Essay / Theology

Polanus: 18 Axioms (Intro)

Four hundred years ago, one of Protestantism’s most accomplished theologians published a series of eighteen guidelines (“axiomata”) for understanding the Trinity. They’re great. They have never been translated into English. Nobody talks about them. Until now! [cue movie trailer] When I stumbled upon Amandus Polanus’

Essay / Culture

“Growing Like Hell,” Tulsa, 1921

The King’s Business, the monthly magazine of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, published a strongly worded editorial in its September 1921 issue. With the arresting title, “Growing Like Hell,” managing editor Keith L. Brooks described the violence that had taken place in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Essay / Education

Four Great African American Books

Here are four books that Torrey Honors officially recommends, and by “officially” I mean that we have built them into the heart of our great books program. So we will be cycling through them every year with students, because they are proven masterpieces that bear

Essay / Theology

Gentle Correction

On at least two occasions, John Webster reviewed combative books with which he largely agreed, but slipped in some gentle reprimands along the way. I think of these reviews often, as instructive instances of how a theologian can be constructive and peaceable even while entering

Trauma and the Trinitarian “God of All Comfort” (Review)

In the latest issue of the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, I co-authored a book review with Chris Gibson, a PhD student at Gateway Seminary. Chris and I have been working on the doctrine of divine impassibility and how it relates to human

Essay / Theology

Classical Theology Thesis

One year ago, Talbot School of Theology launched the Classical Theology Master of Arts. We’ve had a great first year: the right students, great collegiality, and a series of fascinating courses on Scripture (Sacred Page), great theologians (Master Practitioners), and major doctrines (Common Places). The

Biblia Pauperum (Ascension)

There’s a particular type of late medieval document that we call a Biblia Pauperum. We call it that because at some point in the nineteenth century scholars started calling it that, but “Bible of the Poor” is not very descriptive: there’s nothing about these books

The Joy of Psalmtooning

Psalmtooning? Well, I haven’t heard that word in about ten years. But I made it up, and I used to do it all the time back when my kids were little. Psalmtooning is a form of Bible study that encourages children to use their natural

Why It’s Hard to Trace “Trajectories and Continuities” (Muller)

In Richard Muller’s volume on the doctrine of God (vol. 3 of his Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics series), he sets himself the task of reconnecting some broken links in the history of theology, links without which the doctrine of God cannot be grasped. It is a

Essay / Theology

A Welcome to the Plague (Samuel Shaw)

The 2020 pandemic almost immediately brought out of obscurity a substantial library of historical Christian writing on plagues and mass illnesses. Lots of writing that we might call “plague spirituality” has been sitting on the shelves of the church, just waiting for moderns to get

How It’s Supposed to End

When you make a plan to kill a public person, the kind of public person who is animated by a powerful inner force, you’d better make sure to kill him. But even if you succeed there’s that powerful inner force to deal with: what if,

Essay / Theology

Godforsaken For Us

Jesus calls out from the cross: “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Strong words of weakness. The very first hearers misunderstood them: “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” But he wasn’t calling on Elijah, of