Either Calvinist or Arminian

The debate between Calvinists and Arminians is nearly as old as Protestantism. In this way, our generation is not unique. There is indeed nothing new under the sun. In modern Southern Baptist thought, many theologians consciously attempt to find a middle ground between the extremes of Calvinism and Arminianism. For example, the gold-standard for critiques […]

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Once Saved, Always Saved?

Nuance is important. Unfortunately, nuance easily alludes us. For some reason, when we’re exposed to nuance, we are tempted to skip ahead or to think that the difference doesn’t really matter. These temptations aside, the nuances of a position can make a large difference in our lives. This is especially true in theology. I am […]

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What Happened to Mystery?

The limit of human knowledge in theology is an interesting concept with a long history. In the first centuries of Christianity, the church resisted attempts to oversimplify doctrine. The first significant theological controversy the orthodox faced focused on the doctrine of the Trinity. Growing out of the strict monotheism of Judaism, the early church wrestled […]

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A Theology of Hurricanes

Those who live in the southeastern United States are no stranger to hurricanes. In New Orleans, they throw hurricane parties in the streets of the French Quarter to celebrate the arrival of another storm. Most people adopt a soberer view of the storms, however. With the arrival of a hurricane, bread disappears from local grocery […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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