John McKinley

3 Theses About Regeneration, Part Three

By John McKinley Jan. 4, 2017 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, Theology

The meaning of regeneration features in one of the ongoing disagreements between dispensational theology and covenant theology when we compare the experience of salvation before and after Pentecost. Covenant theology typically reasons that regeneration is necessary for saving faith (as in effectual calling and grace), so anyone experiencing saving faith was regenerate (e.g., Abraham, other OT saints). This reasoning is part of the assertions about the continuity of the people of God, the continuity of experience of salvation, and the combination of Israel with the church across history (resulting in the church’s replacement of Israel) ...

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3 Theses About Regeneration, Part Two

By John McKinley Jan. 2, 2017 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Regeneration (gennao anothen, “born again” or, “born from above”) is most clearly stated in John 1:12-13 and 3:3-8. While Nicodemus thinks Jesus is talking about a second birth (“He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” John 3:4, all quotations are from nasb), the alternate possible meaning of birth from above is better since the source of the birth of God that makes one a child of God is more important than the idea of simply being alive again. Perhaps best is to hold both ideas of enlivening spiritual renewal and birth from God (as the new source for one’s existence) ...

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3 Theses About Regeneration, Part One

By John McKinley Dec. 28, 2016 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, Theology

Regeneration seems to be one of those topics that theologians argue about while non-experts give little thought to it. Since this is a biblical topic that appears in nearly every book of the New Testament, we should consider this major theme closely and repeatedly. Regeneration is implicated not only in the term “born again,” but also in the many references to Christians as children of God, sons of God, the new self, new creation, having been made alive, and the new Christian familial identity as brothers and sisters to each other. I offer three controversial theses about regeneration to provoke consideration of this important doctrine ...

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Triggers for Change in Economics and Sanctification

By John McKinley Jul. 11, 2016 9:00 a.m. Spiritual Formation

When reading the book, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor ... and Yourself,[1] one passage stood out to me as an important analogy for understanding God’s providential work in sanctification. We often wonder why God allows, directs, or initiates difficulties and trials in our lives. The Bible is full of these promises that we will have to face many troubles (e.g., Rom. 8:17; Acts 14:23; John 16:33). Paradoxically, Scripture also assures us that we can count such problems in a positive way since we understand that God is doing good to us by means of the negative things we suffer (James 1:2-5). I decline to give a facile explanation of the problem of evil (more needs to be said than what can be done here). I aim to take on difficulty of God’s providence in our sanctification by looking at the observation of Corbett and Fikkert about helping the poor in economic development ...

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More than a Carpenter

By John McKinley Apr. 14, 2016 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Theology

In response to Klaus Issler’s article, “Exploring the Pervasive References to Work in Jesus’ Parables,” I offer two conclusions that are valuable for Christology and a Christian vision of economic activity. Jesus’ demonstrates two kinds of work productivity, and Jesus knows workplace temptations that afflict us all. In advance of exploring these conclusions, I will review how Issler’s analysis includes three important ideas that overturn common misconceptions about Jesus ...

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Metaphors Revealing the Holy Spirit, Part 3: Oil as a Metaphor for the Holy Spirit

By John McKinley Mar. 28, 2016 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Theology

In part three of this series, I will present the third biblical metaphor revealing the Holy Spirit: oil. We need to discern what the metaphor is, and what its meanings are within the biblical and ANE framework. I will be drawing some details from the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. My goal is to recognize patterns of meaning that may be intended to expand our understanding of the Holy Spirit’s presence and action in subtle ways hinted at through metaphors.  

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God and the Future

By John McKinley Mar. 16, 2016 9:00 a.m. Philosophy, Theology

The topic of God and time is complicated and unclear. Christian theologians and philosophers disagree about God’s relationship to time. Theorists disagree about whether only the present moment exists, or if the past and the future are equally real. One question that comes up in teaching theology is God’s knowledge of the future: how does God know the future, and how does God’s knowledge fit with human freedom, God’s providence, and the reality of the future? ...

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