Essay / Art

Cross in Pompeii and Ancient Theology

In case you weren’t paying close attention, 2015 was a bad year for an old thesis. You may have heard or read the claim that Christians in the first three centuries of the church didn’t use the cross in their art or worship—that it was

Essay / Culture

Pilgrimage to the National Parks: Awe, Wonder, and What’s Missing

We made our annual pilgrimage this year—not to a temple or a religious site (much as I would like to visit the Holy Land!). We made our annual trip northward to visit more of America’s National Parks on our way to see family in Washington

Essay / Theology

Invisible Mission of the Trinity

The Father sent the Son to save sinners. The main thing that should make us think of is, of course, the incarnation, in which the Son of God took human nature into personal union with himself and lived out divine sonship in the stuff of

Essay / Theology

Luther Contra Judaeos on the Last Words of David

I’m teaching a class session on Martin Luther’s amazing treatise “On the Last Words of David,” which is Luther’s most satisfying exposition of Trinitarian interpretation of the Bible. It really is a handbook of principles on how to interpret Scripture in Trinitarian fashion: how to find

Essay / Theology

3 Favorite Robert Jenson Moments

Theologian Robert W. Jenson died this week, after a very productive life of writing theology. His contributions to the field are numerous and wide-ranging, and yet his life-work had a remarkable coherence and focus. There’s an identifiable set of Jenson proposals out there to be

Essay / Theology

Rereading Ephesians

I’m teaching Ephesians this semester at the Los Angeles Bible Training School, which I continue to call the best Bible Institute in Los Angeles. Well over a half century of urban ministry centered on the Bible, and the courses are free. Whenever possible in any

Essay / Theology

Karl Barth’s Ephesians Lectures

Way back in 1921, Karl Barth taught a course on Ephesians. The lectures from that course have finally been published in English, and while they have some of the defects that are to be expected from a lecture script that the author never revised for

Essay / Theology

The Other Barth

It’s possible I’m the only systematic theologian in the world who was a big fan of Markus Barth before I even knew Karl Barth existed. True story, and it’s because of Ephesians. I got saved in high school and then went to a state university

Essay / Theology

Let’s Proceed, I Reckon

The title caught my eye: “Processions, Human and Divine.” I am very (very!) interested in divine processions: the eternal generation of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit. Knowledge of these two processions is knowledge of the Trinity. But what are these “human

Essay / Theology

Readings in Luther and Calvin

October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation’s symbolic beginning: Luther’s posting of his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg castle church. To celebrate, three Torrey theologians are co-teaching an upper-division elective seminar on the Reformation. Matt Jenson, Greg Peters and I

Essay / Theology

Trinity and Atonement Essay

Adam Johnson’s T&T Clark Companion to Atonement has just dropped like the hundred-plus chapter, hundred-plus dollar behemoth that it is. More on that later. For now I’m just posting an excerpt from the chapter I wrote for it, entitled “These Three Atone: Trinity and Atonement.”

Save Us, Sententious Johnson

One of the amazing things about Samuel Johnson’s writing style is his ability to reduce any idea to an aphorism, a fresh little proverb that arises perfectly from the situation in front of him but reaches up to the heaven of abstraction. Just about any