Essay / Theology

Lent with Benedict

The word “lent” is of Anglo-Saxon origin and literally means “spring,” though the practice of observing a 40 day period of preparation for Easter goes back to the time of the early Church and was a fully developed liturgical season by the twelfth century. In

Essay / Theology

“The Trinity and Our Moral Life”

I don’ think I’m giving away any surprise endings if I share a couple of key paragraphs from a 1963 book, Ceslaus Spicq’s The Trinity and our Moral Life According to St. Paul. After an introductory chapter on “the necessity of a revealed morality,” Spicq

Essay / Philosophy

Relationship Status: Best Friends with Myself

This week I had the opportunity to spend 12 hours discussing the topic of friendship with my students, guided by Aristotle’s work on the subject. While we found much that he says to be rich and helpful, one particular insight led to hours of fruitful

Essay / Literature

Some Books Just Aren’t Long Enough

Some books just aren’t long enough. I wasn’t more than a hundred pages into The Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkien when I began to dread the ending—not because it was so far away, but because it was going to come all too soon.

Essay / Theology

Gospel of Confession

Confession of sin is vital in the Christian life. It plays a powerful role in our coming to terms with ourselves and our sin, and in our attempts to reconcile ourselves with those we have wronged: ourselves, our neighbors and our God. But confession, it

Essay / Theology

Jesus as YHWH

A few years ago I ran across this chart that arranges Old Testament passages about God in juxtaposition to New Testament passages that use the same terminology about Christ. Check it out: It’s from a booklet called Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses (Who Love the Truth), by

Essay / Avant-Garde

Conversation on Theology & California

Here’s a one-hour video about theology and California, or, more specifically, Theology and California, the book of essays that Jason Sexton and I edited (Ashgate, 2014). You can view it at Open Biola (which includes several video and audio options), or stream the embedded version here

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 world, that we should be

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 the better part of wisdom

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 more obscure disciples, because I’ve

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 from Zondervan. Next year the

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 his manners were impeccable. He