Essay / Literature

An Interview with Adam Johnson on the Atonement

Adam Johnson has made it his mission to think through the atonement, to look at it from as many angles as possible, to explore and expound the glories of God’s work in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ to reconcile to himself all things.

Essay / Literature

An Introduction to Karl Barth

This post originally appeared on Dr. Johnson’s website. I am an unabashed fan of Karl Barth. I often tell my students that for my money, he is the best theologian in the history of the church. Yes, I am aware that this statement communicates more


Essay / Culture

Roger Lundin (1949-2015)

I remember him larger than life. He was a big man—tall, solidly built, with a voice that boomed and the occasional flair for the dramatic. To this day, nearly twenty years later, the lasting image I have of Roger Lundin finds him crawling across the

Essay / Education

“Homer is Like Sirens… His Myths are Not There for Fun”

Bishop Eustathius of Thessalonica (1115-1195) wrote a long, Greek commentary on the Iliad, which he introduced with this commendation of Homer. He thinks everybody should read Homer, but his strategy seems to be making the poet seem deep, dark, and dangerous: Homer is like Sirens.

Essay / Literature

Basement of the Museum

On the second page of a long book about the plays of Aeschylus, critic Thomas Rosenmeyer explains how he intends to proceed. He wants to help modern non-specialists, readers who are getting their Aeschylus in English, by showing them how to avoid “some of the

Essay / Literature

The Metaphysics of Candlelight

Nature’s Distilled Sunlight Have you ever wondered why you loved candlelight? And what is so mesmerizing about the embers of a campfire? It is as though the depths of wisdom were contained in the spectrum of reds, oranges, yellows and blues, glowing and pulsing with life.

Essay / Culture

The Theologian’s Stone: Atonement In Harry Potter, Book I

This post originally appeared on Dr. Johnson’s website. “It is a monstrous thing, to slay a unicorn…. Only one who has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, would commit such a crime. The blood of a unicorn will keep you alive, even if you

Essay / Literature

A Review of Vidu’s “Atonement, Law and Justice”

Adonis Vidu, “Atonement, Law and Justice.” Grand Rapids: Baker, 2014. Vidu’s recent book is worth a careful read for two substantial developments. In the first five chapters, Vidu traces the inter-relationship between the atonement (specifically focused on penal substitution) and understandings of law throughout history, starting a

Essay / Culture

In Defense of ‘Ramona’ and Other Children’s Classics

I teach classics for a living. As a result, my kids overhear conversations and snippets of conversations about Homer, Dante, Shakespeare and a host of others. But that’s not all they hear, for as someone devoted to the classics, I share this love with them

Essay / Literature

Wuthering Adoption: Emily Brontë, Christ’s Atonement and Adoption

The families in Wuthering Heights only recover from the adoption of Heathcliff when, like the Israelites after their refusal to enter the Promised Land, everyone of that generation was dead (Num. 14:20-23). But adoption is a beautiful representation of the work of Christ—or even better,

Essay / Culture

Confessing the Generations

(This is in some ways a sequel to my earlier post, “Gospel of Confession”) Perhaps, like me, you have dreaded your turn to tell your conversion story at a church event. I would open my story with an apology: “well, my story really isn’t very

Essay / Culture

Because of Fairies

Recently, I spent twelve hours discussing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with sophomores in the Torrey Honors Institute. (What a job!) I love this play more and more. It’s easy to miss its richness–it’s such a romp! Here’s the thing that struck me in reading