Essay / Theology

Spacious Ironies of Translation

You have to really care about a book if you set out to translate it for the very purpose of arguing against it. There’s just no way to make a decent translation without getting your hands dirty, your mind filled with the original text, your

Essay / Theology

Baptism JK LOL

If I baptize you, but I’m just kidding, are you baptized? What if both of us are children? What if it’s fake church for fun? What if I grow up and become a famous bishop? Medievalist Marcia Colish has spent a lot of time thinking

Essay / Theology

Nicene and Quicunquan Styles

In brief presentations of the doctrine of the Trinity, we can observe two different styles. On the one hand is a kind of genetic style, which introduces the three persons in a salvation-historical framework, leading off with the Father, then adding the Son, and then

Essay / Theology

Theologoumenal Gaskets

To speak accurately about the triune God, theology has to indicate that he is high and lifted up, inhabits eternity, and has Holy as a name; yet simultaneously to indicate that he is intimately present with the contrite and lowly. His eyes are too pure

Common Room on Reading Atheists

Send your college kids to our Christian great books program and we’ll make them read atheists! Why? It’s a good question. There are some approaches to Christian education that would keep dangerous ideas away from the students, and would look at atheist texts purely for the

Essay / Theology

Cataphoric Understanding

First John is a fantastic mess of looping, swirling statements with little pointer-words just pointing all over the place. The pronouns are especially peculiar. One scholar (Von Wahlde) has said that “determining the antecedents of pronouns in the First Letter of John is a notorious

Essay / Theology

That Good Word ‘Evangelical:’ Moribund or Dead

A guest post from a shrewd observer of current events: It is sad to witness the death of any worthy thing—even of a worthy word. And worthy words do die, like any other worthy thing—if we do not take good care of them. How many

Essay / Theology

Trinity Podcast Hosted by Zaspel

Here‘s a podcast organized by Fred Zaspel at Books at a Glance, in which he asks four theologians about recent controversy on the doctrine of the Trinity. The four theologians are Mike Ovey, Scott Swain, Steve Wellum, and me. I think there’s a lot of

Essay / Theology

Shaped by the Word (Mulholland)

The Spring 2016 issue of Biola’s Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care has a brief tribute to Robert Mulholland, who died in December 2015. Editor Steve Porter puts Mulholland on the “short list of the founders of the spiritual formation movement.” I’m an editorial

Essay / Theology

A Plain Account of Trinity and Gender

The June 2016 wave of Trinity discussion online has produced some really rich essays. Just off the top of my head, with apologies for slighting anybody, the posts by Darren Sumner, Matthew Barrett, and Matt Emerson have been a feast. I know it was controversy that

Essay / Culture

Race and Crisis and a Sense of History

Late in the Spring semester, life at Biola was disrupted by a shocking event: On the whiteboard wallspace over a dorm room door, somebody converted a cross to a swastika. One of the roommates in that dorm room was an African-American student. The best reporting

Essay / Theology

The Task of Dogmatics: LATC17 Call for Papers

We are nearing the close of the Call for Papers period for the 2017 Los Angeles Theology Conference. The conference topic is “The Task of Dogmatics,” and we are looking for nine papers to add to the scheduled plenary presentations. A great LATC paper is