All posts by Robert Dean

American Protestant Gnosticism

I’ve been revisiting Philip J. Lee’s incisive study Against the Protestant Gnostics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987) in anticipation of lecturing on the life and work of the second century Church Father Irenaeus.  Lee’s diagnosis of Protestant Gnosticism seems just as apt in 2019 as when he first published the book some thirty years ago.  Here’s a few quotes from a chapter entitled, “Results of a Gnosticized Protestantism” that caught my attention. Continue reading American Protestant Gnosticism

America’s and Niverville’s Best Theologians

I was caught by surprise this morning when upon opening the town newspaper, the Niverville Citizen, I was confronted by my own face and that of Stanley Hauerwas staring back up at me.  The article fittingly appears directly above a piece on the “Bear-y Holiday Musical” staged by the local elementary school, in which my kids participated.  You can read the full article here. Continue reading America’s and Niverville’s Best Theologians

Restoring Catholicity (One Course at a Time)

With a new year comes a new semester and I am particularly looking forward to this coming semester at Providence Theological Seminary.  In addition to the introductory “Theological Foundations” course, I am also going to be teaching an intensive course on the Holy Spirit and Eschatology in March and, beginning next week, a semester-length course entitled “Reading with the Fathers.”  A keen and bright group of students have registered for the course and I am excited about what we will discover as we dig into the writings of Irenaeus, Origen, Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzus, and Augustine. Continue reading Restoring Catholicity (One Course at a Time)

The Word Became Flesh

One of the most interesting books I read this past year was Peter Leithart’s Delivered from the Elements of the World: Atonement, Justification, Mission (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2016).  Leithart skillfully integrates insights from a variety of disciplines to present a compelling, and profoundly biblical, vision of Christian reality.

Here’s a key quote from the book that powerfully spells out the profound theological reality that the church celebrates at Christmas.  Continue reading The Word Became Flesh

The Church Lives in Advent

“The church lives in Advent. That is to say, the church lives between two advents, Jesus Christ has come; Jesus Christ will come. We do not know the day or the hour. If you find this tension almost unbearable at times, then you understand the Christian life. We live at what the New Testament depicts as the turning of the ages.  In Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God is in head-on collision with the powers of darkness. The point of impact is the place where Christians take their stand. Continue reading The Church Lives in Advent