If you’ve ever talked to broadly conservative Christians in the US about politics, you’re likely to have heard the claim the title of this post refers to. Skeptical of government welfare programs, they often argue that charity—meeting the needs of the poor—is not the government’s job. The government has other duties, like justice and national … Continue reading "Is Charity the Church's Job?"
If you talk about C. S. Lewis in theological circles for more than 30 seconds, you are bound to run into talk of his views on the atonement. I myself have written an essay on the subject. But most of the material (my essay included) is about one of two things: either Aslan’s death in … Continue reading "Lewis on Atonement: Christ as Perfect Penitent"
Fantasy, when done well, is one of the best genres of story. (Though when done poorly, it can be among the worst.) Some works of fantasy deserve to be read by almost everyone. But there is one particular series which I truly think everyone ought to read. Indeed, it would be of enormous assistance to … Continue reading "A Fantastic Saga Everyone Should Read"
“I the Lord do not change.” So declared God in Malachi 3:6. The doctrine of immutability, that God is completely changeless, has always been a staple of Christian theology. Unfortunately, like all such staples, it has made many enemies in the last couple centuries. More than a few theologians and philosophers like to argue that … Continue reading "Unchangingly Alive"
Not long ago, I was reading Malachi when I was struck by a verse commonly quoted in the Calvinist circle. In Malachi 1:2b-3a, God tells Israel, “I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated.” The Apostle Paul later cites this in Romans 9:13. Calvinists often deploy it as evidence of individual, unconditional election. It … Continue reading "Jacob I Loved, Esau I Hated"
[A recent post of mine on Reddit.] Inspired by yesterday’s thread on heresies Christians can or can’t believe and u/peasantcore’s comment on it, I’d like to question the usefulness/legitimacy of the notion of heresy for Protestants. Heresy usually is defined in terms of crossing a doctrinal boundary of a religion, in our case the Christian … Continue reading "Is heresy a meaningful concept for Protestants?"
I love the sensation of chocolate ice cream. Especially when it has chips and chunks and ripples. The more chocolate variety, the better. I am capable of consuming strangely large bowls of this delightful dessert. And the word for the experience: pleasure. A lot of Christians generally have an awkward relationship with pleasure. We spend … Continue reading "Pleasure"
In doing some minor site updates the other day, I noticed that my “Other Nifty Blogs” menu (currently located in a sidebar) was a bit out of date. Obviously, I had to immediately fix it. So now I have a more current blog list that better reflects what I read these days. But today I … Continue reading "Other Nifty Blogs"
Few topics are as controversial as politics. For Christians in particular, we sometimes argue almost as much about how, or even whether, we should be involved in politics as we do any specific views. Some Christians think that we need to fight political battles to stand up for the Bible. To others, politics is a … Continue reading "The Two Kingdoms and Christian Politics: 5 Keys"
Yesterday, on the r/Reformed subreddit, I was given the opportunity to participate in a debate on one of my favorite idiosyncratic topics: is regeneration new to the New Covenant? I depart from the standard Reformed view by saying it is. So for anyone who may, for some reason, be interested in my initial argument, I’m … Continue reading "Was There Regeneration before the New Covenant?"