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 […]Read More What Happened to Mystery?
This month, the Paranormal Circus will descend on Alexandria, Louisiana. As it should, such an event has aroused no small amount of controversy. Central Louisiana is, after all, in the buckle of the Bible belt. Spiritual beliefs often run hot in this area! Consequently, some see the Paranormal Circus as harmless fun while others see […]Read More Thoughts on the Paranormal Circus
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 […]Read More The Theology of the End of the World
Western Christians share a lot with the early church. Like the early church, we live in a culture that nods towards theism while denying basic tenets of Christianity. The early church also had a degree of freedom as long as they didn’t take their Christianity too seriously. When we live out our convictions or stand […]Read More Justin Martyr: A Model for the 21st Century
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 […]Read More The 5 Solas of the Reformation
In October 1517, Martin Luther began what we now recognize as the Protestant Reformation in the German city of Wittenberg. Since we’re separated from Luther by 501 years, it’s tempting to discredit the difficulties Luther encountered half a millennium ago. Make no mistake about it, however, Luther’s life was in real danger. His friends and […]Read More Be a Sinner and Sin Boldly: Luther on Following Christ
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 […]Read More What Must a Christian Believe?
On March 17, 461, St. Patrick of Ireland died in Ireland, the land he spent his life working to convert to the Christian religion. Patrick lived an amazing life and was a role model for effective evangelism; however, much of what we associate with him is mythical. For example, we don’t really know whether Patrick […]Read More St. Patrick of Ireland
In each era of church history, Christians debate different doctrines. In much of the New Testament, we see the early church grappling with Christ’s relationship to the Gentiles and to the Old Testament Law. In the 4th and 5th centuries AD, the church debated the Doctrine of the Trinity and the personhood of Christ. Skip […]Read More Calvinism vs. Arminianism: The Basics
I have a strong theological commitment to Trinitarianism. I firmly believe that there is only one God, but that he exists in three divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I further believe that the Son is not the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit the Son; however, in a way that […]Read More The Trinity and Theological Language
“What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” Tertullian, a church father and apologist who lived in the late 2nd and early 3rd century AD, wrote a scathing critique of nominal Christians who fall headlong into false doctrine and heresies. By asking what Athens has to do with Jerusalem, Tertullian meant to critique Christians who […]Read More Anselm and Tertullian on Christianity and Philosophy
A Satan worshipper once told me that the Bible said that it wasn’t the word of God. Though there are probably better responses, I handed him my Bible and said: “show me where.” I’ve often thought of that conversation and the puzzled expression on the guy’s face as he gently thumbed through my Bible’s soft […]Read More A Crash Course on the Bible