Essay / Theology

"These Things Presuppose the Eternity of the Son of God." -Bengel

A little treat from 18th century Lutheran scholar J.A. Bengel's commentary on Ephesians, or rather from the Ephesians section of his wonderful Gnomon of the New Testament. Commenting on Ephesians 1:4, "he chose us in him before the foundation of the…

Essay / Theology

Stick to Your Proper Business

An (unsigned) editorial by R. A Torrey in the September 1916 edition of Biola's King's Business shares a story about a busy pastor learning a lesson about time management. Seven resignations in one day is pretty inspirational (though in retrospect…

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Essay / Theology

Fittest Type of All Disciples: Bartholomew / Nathanael

A Bible study group at my church had a great idea for a series of lessons: studying each of the disciples. Even though I'd love to learn more about John or Peter, I asked them to let me teach one of the…

Essay / Theology

LATC16: The Voice of God in the Text of Scripture

We've just wrapped up the third annual Los Angeles Theology Conference.  I'll post video of the plenary talks in a few weeks, and before the year's out, look for the book, Locating Atonement: Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics, to be available…

Essay / Avant-Garde

If You Had Been There

Once upon a time --not quite “in the beginning,” but not too long after-- a snake had a question. He sauntered up and posed it quite politely, and if you’d been there you’d have agreed that both his posture and…

Essay / Theology

"All the Prophets Proclaimed These Days"

In Acts 3, near the end of his sermon in Solomon's Portico, Peter says that "all the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted these days" in which God would bring salvation in…

Essay / Theology

"Do Not Endeavour to Shuffle Away or Evade Those Strong Words" (Wesley)

[caption id="attachment_27187" align="alignright" width="209"] John Wesley's Death Mask[/caption] So John Wesley was sighted last week in an "I heart Pelagius" T-shirt, and Christian Buzzfeed has the .gif. But even if you've already taken the clickbait, I can 'splain. You won't…

Essay / Blog

When He Became a Child, the Affection Came

Francis Spufford wrote not long ago of "why, despite everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense." The great paradoxes of the faith--incarnation and crucifixion--would seem to resist any attempt to "make sense" of them. But, if one best enters…

Essay / Theology

God's Substantial Word (Lesson 9: John 1)

We’ve said a lot of things tonight. We’ve spoken so many clumsy words, and we’ve sung so many beautiful ones, but now they’re all gone. They echoed around for a while but then they faded out. Everything we’ve said and…

Essay / Theology

A Wedding Homily for Scott and Joanne

for Scott Munekawa and Joanne Santomauro, December 21, 2014 Scott and Joanne, welcome to your wedding! Don’t they look beautiful, everyone? What a delightful day; there’s such a rich sense of arrival about a day like today, isn’t there? And…

Essay / Theology

Angels Above to Shepherds Below (Lesson 8: Luke 2)

We all wonder about angels, and angels are all about wonder. I have so many questions about angels. Do they fly by flapping their wings, or more like Superman? Do they sing? What do you call a group of angels?…