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Lenten Reflections: The Temptation of Jesus

Day 24 – Friday, March 9 Scripture: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they

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Achieving a Luminosity: Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Biblical Paintings

A few years ago I was looking for paintings to use as background images for a lecture. I wanted some biblical imagery that featured scenery over characters, added some beauty and atmosphere without taking over, and was all by one artist so that there weren’t

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Cross in Pompeii and Ancient Theology

In case you weren’t paying close attention, 2015 was a bad year for an old thesis. You may have heard or read the claim that Christians in the first three centuries of the church didn’t use the cross in their art or worship—that it was

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Adjusting the Soundtrack of the Atonement

When we think about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we often do so with an image or a set of biblical passages and categories in mind. Much like the score in a movie, those categories help us make sense of Jesus’ death. For

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Nate Butler: Lecture on the Biola Christian Comics Collection

The Biola University Library is the home of the largest and most comprehensive archive of Christian comic books gathered anywhere. It is a deep, diverse, and unusual collection, which was established in 2015 when two major caches passed from private collections into the safekeeping of this

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On Traveling

Traveling has not always been a big deal but for the past two centuries it has become fashionable to travel. In the early Middle Ages it was difficult to get a lot of places. The old Roman road system had collapsed under the weight of

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“Every Shepherd Soul” and the Invisible Mission of the Son

The Christmas carols have a peculiar way of talking about the birth of Jesus. A number of them –especially the Victorian ones, though earlier examples exist– talk about Bethlehem here and now, making room in the inn of your heart, hearing the angel’s message of

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Theodicy of Woodworking: Hope in Change

I recently wrote about the theology of woodworking, giving a theological case for the joy we have in craftsmanship. Recently, however, I realized a rather grave omission on my part, which I would now like to remedy. In general terms, my omission had to do

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Olivuccio de Ceccarello’s Works of Mercy (Part 1)

Not much is known about the late fourteenth century painter named Olivuccio di Ceccarello. What is known is that he worked in Ancona, a seaside town on the central eastern coast of Italy, from at least 1388 and was probably born before 1366, dying ca.

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A Theology of Woodworking: The Creative Joy of Oak

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our furniture family: a mid-sized oak bookcase. And more importantly, of course, I would like to introduce you to the theology behind it. A Bit About the Case The bookcase is built from white

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Christian Comics Collection at Biola Library

Today the Biola University Library announced the opening of its Christian Comics Collection, an archive of comic books housed as a special collection in the university library’s archives. The announcement was made at the second annual Alpha-Omega Con held at Redeemer Church in La Mirada (I’ve been

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No Mules Were Skinned: The History of the Muleskinner Blues

Let’s say you get obsessed with a song. And let’s say it’s an old song, one that’s been around a long time and has been performed so many ways that it’s no longer possible to name any particular version of it as definitive. If you’re