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?
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 […]Read More How to Understand Theology
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
I read somewhere that one of the simplest ways to disciple someone else is to recommend a good book. I don’t remember where or when I read that, but that quote has challenged me in numerous ways. For one, as someone who is obsessed with reading, I want to read quality books. If good books […]Read More Best Books of 2018
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?
It goes by at least three different names: Communion, the Eucharist, and the Lord’s Supper. Along with the names comes a great variety of ways to understand what exactly the Lord’s Supper means, how it should be celebrated, and who should participate. The differences notwithstanding, the Lord’s Supper ties Christians of all different stripes to […]Read More The Bases of the Lord’s Supper
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
The different translations of the Bible available at your local LifeWay sound like President Roosevelt’s alphabet soup: Whereas FDR had the NRA, TVA, FHA, and the WPA, LifeWay sells the NIV, KJV, ESV, and CSB, to name but a few bestsellers. Further complicating our baptized alphabet soup are the strong opinions Christians hold about the […]Read More Who’s Messing with the Bible? The NIV and Those Missing Verses
“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