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)
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. 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
“That we are taught to confess our sin, particularly during Lent, is not something to which we look forward. We are not at all sure an emphasis on sin is a good idea. We are in a time of a dramatic loss in membership in mainline Protestantism. We need to attract new people. Telling people they are possessed by sin does not sound like a good church-growth strategy. Continue reading A Poor Church-Growth Strategy? (Series on “Minding the Web”)
“One of the great advantages of being a Christian is that we are in a lifetime project to discover how to confess our sins. To be able to confess our sins is a theological achievement that our baptisms have made possible. For sin, as Karl Barth maintained, is only known in the light of Christ. Thus from Barth’s perspective, our fundamental sin consists in the presumption that we can know our sin without having become a disciple of Christ. In short, to be a Christian means we must be trained to be a sinner. Continue reading A Lifetime Project (Series on “Minding the Web”)
In the midst of this Advent season of waiting, I received an early taste of Christmas yesterday with the arrival of my author copies of Minding the Web.