Rules Aren't Legalism

This post will be short, as I only mean to make a quick and simple point. Some people lump rules in almost any sense with legalism. Others count all rules beyond the clear moral law legalism. Both of these are misguided. Properly speaking, legalism refers to two possible mistakes. The first error is about salvation. … Continue reading "Rules Aren't Legalism"

Is Charity the Church's Job?

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?"

Unchangingly Alive

“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"

Jacob I Loved, Esau I Hated

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"