Essay / Theology

Constantino’s Confession

The sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation in Spain continues to be a neglected subject, but one that immediately repays any attention you give it. You might say that to this day, “No one expects the Spanish Reformation!” In fact, when we think of the sixteenth century in

Essay / Theology

Righteous Questioning (Ursinus and Gonzaga)

It’s a fundamental tension of the Christian doctrine of grace: God demands righteousness and we cannot perform that righteousness. And this tension abides even when we confess that God has freely justified us without regard to our good works. As soon as we set out,

Essay / Theology

Coherence and Continuity (Ancient-Modern Bible)

I just got a copy of the new Ancient-Modern Bible from Thomas Nelson. It’s a kind of study Bible with running commentary in the margins drawn from the whole history of the church, and several dozen biographies introducing some of the historical commentators. It also has a

Essay / Theology

The Prepared Throne

There is a powerful and fascinating piece of iconography in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, inside one of the domed cupolas. It’s a ceiling mosaic featuring this image:   It’s a dove on a book on ornate drapery on a pillow on a throne. This throne

Essay / Theology

Thrice More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends

Has the dust settled yet on the massively multi-player online battle royale evangelical Trinity discussion of 2016? Here’s a sign that the dust has settled: there are now books on the subject in print. Three books, in fact. The first is P&R’s publication of Hongyi Yang’s

Essay / Theology

Alfabeto Christiano

The Spanish Reformation deserves a lot more attention than it has received; it is a subject almost completely absent from the popular mind. If you want to speak about it, or blog about it like I’m doing right now, you pretty much have to start

Essay / Theology

Trinitarian Theophany Desiderata

On page 224 of The Triune God (Zondervan, 2016), I said “No to Christophanies.” That is, as part of my chapter discussing the Old Testament’s adumbrations of trinitarian revelation, I cautioned against identifying even the anthropomorphic theophanies in the Old Testament as distinct manifestations of

Essay / Theology

The Undepictable Resurrection

There is a new and very large work of sacred art at Biola University. It is a wall-sized relief sculpture inside the newly-renovated Calvary Chapel, and it depicts the resurrection. Or perhaps it doesn’t quite “depict” the resurrection. It depicts the empty tomb, but it

Essay / Theology

Well-Spring of Salvation (Maclaren on Isaiah)

Chief among the many gifts of Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910) was his ability to explain, expound, expand, embiggen, and so on, any passage of Scripture he turned his attention to. It is really remarkable how much this nineteenth-century Baptist preacher could find in a single, short

Essay / Theology

Development Assumption

In Ratzinger’s 1997 book Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, he shares an interesting vignette about his theological training in Munich. First, he characterizes the atmosphere of Roman Catholic theology in Germany at that time thus: When I look back on the exciting years of my theological studies, I

Essay / Theology

A Protestant Preaching Tradition (Claude, Robinson, Simeon)

In the seventeenth century, Huguenot Jean Claude wrote a long essay in French on how to compose a sermon. In the eighteenth century, English Baptist Robert Robinson of Cambridge translated it and annotated it. In the nineteenth century, Charles Simeon, also of Cambridge, republished Robinson’s

Essay / Theology

Progress in Theology

There’s an important sense in which theology doesn’t ever change at all. There’s a logos of theos, a knowledge of God, that is truly immutable. To speak of this unchanging character of the knowledge of God, though, we have to raise our eyes higher than