Essay / Art

Hours of the Compassion of God

A set of images from the Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves, a Dutch Gothic illuminated manuscript from about 1440 (see below for more information on the source). In a series of nine pages, the artist gives us the legend of the cross, which

Essay / Theology

Creeping to the Cross (At Home)

In medieval England there was a unique part of the Good Friday service called “creeping to the cross.” It was a ritual procession that involved approaching the cross barefoot and on your knees. Being on your knees like that, “creeping,” is a physical expression of

Essay / Theology

Conversation on the Future of Protestantism (April 29)

The Reformation (rumors to the contrary notwithstanding) wasn’t a total break from the Christian past; not a clean start; not a do-over from scratch. For the early Protestants, the whole point of reforming the church was to find a way of standing in continuity with

Essay / Theology

No Other Such Sentence in All Literature

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,     ~Ephesians 1:5 God chose us out of the world “that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love,” because He

Essay / Theology

Talking Back to MLK in Birmingham Jail

On April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote out by hand the document we know as the Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and now recognize as a classic text of American history, of civil rights history, of religious history. King was in jail for

Essay / Theology

The Difficult Art of Obscuring the Trinity (Reimarus)

Christians have long claimed that they got the doctrine of the Trinity from the Bible itself. While admitting that they had rendered the doctrine more explicit, and also admitting that they had crafted a set of non-biblical terms (like person, nature, triune, etc.) to help

Essay / Theology

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

The inch-tall fragment of Coptic papyrus that includes the words “Jesus said unto them… my wife” has had quite a career so far. It’s got its own webpage at Harvard Divinity School; it grabs headlines and sparks imaginations; it got radiocarbon dated as “probably really,

Essay / Theology

Christ the Mirror of Humility

Today is Palm Sunday and I am guessing that most churches, even the most non-liturgical, will be acknowledging it despite the fact that some folks are already posting invitations to their church’s Easter service on Facebook. A case of the I-don’t-want-to-go-through-the-uncomfortableness-of-Christ’s-death-but-want-to-get-right-to-the-happy-resurrection disease that seems to

Essay / Theology

God’s Choice of Me, Not My Choice of God

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:    ~Ephesians 1:4 The reason why God has blessed believers in Christ with every spiritual blessing in Christ is

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Essay / Art

Biola’s Jesus Mural: How “The Word” Dwells Among Us

One of the first things you’ll notice if you visit Biola University’s campus is our Jesus Mural, “The Word.” It’s iconic for us, our evangelical counterpart to Notre Dame’s “Touchdown Jesus.” It’s huge–27 feet tall–and all the more significant as it stands in the middle

Essay / Theology

Every Spiritual Blessing: From God, In Christ, By the Spirit

Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:     ~Ephesians 1:3 After the opening greeting Paul here bursts into a glowing ascription of praise to God. He blesses

Essay / Theology

A Word for Good Friday Plus Easter

There’s an old joke, “How do you say ‘Happy Easter’ in Russian?” Answer: “Christ is Risen.” It’s a good joke, because it shocks by re-intruding the religious content into a word (Easter) that does a good job sounding, to most of its users, more neutral