Just in case any of you missed it, after a big fiasco involving a hack and a Google blacklist, I pretty gave up on this blog and started a new one. It’s called Theology Without Warranty, and you can find it at https://calebdixonsmith.wordpress.com/. Some recent post there in case they pique your interest: When to … Continue reading "New Blog BTW"
[I wrote this for the sake of a discussion with friends. It got longer than I expected.] Every command in Scripture is either a direct explication of natural law, including the general moral principles embedded in the way God has made humanity and the world and related them to each other and Himself, or positive … Continue reading "A Reformed Analysis of Whether Women May be Ministers"
Throughout the ages, Christians have struggled with marriage. More than a few writers and pastors have taught a pretty negative view. For example, in some times and places, people have taught that marriage is basically a sadly necessary control for sexual passion. Sexuality is fundamentally corrupt, they imagine. So God had to find a way … Continue reading "Is It Better to Be Single?"
Christianity doesn’t have the place it once did in the West. This has raised a lot of questions for Christians, particularly those who actually believe in the historic faith. Some people think Christendom was a bad idea to begin with, others think it was good in principle but worked out badly, and still others lament … Continue reading "Christendom and Cross"
In Screwtape’s second letter, he recounts the unfortunate development that the “patient” has become a Christian. We might think of this as their complete defeat. They don’t, however, see it that way. The demons maintain hope that they can destroy this man’s soul. Let’s put the question of eternal security to the side: we might … Continue reading "Screwtape Stings: The Convert's Pride"
My children have two grandmothers. This is, of course, not remotely surprising. It is funny, however, just how different they are. Even the way my children distinguish them is a bit amusing. They both go by “grandma,” but my mom is “grandma with the pool” and my wife’s is “grandma with the goat.” If you … Continue reading "Purple Violins"
A Demonic Adventure A couple weeks ago I read C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters for the second time. If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s an imaginary collection of letters from a demon named Screwtape to his “nephew” Wormwood. Wormwood has the task of destroying his “patient’s” soul, and the experienced Screwtape offers … Continue reading "Screwtape Stings: Lewis' Gut Punches"
In debates about penal substitutionary atonement, one of the occasional charges against the doctrine is that it fails to serve justice. Guilt, some argue, is not transferable. If an innocent man takes the punishment for someone who actually committed a crime, it isn’t justice. The criminal hasn’t paid his due. That the innocent man has … Continue reading "Repentance and Atonement: Making Substitution Work"
[An essay I wrote for a contest on Reddit.] Introduction: Doctor Who? “Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!” is not a theological statement. Nor is much else in a television series about a time-traveling alien who changes his face every few years. Nonetheless, in its 56 year history, Doctor Who has from sometimes touched … Continue reading "Time Lord Theodicy"
[This series is going very long. Here are parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.] The Big Picture (Continued) A New Exodus With Jesus in the grave and the disciples scattered, times looked for dark for God’s people. Indeed, God’s entire plan seemed in disarray. How could God win back the nations? The Messiah was … Continue reading "Story’s End: Eschatology and What the Bible is About, Pt. 6"