Essay / Theology

Persons Human & Divine (Ussher)

The discussion of personhood in James Ussher's 1648 systematic theology (A Body of Divinity: The Sum and Substance of the Christian Religion) is brief, and interesting on several counts. Ussher divides the discussion into two parts: Persons in general, "and…

Essay / Theology

The Economic Trinity is the Dispensational Trinity (for Bob Saucy)

Robert Saucy (1930-2015) taught systematic theology for 54 years at Biola University's Talbot School of Theology. If you doubled Bob's length of service, you'd have the number 108, which is one year older than Biola itself. Bob began teaching at…

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Essay / Theology

"Everything Contrary to Right Reason is a Sin" (Clement)

Clement of Alexandria's Paedagogus reads like a spiritual guidebook that crashed into a book of manners. If that doesn't make sense to us, it might be because  we don't see all of life's domains jointed together, as Clement did. Virtue,…

Essay / Theology

Christian Stoicism (Clement of Alexandria)

People who worry about the hellenization, or greekifying, of Christianity tend to worry about Platonism. But the interaction with Stoicism has been equally complex and interesting. Clement of Alexandria (ca 150-215)'s fascinating book Paedagogus is a great early example. The…

Essay / Theology

Dedicated to a Whole Bunch of Propositions

Fivescore and seven years ago, our founding fathers brought forth in Los Angeles a Bible Institute. Here's the 30-minute talk I gave in Biola chapel on Feb 25, 2015, Biola's 107th anniversary. If you don't know the Biola story, this…

Essay / Theology

Shorthand Despair, Shorthand Hope

Someone recently asked me a question about John Wesley. The person who wrote to me had long found Wesley's spirituality helpful and encouraging, but were troubled by something they had read: Somewhere they ran across a few lines from a…

Essay / Theology

Where Demons Fear to Tread: Angels and the Atonement

  One of the better views of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is from the Ponte Sant’Angelo, a beautiful bridge lined with statues of angels, each bearing some token of the passion of Jesus—the cross, the nails, the crown of…

Essay / Theology

HCG Moule's Outlines: Christology (2)

More good stuff from HCG Moule's Outlines of Christian Doctrine. Moule read the 39 Articles as a straightforwardly Reformed document, and although he was calm and never feisty about his brand of Anglican Calvinism, it had solid edges. Here he…

Essay / Theology

Moule's Outlines of Christian Doctrine (1)

H.C.G. Moule (1841-1920) was a great expositor who served as bishop of Durham for 19 years. I would be hard pressed to name my favorite book from among the many that he wrote, but there's something special about the brief…

Essay / Theology

God's Philanthropia Manifested

Something God has never been without is philanthropia, love of humanity, and this divine attribute was manifested in Christ. Here's how Paul puts it in Titus 3:3-7: For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions…