How to Understand Theology

The first seminary class I ever took was THEO 5301: Systematic Theology 2. I’m not sure why I started with the second survey class, but the professor began the lecture by covering the basics. In the first lecture, the professor taught me something so foundational to theology that it changed the way that I understand... Continue Reading →

Four Distinguishing Marks of Baptist Theology

One of the unique features of Baptist theology is how diverse it can be. In my own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), a person can hold many different doctrinal positions while remaining in good standing. One popular example is the Calvinist/Arminian debate. In the SBC, we have Calvinists, Arminians, and people who claim to... Continue Reading →

Calvinism and the Unlimited Love of God

Calvinism is a popular theological system known primarily for its commitment to five doctrinal positions: total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints. Of these five, limited atonement is almost always the first one a Calvinist will jettison. Limited atonement is the doctrine that Christ did not die for... Continue Reading →

The Problem with Red-Letter Bibles

Flip through most Bibles, and you’ll see that some words are printed in bright red. Appearing exclusively in the New Testament, these bright red words are the words spoken by Jesus. Anytime Jesus speaks in the Bible, many Bibles will highlight all of his words in red ink. Though red-letter Bibles are common, they’re potentially... Continue Reading →

The Theology of the End of the World

Next week, I’m teaching my church’s annual January Bible Study. Given the fact that this year’s study is from a passage in the book of Revelation, I’m reviewing my thinking on eschatology. As always, I’m somewhat dizzied by the amount of diversity among theologians regarding the end of the world. As someone who was raised... Continue Reading →

John 1, the Word, and Jesus

John 1 has some of the deepest reflection on the identity of Christ in the entire New Testament. Every Christmas, I return to this passage to contemplate the incarnation. Without fail, I am always awed at what I find in the first fourteen verses of this chapter. Unfortunately, some of the language John uses can... Continue Reading →

St. Irenaeus and Pastor-Theologians

While listing the requirements of a pastor in Titus 1, Paul says a pastor “must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”[1] In other words, one of the requirements for being a pastor is understanding theology... Continue Reading →

A Theology of Scripture for Ministers

Ministry is a difficult job to say the very least. There are constant demands for your time, you have to be able to multi-task to keep up, and sometimes you have to have difficult conversations with people you love dearly. The reason for the difficult nature of the job is that ministers focus on bringing... Continue Reading →

The 5 Solas of the Reformation

501 years ago this month, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg church. What followed was an earthquake along theological fault lines rivaled only by the Great Schism of 1054. Whereas the Great Schism divided the Church between the Roman Catholic Church in the West and the Orthodox Church... Continue Reading →

What Must a Christian Believe?

Different versions of Christianity have different standards a person must meet in order to be called a Christian. A Roman Catholic, for example, may define a Christian as someone who attends mass and participates in the sacraments. However, even the most ardent Catholic probably doesn’t believe their Lutheran neighbor is invariably consigned to the pits... Continue Reading →

A Theology of God for Ministers

What ministers believe affects our ministries more than we often realize. So important is our theology that the New Testament repeatedly insists that bad theology points to a false teacher. If we teach the wrong ideas, then it doesn’t really matter how many bodies we put in the pews, people we baptize, or budgets we... Continue Reading →

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Pentecostalism is one of the fastest growing forms of Christianity, if not the fastest.[1] Though I disagree with Pentecostal theology, I do believe that the rise of charismatic theology, which Pentecostalism is a part of, has benefited the Church. For one, Pentecostals have made theologians pay much more attention to the doctrine of the Holy... Continue Reading →

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