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 / Theology

The Bible and Divine Speaking

The doctrine of Scripture (bibliology, the doctrine that states what the Bible is and how it functions in the church) ought to be a doctrine about God’s speech. When the doctrine is handled with proper amplitude and attentiveness, it is a doctrine about God communicating

Essay / Theology

When Torrey Went to Cambridge

For the last six years, students from the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola have taken a summer trip to Cambridge, England. The trip is a three-week academic course in the humanities that specializes in reading local authors and making the most of being in the

Essay / Theology

Trinitarian Theology Pre-Holmes and Post-Holmes

So, it’s ridiculous to divide the history of trinitarian theology into the periods before and after Stephen R. Holmes published his book The Quest for the Trinity. For one thing, that was just 2012, so the the post-Holmes period isn’t big enough to say much about.

Essay / Theology

“Two Distributed Doctrines” (Webster)

In one of the “working papers in Christian theology,” which are widely assumed to be indications of where he’s heading with a forthcoming systematic theology, John Webster argues that the doctrine of creation should occupy a more determinative place in dogmatics. The essay is “Non ex

Essay / Theology

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 / Theology

Unperplexed About Atonement

Adam Johnson’s new book Atonement: A Guide for the Perplexed is now available. John Webster says it shows “acute theological judgement,” and Kevin Vanhoozer calls it “a theological treasure trove.” So please move it to the top of your reading list. Johnson’s strategy in handling the

Essay / Theology

Hearing Voices: Trinity in the Old Testament

“The primary condition of knowledge for reading the Psalms is the ability to see as whose mouthpiece we are to regard the Psalmist as speaking, and who it is that he addresses.” So says Hilary of Poitiers at the beginning of his fourth-century Psalms commentary. And

Essay / Theology

Generations Eternal and Current

Steve Holmes recently reviewed the book One God in Three Persons: Unity of Essence, Distinction of Persons, Implications for Life, edited by Bruce Ware and John Starke (Crossway, 2015). In Holmes’ review, entitled Reflections on a new defense of ‘complementarianism,’ he interacts especially with the

Essay / Theology

Virtue Lists in the Shadow of the Cross

This will be weak, even for a blog post, but I wanted to jot down three questions that are lingering in my mind after about six months of reading and teaching the pastoral epistles. I find all three questions mildly unsettling, but not for the

Essay / Theology

HCG Moule on Atonement

Here are a few more selections from the interesting little one-volume theology, Outlines of Christian Doctrine by H.C.G. Moule. When he begins discussing atonement, Moule quotes, without naming, some earlier thinker: It has been well said that Creation, relatively to God, is little, ‘a very

Essay / Theology

Good Works, Class of 2015

A prayer for the 2015 graduates of the Torrey Honors Institute, from the commencement service last week: Father, we rejoice with these students in the hard work they have done in Torrey, and we present them to you as exhibits of good work. Furthermore, this