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Theology Archives

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution […]

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In the Image of God (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Pete Enns has had an interesting series on BioLogos discussing the meaning of the phrase “Image of God” (You will find it here: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three). From the Part One of his series: Some understand image […]

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Evolution in the Key of D: Descent and Drama (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

I recently received a copy of John F. Haught‘s new book Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life. Haught is a Senior Fellow in Science and Religion at Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University and Professor of […]

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Voting about God

posted by Scot McKnight

How odd to post this brief report after our first post today (see below this one). Ramsay Macmullen is probably the finest social historian of earliest Christianity, and in a book just a couple years old he sketches how the […]

Great is the Lord 1

posted by Scot McKnight

I am reading and blogging through Ron Highfield’s new book called Great Is the Lord: Theology for the Praise of God . This opens our series; it’s a serious volume for theologians and pastors, but it’s faith angle gives the […]

Great Theologians

posted by Scot McKnight

Confession: I wanted someone to write this book so bad. Not so much for myself but for my students. For 15 years I have wanted a book for college students, by and large upper level students, or for pastors or […]

Science and Christianity … Why Resurrection? (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

On my post last Tuesday, toward the end of the comments, the following question was asked (I edit slightly): Your ‘Noah’ versus ‘resurrection’ argument is interesting.  … Moreover is the ‘resurrection’ as an event that important? Jesus was supposedly ‘resurrected’ […]

Signature in the Cell 1 (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Stephen C. Meyer has published a (very long, but readable) book, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, outlining his argument in favor of intelligent design. This book essentially argues that life is very complex, the […]

Theology, Science, and Global Warming (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Scot has posted a few time over the last month on the topic of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), either as a short question or as part of Weekly Meanderings. One of the things that surprised me in the ensuing conversation, […]

Disturbing Divine Behavior

posted by Scot McKnight

it is not uncommon for an innocent Bible reader to read a text like the flood of Noah or the death of the firstborn in Egypt and wonder how in the world God can be involved in such actions, and […]

Lifting the Burden of Sin

posted by Scot McKnight

After his opening sketch, Gary Anderson, in Sin: A History , examines the old biblical image of sin as a burden that needs to be lifted. The most common image is sin (awon) as burden that needs to be lifted (108x), followed […]

A Thing Formerly called “Sin”

posted by Scot McKnight

Notre Dame professor Gary Anderson, in his splendidly written new book Sin: A History , tackles a subject that has gained renewed attention among scholars while it has lost its nerve among many preachers and lay folks and culture at large. In […]

The Way Forward? (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Darrel Falk posted an excellent column on Science and the Sacred yesterday. In this post he comments on three conversations with highly educated people who hold a young earth view of creation. The reasons are not scientific, all three will […]

8 Little Foxes that Spoil the Church’s Vines 4

posted by Scot McKnight

In my view, one of the most pressing issues in our day is what I would call moral awareness. I don”t mean that people aren’t aware of what they think or believe; what I mean is a lack of awareness […]

Manifold Witness 4

posted by Scot McKnight

John Franke, in his new and exciting book Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth (Living Theology) is mapping the plural nature of truth in the Christian faith. His concern in chp 4 is how the diversity of the past and […]

Manifold Witness 2

posted by Scot McKnight

John Franke, in his new and exciting book Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth (Living Theology) takes on the central issue of our age: the plurality of truth. It doesn’t take long in this world to realize that most people […]

Manifold Witness 1

posted by Scot McKnight

Perhaps the central issue for the emerging movement is the issue of truth, and at the core of the issue is what John Franke, in his new and exciting book Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth (Living Theology) , calls […]

Evolution’s Place? 4 (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

I will return to consider the next chapters of Conway Morris’s book Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe next week. Today I would like to take a brief detour and consider another question. Many authors – Dawkins and […]

The Pope’s Most Recent Encyclical 2

posted by Scot McKnight

Once again, Mary Veeneman, professor in theology at North Park University, steps up to guide us into understanding Pope Benedict XVI’s most recent statement. This is the second of a two-part post. Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate is the […]

Beginning with God 9

posted by Scot McKnight

It all begins with God — what we think about God shapes what we think about ourselves and those around us and our world. It begins with God. What is our “narrative” of God? What are the narratives that hinder […]

The Pope’s Most Recent Encyclical 1

posted by Scot McKnight

Once again, Mary Veeneman, professor in theology at North Park University, steps up to guide us into understanding Pope Benedict XVI’s most recent statement. This is a two-part post and tomorrow Mary will explore the significance of this new statement. […]

Beginning with God 8

posted by Scot McKnight

It all begins with God — what we think about God shapes what we think about ourselves and those around us and our world. It begins with God. What is our “narrative” of God? What are the narratives that hinder […]

Beginning with God 7

posted by Scot McKnight

It all begins with God — what we think about God shapes what we think about ourselves and those around us and our world. It begins with God. What is our “narrative” of God? What are the narratives that hinder […]

Beginning with God 6

posted by Scot McKnight

It all begins with God — what we think about God shapes what we think about ourselves and those around us and our world. It begins with God. What is our “narrative” of God? James Bryan Smith, in The Good […]

Beginning with God 5

posted by Scot McKnight

It all begins with God — what we think about God shapes what we think about ourselves and those around us and our world. It begins with God. What is our “narrative” of God? Is our narrative one of God’s […]

Beginning with God 4

posted by Scot McKnight

It all begins with God — what we think about God shapes what we think about ourselves and those around us and our world. It begins with God. What is our “narrative” of God? James Bryan Smith, in The Good […]

Beginning with God 3

posted by Scot McKnight

It all begins with God — what we think about God shapes what we think about ourselves and those around us and our world. It begins with God. James Bryan Smith, in The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love […]

Beginning with God 2

posted by Scot McKnight

Long ago an English writer announced that our God was too small — and he then listed the ways that Christians generally have bad ideas about God. James Bryan Smith, in The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love With […]

Beginning with God 1

posted by Scot McKnight

A wonderful German scholar once said, “The first and the final thought of Jesus was thought about God.” (I translate.) That theologian, Adolf Schlatter, gets it exactly right: what you think of God matters most. So I want to begin […]

CS Lewis: Outside the Pale? (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

For those who don’t know this, this post is written by our friend “RJS,” a professor in the sciences at a leading American university. She regularly posts here about issues intersecting science and faith. Last week in A Fine Tuned […]

A Fine Tuned Universe? 3 (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Chapter eight of Alister McGrath’s new book A Fine-Tuned Universe: The Quest for God in Science and Theology deals with the views of Augustine of Hippo on creation.  Augustine and the relationship of Augustinian thought to evolution and Darwinian natural […]

A Fine Tuned Universe? 2 (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

The first section of Alister McGrath’s new book A Fine-Tuned Universe: The Quest for God in Science and Theology deals with his vision of a Trinitarian natural theology. As is typical in almost anything by McGrath the section rambles and […]

Friday is for Friends: Matt Edwards

posted by Scot McKnight

On Fridays we often post material from our readers, and this is the last on my recent submissions. So, if you have something you think would fit on this blog, send it in … This one is from Matt Edwards. […]

The Story of With 1

posted by Scot McKnight

Andrew Marin has earned the right to be heard about gays and the Church. Why? His book, Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation With the Gay Community , tells the story. That subtitle is what is needed next, and […]

Our Collective Faith 14

posted by Scot McKnight

The editors of  Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe finish the book off with an epilogue that reflects on heresy and orthodoxy, and it’s worth a good read. It will do well to finish […]

Heresy and Our Collective Faith: Some Pragmatics

posted by Scot McKnight

I got this set of questions from a reader at the end of our series on “Our Collective Faith,” a series that discussed a book about heresies and how to avoid them. Here is the set of questions, and I’ve […]

Our Collective Faith 13

posted by Scot McKnight

The final chp of  Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe is an odd one, but all the better for its oddity. The chp is written by Janet Martin Soskice, a Roman Catholic and Fellow […]

Friday is for Friends: Derek Leman

posted by Scot McKnight

This week’s Friday is for Friends comes from Derek Leman, a messianic rabbi (or a messianic pastor for some of us). I am finding that his questions are haunting more and more of us these days, and I hope we […]

Once in a Lifetime Book

posted by Scot McKnight

Every now and then, but not very often, someone writes a book that is a once-in-a-lifetime publication. Wow! Everett Ferguson has just given us an exhaustive study of baptism in the first five centuries: Baptism in the Early Church: History, […]

Our Collective Faith 12

posted by Scot McKnight

The 11th chp of  Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe introduced me to a heresy I had never heard of: the heresy of the Free Spirit. The author of the chp is Denys Turner, […]

Language Levels in Theological Debate

posted by Scot McKnight

A book we’ve been discussing about heresies brings to the surface how Christians have debated heresies and heretics. There is a subtle theme in this book that heresies can be discussed rationally, even when one believes deeply that a given […]

Our Collective Faith 11

posted by Scot McKnight

The two most common heretical slurs tossed around today are “Pelagianism” (or is little friend, semi-Pelagian, which is more slur than substance) and Gnosticism (or neo-Gnosticism). The most formidable early threat to orthodox Christian faith was Genosticism, and the 10th […]

Our Collective Faith 10

posted by Scot McKnight

Pelagianism is the favorite term thrown around by many today when the intent is to label a theologian as heretical. In the 9th chp of  Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe we are treated […]

Our Collective Faith 9

posted by Scot McKnight

I find Donatism to be one of the most unknown and yet most pervasive of heresies at work in the church today, and yet we need to be careful once again. Why? In dismissing Donatism we may fall into a […]

Our Collective Faith 8

posted by Scot McKnight

The next heresy in B. Quash and M. Ward, Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe  concerns Marcion and asks this question: Can Christians dispense with the God of the Old Testament? I hear this […]

Our Collective Faith 7

posted by Scot McKnight

The next heresy in B. Quash and M. Ward, Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe  concerns “theopaschitism.” The chp is by Michael Ward, an Anglican priest and an expert on C.S. Lewis. What is […]

Our Collective Faith and Heresies 6

posted by Scot McKnight

The next heresy in B. Quash and M. Ward, Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe  concerns adoptionism: the view that believes in a double sonship for Christ. The chp is by Rachel Muers, a […]

Our Collective Faith and Heresies 5

posted by Scot McKnight

 The first two heresies were about who Christ is/was. The next two are about how the divine and the human nature are related. The first concerned Nestorius and Theotokos, the God-bearer. The next heresy is from Eutyches and Eutychianism or […]

Our Collective Faith and Heresies 4

posted by Scot McKnight

 The first two heresies were about who Christ is/was. The next two are about how the divine and the human nature are related. The first concerns Nestorius and gave rise to the Councel of Ephesus at which council Mary was […]

Our Collective Faith and Heresies 3

posted by Scot McKnight

The most significant error among populist evangelical Christians, one heard in almost any adult SS class or Bible study, is docetism. Never put quite that way, belief by many is that Jesus’ humanity is not quite what it seems. In […]

Our Collective Faith and Heresies 2

posted by Scot McKnight

What about Arius, the prototypical heretic? The 1st chp in B. Quash and M. Ward, Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe , written by Michael B. Thompson (Anglican Vice-Principal of Ridley Hall in Cambridge […]

Our Collective Faith and Heresies 1

posted by Scot McKnight

The word “heresy” appears on this blog every now and then, and I have long wanted to do a series on heresy and heresies and have now found a perfect reason: B. Quash and M. Ward, Heresies and How to […]

Is Eternal Punishment Just?

posted by Scot McKnight

A letter from a reader, to which I responded in private. Permission was granted for publication of this letter. Scot, I hope this email finds you healthy and well.  I am looking for some guidance or help working through a […]

Andy Crouch’s Favorite Letter

posted by Scot McKnight

I recently read Andy Crouch’s new book, Culture-Making, a winding book on culture and how Christians can be cultivators of culture. Andy’s favorite letter is “C” — and he’s got more C’s in this book than any book I’ve seen. […]

Sacred Attunement

posted by Scot McKnight

 I have a number of favorite Jewish writers, including may favorite essayist Joseph Epstein. When it comes to the depths of spirituality, very few plumb the depths in their own way like Abraham Joshua Heschel and his two-volume set The […]

Third Way Thinkers Writers

posted by Scot McKnight

Who then are the Third Way thinkers and writers? The other day I accidentally posted this and then took it down when I realized it, but Andy Rowell (see below) caught it first and contributed a wonderful set of links […]

I Believe in the Holy Spirit

posted by Scot McKnight

Many theology professors inform classes that the average Christian is “docetic”. That is, they explain how most Christians affirm the humanity of Christ but when it comes down to it they are often uncomfortable with what it means to embrace […]

Hard Questions for the Bible

posted by Scot McKnight

Christopher Wright openly and honestly admits that those of us who adhere to a classic form of belief in God — God is good, holy, loving, sovereign — have a problem: evil. Evil is a problem for any thinking Christian […]

Loosening the Grip 7

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

We’ve been doing a series on racism and how it has infected our theological beliefs. I’ve asked some colleagues both from North Park and a friend at Wheaton to join me in this series, but today’s post is one of […]

Original Sin Returns 4 (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

On the Jesus Creed we have been engaged in a brief discussion of original sin using Henri Blocher’s book Original Sin: Illuminating the Riddle (New Studies in Biblical Theology) as a guide. This series is part of an ongoing attempt to wrestle […]

The Christian and Doubt

posted by Scot McKnight

“This is a book with the not very catchy title Faith and Doubt, and the most important word in the title is the one in the middle,” so writes John Ortberg in the introduction to his newest book, Faith and […]

Loosening the Grip 6

posted by xscot mcknight

I’m holding in my hands at this very moment the original German edition of Gerhard Kittel’s famous Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. I’ve got volume 4. The foreword, written by Kittel himself, is preceded by a page of German […]

Original Sin Returns 3 (RJS)

posted by xscot mcknight

Chapter 3 of Henri Blocher’s book Original Sindeals with discerning the mind of Paul on the issue of Adam and the Fall. Any Christian discussion of the evolution life, the evolution of homo sapiens, and the doctrine of Original Sin […]

Loosening the Grip 1

posted by xscot mcknight

As I announced recently, we will be doing a series on the brilliant, provocative, and challenging new book by J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account. The book is about racism — in particular, it is about how racialized theology […]

Left Behind or Left Befuddled?

posted by xscot mcknight

I’ve been looking for this book: Gordon Isaac, Left Behind or Left Befuddled. I will recommend this book to every Bible student who gets into prophecy and who along the way wants to figure out what in the world is […]

How do we forgive?

posted by xscot mcknight

How do you understand verse 23 of John 20? How is it that we forgive? 21 Again Jesus said, ?Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.? 22 And with that he breathed on […]

Friday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

The last chp of Alan Jacobs’ Original Sin sallies from Pope Pius’ famous 19th century papal bull Ineffabilis Deus to Stephen Pinker’s evolutionary explanation of the mind in his book The Blank Slate.

Friday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

By the end of the 19th Century there was so much hope and optimism in the air, one could easily have concluded that the very notion of original sin was a relic of an ancient past. Within 30 years or […]

Peter Kreeft on God and Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

I’ve been reading Peter Kreeft’s fine book about God (The God Who Loves You). One of the more interesting chps of the book deals with how the love of God and loving God resolves some theological issues. One of them: […]

Friday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

One of the claims of many in the USA is that slavery is America’s original sin, and that like the impact of original sin on the human race, so slavery has impacted all of American life. This is the subject […]

Should we pronounce the Sacred Name?

posted by xscot mcknight

In a recent news item in Christianity Today we learn that the Vatican has decided to remove the word “Yahweh” from public pronunciation and liturgy and song. A professor from Reformed Western Theological Seminary in Hope MI agrees. Here are […]

Christology and Science 3 (RJS)

posted by xscot mcknight

The last case study in LeRon Shults’s book Christology and Scienceis parousia and physical cosmology. The first case study in this book on incarnation was interesting – but somewhat abstract. The second case study on atonement was fascinating and insightful. […]

Friday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Primitivism is the subject of Alan Jacobs’ fine study on the New Worlds that emerged in some folks’ heads in the 18th Century (in Original Sin). In essence, we ask today just how innocent children are. There’s a noble, yea […]

Christology and Science 2 (RJS)

posted by xscot mcknight

The second case study in LeRon Shults’s book Christology and Sciencedeals with atonement and cultural anthropology – a topic if anything more controversial than incarnation and evolutionary biology. How should we articulate an understanding of the atonement appropriate for our […]

GodViews

posted by xscot mcknight

I don’t like the image, but there’s something to it: Humans are groping in the dark, they reach out, touch an elephant, and report their findings. Some liken this image to how humans understand God and how much they know […]

Christology and Science 1 (RJS)

posted by xscot mcknight

As a working scientist, a professor, and a Christian, the coherence between scientific understanding and theological understanding is a subject of great interest. Most of the books dealing with the conflict between science and faith or reason and faith are […]

Friday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Alan Jacobs makes some potent claims in chp 7 of Original Sin, this one perhaps the most provocative, and I’m keen on whether you agree or not.

Monday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

I got behind in my posts last week and we’ve got a wonderful week ahead of us — so much so that I’d like to put each post at the top of each day! Well, last week’s busy-ness meant I […]

Friday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Alan Jacobs knows that hovering around the topic of original sin is the devil, so he has a chp that explores a “few words about the devil” in his book Original Sin. He begins with a movie I had not […]

Australian Consolation: Pain

posted by xscot mcknight

I like books with important theologians addressing important emotions with insight. And that’s what we get with The Consolations of Theology, and the last chapter couldn’t be more inviting: C.S. Lewis on pain as discussed by Robert Banks.

Friday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Chapter four of Alan Jacobs’ book Original Sin wandered for me, and it didn’t wander in the directions I wanted it to so I found myself saying, “Why go there?” The images of the chapter, however, are captivating. It’s a […]

Australian Consolation: Disappointment

posted by xscot mcknight

Brian Rosner’s chp in The Consolations of Theology about disappointment and Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a model of showing how the theology of a given theologian consoles in the midst of emotional trauma.

Friday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Two major criticisms of the belief in original sin, according to Alan Jacobs’ essay in the history of the idea (Original Sin), can be summarized like this:

Australian Consolation: Anxiety

posted by xscot mcknight

In the book The Consolations of Theology we are treated to a series of essays into various emotions and conditions, and Peter Bolt examines anxiety. Here’s how he defines anxiety: “that feeling of apprehension and dread that comes with the […]

Australian Consolation: Despair

posted by xscot mcknight

Many know the experience of despair, the sense that there is “nothing ahead but emptiness and ruin.” The third study of how theology can console in The Consolations of Theology takes on the theme of despair.

Friday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

In the 2d chp of Alan Jacobs, Original Sin, we learn about the contribution of Augustine to the idea of original sin. Here’s what we learn:

Australian Consolation: Obsession

posted by xscot mcknight

Andrew Cameron’s essay on obsession, our heart’s disordered desires, is worth the price of the book called The Consolations of Theology. I don’t know what comes to mind when you hear the word “obsession,” perhaps Howard Hughes, but here’s how […]

Books about God

posted by xscot mcknight

I will begin reading soon some books about God, and I thought I’d give some of you a heads-up on what’s coming. I will be reading these two books for sure:

Friday is for (Original Sin) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We have turned to Alan Jacobs, Original Sin, and his essay-like approach to original sin. I want to begin today with a question:

Our Reasonable Faith 16

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is by RJS This has been a long series looking at Tim Keller?s book The Reason for God. Perhaps too long some of you may think. Yet, a wrap-up now seems in order.

Our Reasonable Faith 15

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is by RJS Orthodox Christianity as affirmed in the historic creeds is at its heart Trinitarian -there is one God existing in three persons. But what does this mean — and why is it important? Certainly the Trinity […]

Our Reasonable Faith 14

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is by RJS One of the biggest hurdles to orthodox Christian belief in our world today is affirmation of the bodily resurrection of Jesus as historical reality. After all we know better than this. Isn’t it a much […]

Our Reasonable Faith 13

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is by RJS We have taken a hiatus in the series on Tim Kellers’ book The Reason for God, not out of lack of interest, but out of pressing time constraints and travel. The last several chapters are […]

The Church’s Future through its Ancient Faith

posted by xscot mcknight

The Wheaton Theology conference from 2007 now has its papers published in Ancient Faith for the Church’s Future. There are two ways to look at this book — either chp by chp in a series of posts or by sketching […]

Wrath 17

posted by xscot mcknight

Every reference to “wrath” in the book of Revelation refers to God’s act of judgment against sin and sinners on the plane of history. Here are the verses:

Who Will Tell the Story?

posted by xscot mcknight

Robert Webber, in what I think will be his last book — I thought his previous one was!, applies his classic narrative understanding of Christian theology to two crises before us: the threat of radical Islam and Christian accommodation to […]

Wrath 16

posted by xscot mcknight

Hebrews uses the term “wrath” twice and both times it is a quotation from Psalm 95:11:

Wrath 15

posted by xscot mcknight

A text that reveals how important “historical” wrath is for the earliest Christians, and this use is characteristic of the OT and Judaism, is found in 1 Thessalonians 1:10:

Wrath 14

posted by xscot mcknight

Two texts today, one from Ephesians 5:6 and the other from Colossians 3:6, are considered:

Wrath 13

posted by xscot mcknight

We are testing a hypothesis, namely, this one: Does “wrath” refer only to “historical” events in history, the negative implications of doing things contrary to God’s will, or does it also refer to “evangelistic” wrath (threatening with wrath when evangelizing) […]

Our Reasonable Faith 12 (RJS)

posted by xscot mcknight

If the problem is Sin — and Sin is failure to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength — what is the solution?

Wrath 12

posted by xscot mcknight

Yesterday I suggested the wrath of Romans 12:19 (“but leave room for the wrath of God … vengeance…”) was historical wrath, and here’s why — from Romans 13:

Wrath 11

posted by xscot mcknight

Paul connects God to wrath, and he does so quite demonstrably in Romans 12:19:

Our Reasonable Faith 11

posted by xscot mcknight

This post is by RJS Here is the big question facing us today? What is the problem? We do not live in the Garden of Eden (Utopia, Shangri La, Paradise — you name it). Most of us would agree that […]

Wrath 9

posted by xscot mcknight

We are looking at the meaning of wrath (orge) and anger (thumos) in the NT — and we are looking at these texts to see if they tip off a consistent pattern. The pattern we are looking for is one […]

Wrath 8

posted by xscot mcknight

Yes, these texts from Paul about wrath are the sensitive spot for many today, but our task is to look at them, to look them in the eye, and see if we can make sense of them. Romans 4 has […]

Our Reasonable Faith 10

posted by xscot mcknight

This post is by RJS Part two of Tim Kellers’ The Reason for Godbegins discussion of the reasons for faith. Chapters 8 and 9 form one whole, dealing with clues for the existence of God ? within nature and within […]

Wrath 7

posted by xscot mcknight

In the first five chps of Romans the term “wrath” appears; we are in chp 3 today:

Wrath 6

posted by xscot mcknight

God’s impartial judgment of everyone, Jews and Gentiles, brings to the fore a reference to “wrath” in Romans 2:5:

Our Reasonable Faith 9

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is by RJS Following Tim Keller in The Reason for Godwe have now presented and discussed seven of the biggest objections raised against the Christian faith. None of these objections are fatal to the historic Christian faith when […]

Wrath 5

posted by xscot mcknight

The issues surrounding the meaning of wrath came out of the woodwork last Friday. Today we continue our series of marching through NT texts that use the word “wrath.” As I said last Monday, the evidence could be easily multiplied […]

God’s Wrath: A Question

posted by xscot mcknight

Here is a fantastic question asked of us about the issue of wrath … How do you respond to this mom?

Our Reasonable Faith 8

posted by xscot mcknight

This series and this post are by RJS; and we are glad Scot is back ? because the challenges confronting us in this chapter are up his alley not mine. Come on, many ask us today, you can’t really take […]

Wrath 4

posted by xscot mcknight

Now a brief summary of what we’ve seen in the two passages about wrath in the Synoptic Gospels … and we’ll get to John 3:36 when we get to the apostle John. When we get there, we may have to […]

Wrath 3

posted by xscot mcknight

Luke 21 reads: “20 When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and […]

Our Reasonable Faith 7

posted by xscot mcknight

This post is by RJS; for the record a Professor of Chemistry and thus (take a deep breath) a scientist… We all know, or have heard repeated over and over … Science has Disproved Christianity… the elite and intelligent know […]

Wrath 2

posted by xscot mcknight

Well, after our conversation yesterday we’re ready to dive in. To be honest, this is the sort of issue that could take about fifty directions, one of which would be to canvass the Old Testament on “wrath.” Readers of that […]

Wrath 1

posted by xscot mcknight

There are some today who’d like to burn a wrath path through the Christian Church — those who believe in it can move to the right and those who don’t can move to the left as the path winds and […]

Our Reasonable Faith 6

posted by xscot mcknight

This post is — once again — by RJS, and we are all looking forward to Scot’s return. As usual – personal reflections are mine – I don’t know Scot’s position. Now we come to a topic where I anticipate […]

Our Reasonable Faith 5

posted by xscot mcknight

This post is by RJS – so personal reflections are mine, not Scot’s In Chapter Four of The Reason for GodTim Keller broaches a topic I have found a real stumbling block over the years: If the Christian story is […]

Our Reasonable Faith 4

posted by xscot mcknight

This post is by RJS – looking at Keller’s book, not as a pastor, an evangelist, or a theologian, but as a lay Christian who has been immersed in secular academia for 27 years as graduate student, postdoctoral scholar, and […]

Our Reasonable Faith 3

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is by RJS as Scot and Kris enjoy South Africa Chapter 2 of Tim Keller?s book The Reason for Godbroaches the problem of pain. Given the pain and suffering in the world ? either God is not good […]

Our Reasonable Faith 2

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is by RJS (so blame me not Scot) With this post we start our series looking at Timothy Keller’s new book The Reason for Godand using this book as a resource to grapple with the questions and issues […]

Our Reasonable Faith 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Here begins a new series by RJS, one of the most faithful participants of this blog, on Tim Keller’s new book. Timothy Keller, founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan recently came out with a new book The Reason for […]

The African Origins of our Faith 2

posted by xscot mcknight

Thomas Oden, in his enthusiasm for the unity of the faith in Africa — both North and sub Saharan, got me to thinking the other day about what color Augustine was. We can’t be sure, but the ethnic judgments made […]

The African Origins of our Faith 1

posted by xscot mcknight

A case can be made, and in fact has been made, that the Christian faith most Christians profess today — its creedal affirmations — comes from Africa. From one of two major locations in Africa: Alexandria (Egypt) and Carthage (the […]

