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"
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"
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?"
I just read James Jordan’s little book, Crisis, Opportunity, and the Christian Future. It was terribly interesting, and of mixed convincing power, but the prescriptions he made in it for the Church today seem to me of massive importance. In the end, his suggestions boil down to this: saturate Christians in the Bible, learn from … Continue reading "James Jordan and the Tribal Gospel"
With this post I officially begin my blog’s companion podcast, The Nicene Nerdcast. I don’t have much in the way of introduction to give you, so here’s the first installment. This is the result of some of my ponderings on race and the Church in recent days. Download this episode
Two days ago was Reformation Day (and Halloween, of course, but that’s less interesting), and I never did get around to writing anything or throwing in my token of celebration. So I’m taking up a different topic on this later day: the aftermath of the Reformation. I want to offer a few thoughts on the way the … Continue reading "Protestant Reformation: The Day After"
Theologically-minded people get cynical. This is to our shame. One of the worst places that this cynicism shows up is in corporate worship as we sing songs to God. I know because I experience this personally on a weekly basis. I get critical about what we sing, and I hear my friends talk about it, too. But … Continue reading "Stop Hating on Worship"
[This is a post I wrote quite some time ago but which has not been published here.] I just finished reading the behemoth that is The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul by Douglas Campbell. The book is quite interesting, even if some of its major ideas are rather unconvincing in the final analysis. In this … Continue reading "Arms Open, Altars Closed: Thoughts on Conversion"
I’ve been thinking a lot about Communion in recent weeks, and there are three things which have stuck in my mind: Communion is first and foremost about Christ and His Body, not Christ and me. Now, I see people give lip service to this notion every once in a while. But I’ve rarely seen it put into practice. Most … Continue reading "Three Thoughts on Communion"
I just don’t think the Bible is important to Christianity and we don’t need to rely on it as Christians. Okay, that’s not me. Actually, that’s what people have been getting for some reason from Andy Stanley’s recent controversial sermon, “The Bible Told Me So.” I would have thought this controversy would have settled down … Continue reading "The Bible Told Who So? Andy, Apologetics, and Authority"