Essay / Theology

Seismic Retrofit Apologia

“When the people in the pew ask the pastor to explain the Trinity, they do not want clever analogies or carefully worded creeds. They want to know what Scripture says about the Trinity.” Carl Beckwith says this in his book The Holy Trinity (Luther Academy,

Essay / Theology

The Joy of the Lord

Luke 3:21-22, the baptism of Christ: “the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove…” Brothers and sisters, we are reading here about the Holy Spirit, so what is there for me to say? Lift up your

Essay / Theology

Jesus Was Also Baptized

Luke 3:21: “Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying…” Picture the scene: There was a big crowd at the river, and people were getting dunked in the water by John, who was so good at

Essay / Theology

Webster’s “Courses Charted but Not Taken”

A Companion to the Theology of John Webster is a great collection of essays on the development of Webster’s theology, and on major doctrines important in his work. The epilogue is unique, though: it’s a very helpful report and analysis of what Webster was working

Essay / Theology

Introducing Junius on the Trinity

Franciscus Junius (1545-1602) was an important theologian in the Protestant Orthodox tradition. He is most famous for his influential Treatise on True Theology, with its profound approach to theological method. Junius taught widely across all the major doctrines of Christian theology, but never published a

Essay / Theology

“To Him Belongs the Consummation of Things”

Petrus van Mastricht’s Theoretical-Practical Theology (volume 2, chapter 27) has an excellent treatment of the Holy Spirit. I just want to unpack a little something he says in the introductory paragraph, before he gets to the main body of the pneumatology (in parts exegetical, dogmatic,

Essay / Theology

Polanus: Reformed Scholastic Piety and Commentary

Having worked through Amandus Polanus’ axiomata on the Trinity, Ryan Hurd and I invited a guest, Dr. Ryan McGraw, to talk with us about his own encounters with the writings of Polanus. This conversation covers a few topic: First, we wanted to recommend Dr. McGraw’s

Essay / Theology

Ephesians (Classical Theology Course)

Talbot School of Theology’s Master of Arts in Classical Theology is mostly composed of three kinds of courses: Commonplaces (major doctrines); Master Practitioners (significant theologians); and Sacred Page (books of Scripture). Since the entire MA is designed to treat Scripture as “that toward which all

Essay / Art

Shraga Weil’s Ram in the Thicket

Shraga Weil (1918-2009) was an Israeli painter who also did a lot of printmaking throughout his artistic career. I know he made prints because late in 2020 I came across one of them in an antique store at a deep discount price, and my family

Essay / Theology

Christmas Trinity

Here’s something I wrote for Christmas 2020. I composed it to work best as a Twitter thread, and I’m not sure if it works as well as a blog post. But I wanted to make it available here at a more stable location for the

Essay / The Third Person of the Trinity

“The Holy Spirit Teaches us to Die Faithfully.”

Dr. Ephraim Radner delivered a memorable paper at the 2020 Los Angeles Theology Conference last January. Those of us in the audience were struck by the depth and honesty of what he shared that day about how the modern world has come to think about

Essay / Theology

Adding Eternal Generation

The publication of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, Second Edition presents an opportunity to consider the difference the doctrine of eternal generation can make in trinitarian theology. The opportunity arises from the fact that Grudem denied eternal generation in the first edition, but affirms it in