Why Work? 4

posted by xscot mcknight

The major contention of Darrell Cosden is that what we do — our work — is being redeemed and will be finally redeemed (saved) and will figure into Eternity, the Eternal City, the new heavens and the new earth. So, […]

Fear about Fear

posted by xscot mcknight

A reader writes me this set of questions and I’ve cobbled together two exchanges with him about this issue… but the words are his:

Why Work? 3

posted by xscot mcknight

The fundamental problem in discerning how we look at “work” is dualism — the one that contends what really matters is the spiritual while the material is not as important. Darrell Cosden, in The Heavenly Good of Earthly Work, turns […]

Why Work? 2

posted by xscot mcknight

The fundamental problem in Christian thinking about work is dualism. That dualism leads to a hierarchy of what matters most. These two statements are at the heart of chp 1 of Darrell Cosden, The Heavenly Good of Earthly Work, and […]

Why Work? 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Perhaps because I teach college students who frequently bring up what they will do for work when they leave college, perhaps because of some of my Anabaptist convictions, or perhaps because I love what “work” I do — and probably […]

The Divine Allure

posted by xscot mcknight

Apologetics is changing in the 21st Century, changing from arguments that rationally prove the truth of Christianity to a gospel that, as Mel Lawrenz calls it, summons humans because of the “divine allure.” In his book, I Want to Believe, […]

The Language of God 6

posted by xscot mcknight

This is the last of a series of posts [by RJS] looking at the book The Language of God by Francis S. Collins, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Today we will turn to […]

The Language of God 5

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is from RJS… This is the fifth in a series of posts looking at the book The Language of God by Francis S. Collins, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Part Three […]

The Language of God 4

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is from RJS… This is the fourth in a series of posts looking at the book The Language of God by Francis S. Collins, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Two lectures […]

The Language of God 3

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is from RJS and she is an expert in this topic and way beyond what I could do. I, Scot, think this is a very significant post in this series; read it carefully. This is the third in […]

The Language of God 2

posted by xscot mcknight

This series is from RJS and she is an expert in this topic and way beyond what I could do. We continue today with a series of posts looking at the book The Language of God by Francis S. Collins, […]

The Language of God 1

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.) This series is from RJS and she is an expert in this topic and way beyond what I could do. I’m honored to have her leading this discussion. Almost two years […]

The (Orthodox) Faith

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.) We need a new book on the basics of the orthodox faith; a readable study that anyone can read. I’ve read a few such books in my life, but the challenge […]

Doctrine — How do we do it?

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.) Anthony Thiselton’s new book, Hermeneutics of Doctrine, written for experts, continues a list of seminal, profound, penetrating, if not esoteric at times, writings on hermeneutics. In this book, Thiselton applies his […]

Surprised by Hope 14

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.) We now come to the end of Tom Wright’s book, Surprised by Hope. Today I want only to summarize very briefly the last two chps because we have already come to […]

Surprised by Hope 13

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.) Chp 13 in Tom Wright’s Surprised by Hope explores building the kingdom and does so by showing that his view of resurrection reshapes justice, beauty, and evangelism.

Surprised by Hope 12

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.) Chp 12 in Tom Wright’s Surprised by Hope is a major change: we move from “what it said” to “what it says,” from text to mission. Is this only about tidying […]

Surprised by Hope 11

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.) I like this book by Tom Wright: Surprised by Hope. And here’s a chp (#11) you don’t hear many Protestants talk about these days: purgatory, paradise, hell.

Surprised by Hope 10

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.) What is the future hope for the individual? What does Tom Wright, in Surprised by Hope, mean by the “redemption of our bodies”? (chp 10)

Surprised by Hope 9

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.) What does Tom Wright, in Surprised by Hope, think the NT teaches about Jesus as the Coming Judge?

Surprised by Hope 8

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed daily during Lent.) Does Tom Wright believe in the Second Coming? That question has been asked since Tom wrote his exceptional book on Jesus called Jesus and the Victory of God. I recall a conversation I […]

Surprised by Hope 7

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed daily during Lent.) The ascension. So what? That’s really behind chp 6 of Tom Wright’s Surprised by Hope. Maybe the best chp yet. When I wrote both Embracing Grace and A Community called Atonement, I was […]

Surprised by Hope 6

posted by xscot mcknight

Tom Wright’s Surprised by Hope keeps getting better and better for me. In chp 6 he sketches a view of the future that avoids the disastrous inability of evolution to deal with sin and the mistaken notion that we need […]

Surprised by Hope 5

posted by xscot mcknight

Before Tom Wright discusses the future for the individual he goes where the Bible goes: first the corporate and then the individual. In chp 5 of Surprised by Hope he examines two ideas that shape how even many Christians think […]

Surprised by Hope 4

posted by xscot mcknight

Tom Wright’s Surprised by Hope is the closest thing to C.S Lewis’ Mere Christianity I have seen. Sure, it’s a different kind of book, but it has the same level of immediacy and insight. Chp 4 is called “the strange […]

Surprised by Hope 3

posted by xscot mcknight

Tom Wright’s new book, Surprised by Hope:, has just about become required reading for my Jesus of Nazareth class. In twenty gentle pages Tom sums up his massive study on the resurrection: Resurrection of the Son of God.

