the many deep and lasting contributions of women throughout the history of the church. The fascinating chronicles informed me to be full of admiration for these particular women, and for Christian women throughout the world today who struggle for basic human rights. I recognize that women continue to be disregarded, demeaned, patronized, minimized, and marginalized in evangelical churches and Western cultures today. Severance’s book is the beginning of a helpful corrective for the church to value women as equal heirs of the gift of grace.

  • Rob Lister — 

    One of the things I've struggled with over the years is knowing how to best pursue my own productivity goals. At various times, I’ve experienced everything from “productivity pride” to “productivity disappointment” to “productivity envy.” Along the way, I have learned that I don’t have to battle my productivity struggles in my own strength. And as a result of some of those lessons, I’ve collated a few items that I regularly pray for in relation to my productivity pursuits.

  • Uche Anizor — 

    Check out this excellent and thought provoking post by theologian Stephen Holmes from St. Andrews. Read the post here

  • Clint Arnold — 

    Come and find out the answer to this question on Wednesday evening, March 7th, 7:00-8:30pm, at the Mayers Hall Auditorium at Biola University. This is the title of a free public lecture by Dr. Simon Gathercole, Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Cambridge. The event will conclude with a Q&A session.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    These days have been filled with contrasts for me. In a way, we all face these contrasts, but when they are too close to each other, the tensions they produce literally move us from joy to tears. One the one hand, my baby daughter is now two-months-old. My wife and I celebrate the joy of her life and are thankful for the Lord’s blessing upon us. We are tired and somewhat sleep deprived, but her smile brings joy to our existence and reminds us about the goodness of life. On the other hand, however, it was the second anniversary of my dad’s passing and I find myself missing him more every day. Dead is as real as life and both bring deep emotions that flow from the core of our beings. Why can we be so happy and so sad at the same time?

  • John McKinley — 

    My students usually have trouble grasping Chalcedonian Christology that Jesus, God the Son, lives as one person in two natures, simultaneously. I’ve thought about this repeatedly enough that the traditional formulation feels familiar to me, but students hearing it for the first time are confounded. Maybe I should be confounded more myself, and allow the mystery to creep in more heavily when I consider the Incarnation. I like to add that it’s appropriate when we think about Jesus and the deep things of God that we feel a bit dizzy. But we still need to try and make sense of it however we may grasp at these deep things with our feeble minds. Often I find that the hardest thing is not in thinking that Jesus is eternally God the Son, or that he is a true human being, but that he lives a dual life by possessing both natures and living through them at the same time (the hypostatic union). The analogy I explain to them from our life experience is focused on understanding the simultaneity of the Incarnation for God the Son.

  • Uche Anizor — 

    Herman Bavinck helpfully (as usual) comments on a proper way to understand “tradition” and its relationship to Scripture and theology: “[F]or a correct understanding [of the Bible] it still often requires a wide range of historical, archaeological, and geographical skills and information. The times have changed, and with the times people, their life, thought, and feelings, have changed. Therefore, a tradition is needed that preserves the connectedness between Scripture and the religious life of our time. Tradition in its proper sense is the interpretation and application of the eternal truth in the vernacular and life of the present generation. Scripture without such a tradition is impossible . . ."

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    As part of a 16-week overview of the Story of Scripture, I am preaching on the Ten Commandments this Sunday at church. The Second Commandment, in particular, has generated a variety of explanations: “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below” (Exodus 20:4). Why no images? Explanations vary, and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Here are just a few:

  • Uche Anizor — 

    Mark Thompson of Moore College offers some helpful observations regarding the difference between patristic and modern treatments of the Trinity. Here's an excerpt: Patristic trinitarian thinking and writing appears more overtly biblical, and specifically more exegetical, than much modern writing. Sometimes that exegetical work is tortuous and repetitive, as in some of Athanasius' orations against the Arians. Sometimes it is crisp and leaves important questions unanswered. Yet the Bible is in the foreground rather than in the background in many of the patristic treatments of the doctrine. In contrast, much of the modern discussion glances off the Bible and shies away from sustained exegetical comment.

  • Uche Anizor — 

    Does our union with Christ have anything to say about Christian social justice? Todd Billings in chapter 4 of Union with Christ makes this vital connection

  • Mickey Klink III — 

    In a recent book on the state of education and the Knowledge of God, The State of the University: Academic Knowledges and the Knowledge of God(Blackwell. 2007), Stanley Hauerwas decries the lack of seriousness with which theological education is undertaken and perceived. His comparison with another “education” is revealing:

  • Alan Gomes — 

    [This Lord's Supper meditation was given at Grace Evangelical Free Church of La Mirada on 1.29.12.] Tonight we are about to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, in which we focus our thoughts on the marvelous work of redemption that Christ accomplished for us. In the next 10 minutes or so, I’d like us to mediate upon the depth of what transpired.

  • Uche Anizor — 

    In the second chapter of Billings’ Union with Christ, he takes issue with the reduction of Reformed theology to the TULIP acronym. Specifically, regarding “total depravity” he questions the notion that one can properly understand a Reformed (or biblical) doctrine of depravity within the limited scope of the so-called “five points.”

  • Rob Price — 

    I’m not the only one who’s been reading Billings. Uche Anizor has been at it, too, and he’ll soon be posting comments here on specific chapters of Billings’s book. Meanwhile, I’ll add a few of my own on Billings’s foundational first chapter on union with Christ as the ground of our adoption.

  • Rob Price — 

    Todd Billings is one of evangelicalism’s brightest up-and-coming pastor-scholars. From missions work in Uganda, to a Harvard Ph.D., to an adopted daughter from Ethiopia, Billings is advancing many of the projects dear to evangelicalism. You may have seen his wonderful cover article for Christianity Today (October 2011) on the theological interpretation of Scripture. In November 2011 he published the distillation of nearly a decade’s sustained reflection on a theme that is central to the gospel: the believer’s union with Christ.