Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 6b on the Trinity

Here’s our next conversation about the Trinity, following Polanus’ 18 Axioms. The main thing Polanus wants to clarify in this axiom is that when we speak of difference in God, it can never be difference in essence; it is instead difference in person. In the

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 5 and 6a on the Trinity

Axiom 5 is very short, but Axiom 6 is very long. So even though this is organizationally strange, we’re devoting one discussion to Axiom 5 and the first half of Axiom 6. But in our next discussion, we’ll only cover the second half of 6,

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 4 on the Trinity

In his fourth axiom on the Trinity, Polanus clarifies how the persons of the Trinity are related to each other by clarifying how they are related to the divine nature. To make the point, he contrasts the right answer, homoousioi, with a number of wrong

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 3 on the Trinity

Is the Son like the Father, or unlike the Father? More precisely, are the Father and the Son similar in essence, or dissimilar? It’s a trick question. “Similarity” is not a useful category for talking about God’s essence. In his third Axiom, Polanus helps us

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 2 on the Trinity

If I could provide you with links to a nice translation of Amandus Polanus’ Axioms on the Trinity within his Syntagma Theologiae, I would. But I can’t. What Ryan Hurd and I are doing in this set of conversations is posting Ryan’s new translation of

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 1 on the Trinity

Polanus (d. 1610) wrote 18 axioms on the Trinity. Ryan Hurd and I want to study them. So here’s our plan: Post Ryan’s translation of each axiom here at the Scriptorium, talk about it, post the video. Welcome to the first axiom: Axiom 1. The

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 / 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

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

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

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