Surprised by Hope 2

posted by xscot mcknight

A key word for Tom Wright in his book Surprised by Hope: is “muddle.” That word best describes how so many Christians think about life after death and resurrection and the like. Wright aims to end the muddle. One of […]

Surprised by Hope 1

posted by xscot mcknight

We begin a series today with N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope::Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. For more than a decade or so Bishop Tom Wright has been making comments, dropping suggestions, and prompting the curiosity […]

Switching Teams

posted by xscot mcknight

In 1919 Babe Ruth was sold from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees, and it took 85 years for the Red Sox to win another World Series. It happened in 2004. Antony Flew tells us that it […]

God’s Rivals 8

posted by xscot mcknight

One of the issues permeating the question of why there are world religions has to do with the massive diversity in the world and — to be blunt about it all — the “luck” or “chance” involved in some hearing […]

God’s Rivals 7

posted by xscot mcknight

The more I read Gerald McDermott’s God’s Rivals the more convinced I am that this is the kind of book churches need to be using and here are my reasons for saying this:

God’s Rivals 6

posted by xscot mcknight

What makes Gerald McDermott’s book God’s Rivals distinctive is that it explores how both the Bible and early Christians dealt with other religions. In chp 6 he explores how Irenaeus’ debates with Gnosticism shed light on why God has permitted […]

For John Franke: On Infant Baptism 4

posted by xscot mcknight

We turn now to Calvin’s arguments from the early church (Institutes of the Christian Religion).

God’s Rivals 5

posted by xscot mcknight

A distinct contribution of Gerald McDermott’s God’s Rivals is his exposition of how the earliest Christians approached the question of other religions. Chp 5 deals with Justin Martyr’s ideal of “seeds of the Word in other religions.”

For John Franke: On Infant Baptism 3

posted by xscot mcknight

John Franke, professor at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, PA, has assigned my penitence to be reading Calvin’s treatment of infant baptism (Institutes of the Christian Religion). Today I turn to 4.16.21-22. The rumor is that John has escaped my critique […]

God’s Rivals 4

posted by xscot mcknight

Gerald McDermott, in God’s Rivals, addresses an issue of major significance in the Church today, especially (so it seems to me) for the emerging crowd. The issue is the role of world religions and how Christians can explain them. In […]

God’s Rivals 3

posted by xscot mcknight

I don’t know if you have observed this, but if you pay attention you will see something in the Old Testament: the authors and people of the OT at times seem to believe there are other gods. In chp 3 […]

God’s Rivals 2

posted by xscot mcknight

In chp 2 of Gerald McDermott’s God’s Rivals we are treated to a study of the surprising knowledge of God outside Israel and the Church. Again, the question here is the scandal of particularity and God’s rivals in world religions.

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Telford Work closes this book,Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, a series of ruminations leading to themes in the Lord’s Prayer, with three sermons under the chp title “Amen.”

God’s Rivals 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Our day needs its best theologians, historians, biblical scholars, missiologists and pastors to sit down at table to discuss world religions. The issues pressing for answers are enormous in significance, and that is why I’d like to open a series […]

For John Franke: On Infant Baptism 2

posted by xscot mcknight

“Now let us examine,” John Calvin says with a scorching pen, “the arguments by which certain mad beasts ceaselessly assail this holy institution” [infant baptism]. This is found in Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.16.10. So, we enter today […]

For John Franke: On Infant Baptism 1

posted by xscot mcknight

My penitence for the Bears losing to the Vikings is to read John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 4, chp 16, on infant baptism. Calvin doesn’t begin on a good note for me when he refers to Anabaptists, […]

The Wisdom of the Anglicans 2

posted by xscot mcknight

I tire, as many of you no doubt do too, of the word Episcopalian meaning “debate about gays and lesbians.” There is much more to the Episcopal church and the Anglican Communion worldwide than this debate, but it has garnered […]

Earliest Theology 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Last night I was sitting in front of our college with my colleague and friend, Brad Nassif, nibbling away on our dinners and we struck up a conversation about Irenaeus’ great book,Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching. Brad said something I […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Today marks the last Friday devoted to a conversation about Jon Wilson’s fine study of the church called Why Church Matters. Next Friday we begin Tracy Balzer’s Thin Places: An Evangelical Journey into Celtic Christianity.

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We are at the second to last chapter in Jon Wilson’s Why Church Matters and I want to ask a question that for many of my readers is (perhaps) ludicrous to ask. If not ludicrous, perhaps the question is just […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

The 8th chp of Jonathan Wilson’s study, Why Church Matters, has to do with baptism, eucharist and footwashing, and in today’s post I will take issue in a way that I hope will generate a good conversation.

Can Faith be Certainty?

posted by xscot mcknight

Blogs vary from the fun to the gravely serious, and sometimes on this blog I set out an idea or an argument about which I have confidence and sometimes I put forth an idea to generate conversation that I’d like […]

A Theology of Pets?

posted by xscot mcknight

Because of a recent letter, I have a few questions today: Do you have a theology of pets? Do you find some are so committed to their pets they are incapable of serving humans? What kind of theology of pet-care […]

The Best Book Ever on the Bible

posted by xscot mcknight

Is Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson. How do you read the Bible?

