Essay / Education

Theology Conferences Part II of II: The Vices

In my first post, I sought to paint a constructive vision of academic conferences, but that is far from all there is to say—for a conference is a vice-saturated affair, and it’s worth knowing that ahead of time. One of the most superficial and natural

Essay / Theology

It Should Go Without Saying

Theologian Karl Barth was teaching Christian doctrine in the University of Bonn in 1934 when the word went out that all civil servants had to take an oath of loyalty to Hitler. That is, not a pledge of allegiance to the flag; not a promise

Essay / Education

Theology Conferences Part I of II: A Brief How-To Guide

If you are interested in an academic career, welcome to the world of conferences. For all their weaknesses, these are one of the main heartbeats of the academy. Over two posts, I will do my best to pass along what I have learned, thus speeding

Essay / Literature

The Flowering Crown

This post was featured on Biola’s Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts’ Lent Project on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, and can also be found on Dr. Johnson’s website.  The crown of the thorns is a symbol of cruelty and oppression—but a poetic one.

Migliore on Charitable Theology

One of the professors who most impacted me over the course of my studies in theology was Daniel Migliore, Professor Emeritus of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. In fact, we even share a birthday, July 22—though he is my elder by some years. I found

Essay / Art

Nate Butler: Lecture on the Biola Christian Comics Collection

The Biola University Library is the home of the largest and most comprehensive archive of Christian comic books gathered anywhere. It is a deep, diverse, and unusual collection, which was established in 2015 when two major caches passed from private collections into the safekeeping of this

Essay / Literature

The Chamber of Victory: Harry Potter and the Atonement, Part II

The Chamber of Secrets picks up where The Sorcerer’s Stone left off, continuing its provocative and creative exploration of salvation. There are angry demands for punishment (144; and the dismissal thereof (330)), an “heir” which will purge the school of unclean Mudblood filth (151, 224),

Essay / Culture

Why Read? By Eva Brann

This speech was originally given on March 3, 2016, by Professor Eva Brann of St. John’s College (Annapolis), as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series at the Torrey Honors Institute. The following is an excerpt. A link to her full speech is available on Open

Essay / Culture

Online Education: Relation-less Education

Online classes and online universities are all the rage. They boast an impressive set of virtues and opportunities. Among them: Take classes in your pajamas (or less)! Why relocate? Learn at your own pace. Keep your day job. Pay less. A lot less (but read

Essay / Education

“Learning, by Means of Important Texts, to Read” (Barth ’48)

A note here on how Karl Barth viewed his teaching in the late 1940s in Basle. Barth was deep into writing Church Dogmatics III, and as usual he was developing the voluminous text of the Dogmatics out of the four hours of lectures he was

Essay / Culture

The Un-Resume: An Exercise in Professional Humility

To some of our students, we faculty probably present a daunting picture of excellence. After all, we are professors at one of the most distinguished private Christian universities—we excel in our fields, publish scholarly works about topics they may have never even heard of, are