The Pope on Protestant “churches”

posted by xscot mcknight

If anyone got their hopes high after Mark Noll’s book, Is the Reformation Over?, the answer is now officially “No!” Yesterday the Pope re-affirmed the RCC teaching that those who have lost connection with apostolic succession and authority have disconnected […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We’re back to Jon Wilson’s Why Church Matters, and chp 5 is a fascinating chp. But Jon cheats here — in his section on worship he has included a chp on the pastor. It’s the adjustment of a nice article […]

A Letter to a Question-full Christian 2

posted by xscot mcknight

Yesterday I posted a letter from a reader of this blog and promised that today I’d finish my answer to him. So I begin with an excerpt of his letter and then a response. It’s a tough one we need […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We’re back with Jon Wilson’s fine book, Why Church Matters: Worship, Ministry, and Mission in Practice — and this week we look at another chp on worship and it is about the significance of the Trinity for worship. Good topic.

Is Christianity Mercenary?

posted by xscot mcknight

When Augustine said his heart was not at rest until it came to rest in God, was he simply saying that we are selfish and coming to God makes us happy? That we use God for our own ends? Is […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Today we look at the 3d chp in Jon Wilson’s book, Why Church Matters. This chp concerns how we know when our worship is pleasing to God. Both pastors and lay leaders, along with any Christian who wonders about “good” […]

What is Worship? 3

posted by xscot mcknight

Now we come to the third model of worship in James B. Torrance, Worship, Community & The Triune God of Grace. We looked at the Unitarian and the Existentialist, and today we look at the Trinitarian model.

What is Worship? 2

posted by xscot mcknight

In James B. Torrance’s book, Worship, Community & The Triune God of Grace, we discover three models of worship: Unitarian, Existential, and Trinitarian. Today we look at the Existential model.

What is Worship? 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Basing my reflections here on James B. Torrance, Worship, Community & the Triune God of Grace, I want to open up for conversation the topic of worship — and ask “What is it?”

Letters to Emerging Christians: Sin

posted by xscot mcknight

Scot, If you’ve discussed this elsewhere, then please accept my apologies. In light of recent heated discussions on issues such as (but not limited to) homosexuality in the church, much has been said about respecting the authority of Scripture.

The Plan of God: What is it like?

posted by xscot mcknight

From John Goldingay, Israel’s Gospel, p. 61, where he describes how he teaches his classes: first, a 40 minute lecture; then a 30 minute small group discussion; and then a 30 minute plenary/class discussion. Then he makes an observation — […]

Lauren Meets North Park

posted by xscot mcknight

Lauren Winner, author of Girl Meets God, Mudhouse Sabbath, and Real Sex, was at North Park Theological Seminary last week and the seminary was kind enough to make the lectures public — so my two classes gathered in the seminary […]

Ancient Evangelical Future Call

posted by xscot mcknight

I have been asked to speak at next year’s AEF Call (Nov 31-Dec 1) at Northern Seminary. What is the AEF Call about? It is a Call for evangelical Christians to embrace the history of the whole Church. Here is […]

Science, Faith, and Vern Poythress 2

posted by xscot mcknight

This is part two of RJS’s review of Vern Poythress, Redeeming Science. Vern Poythress in his book Redeeming Science begins with a thoroughly Christian worldview. God is the creator of the world. Everything came into being by Him and through […]

Are you an E-word?

posted by xscot mcknight

USA Today posted an article on whether or not it is worth saving the E-word (evangelical), and interviewed a variety of folks. I posted on this not all that long ago, and in light of a good conversation I had […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

One of the difficulties in blogging through a book is finding a book that can sustain a conversation over a month or more by both advancing an argument and doing so in such a way that variety obtains. Miroslav Volf’s […]

Faith and Doubt

posted by xscot mcknight

I have of late received e-mails from some who are facing severe doubts about their life and about the Christian faith, and I have no capacity here to dissolve doubts by cooking them dry on some apologetic stove — by […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

How, Miroslav Volf in his The End of Memory asks, does a Christian remember rightly? In particular, how does a Christian remember suffered wrongs if the Christian learns to remember throught he lenses of the Exodus and the Passion? This […]

Is Christianity Credible? 2

posted by xscot mcknight

In chps 3 and 4 of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Love Alone is Credible, Balthasar speaks of an aesthetic that speaks to us from outside ourselves. Such an aesthetic perception of beauty cannot be reduced to my imagination. Love, Balthasar, […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Friends, we might need to remind ourselves, talk about the inner life, and nothing is more “inner” than a wounded self — a person who has been damaged to the core by wrongdoing. Miroslav Volf’s The End of Memory (chp. […]

CNN Presents: After Jesus — The First Christians

posted by xscot mcknight

If you have a chance, I recommend each of you carve out the evening of Dec 20, from 7-9pm, to watch CNN. The show is called After Jesus: The First Christians, and it is an excellent and stimulating presentation of […]

Where is the church?

posted by xscot mcknight

Growing out of the Reformation is the contention that there are “two marks” of the Church: the Lord’s supper and preaching of the Word: Word and Sacrament. Some added “church discipline” as a third mark. The Catholic tradition has been […]

The God Hypothesis 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Richard Dawkins, who writes with a prose that is saucy and caustic and witty, argues in his newest book that God is a delusion. I will be joined in this series by RJS; I will write the first few paragraphs […]

Scripture and Incarnation

posted by xscot mcknight

In my teaching career, especially since I’ve been at North Park and started with this blog, I’ve had more than a few questions that are now being given a fresh examination by Peter Enns, in his new book, Inspiration and […]

Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Jesus Creed. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:15:58am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the hand of God's bounty (v. 7a).Step two: David became too

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: Deity or Deism noted: ...this reminds me of why I get a

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's new book is called Almost Christian: What the Faith of Ou

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or two with their hands ... but that's what makes this diet

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »

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