Posts in Historical Theology

A Review of "The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures," ed. D.A. Carson

By Kenneth Berding Aug. 17, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, New Testament, Old Testament, Philosophy, Theology, Historical Theology

I have just finished reading through (most of) the new 1,200+ page book, The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures, edited by D.A. Carson. This book is a splendid example of deep thinking about important subjects presented in a format readable not just for advanced students and scholars, but also for other deep-thinking Christians. I am not saying that the topics are simple. Quite to the contrary, this book tackles some of the most difficult questions surrounding the authority of Scripture. The doctrine of inerrancy in particular is underscored throughout the book ...

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God’s Love and Justice in Contradiction?

By William Lane Craig May. 20, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, New Testament, Philosophy, Theology, Historical Theology

Dr. Craig,

Your ministry has radically changed my life. As a direct result of your arguments and debates, I went from a nihilist to a staunch Christian. However, I have encountered a problem with the ontological argument.

Is there a contradiction between perfect justice and perfect mercy in a maximally great being? The way I have seen this objection posed is that the Christian God is just and merciful. Mercy is defined as the suspension of justice. Thus there is a contradiction. I have also seen the argument being put as perfect justice is giving everyone what they're due, and perfect mercy is giving some people less than what they're due.

Is this objection as crushing as its proponents make it out to be? ...

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Theological Anthropology

By Ryan Peterson May. 18, 2016 9:00 a.m. Theology, Historical Theology

Christian anthropologies have been of vital importance throughout the history of the church because at each point in history there are cultural assumptions and philosophical perspectives about the nature of humanity that call the gospel into question, that question God’s Lordship, humanity’s servanthood, and their genuine fellowship in Jesus Christ. To maintain a biblical understanding of salvation, Christians have needed to emphasize humanity’s existence as embodied and as spiritual, as moved by intellect and by desire, as motivated by the will and as motivated by habitual acts that shape the will. These realities of human existence have been uncovered as theologians have thought through the logic of the gospel and its proclamation in their context ...

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J.C. Ryle on Christ as Divine and Human

By Kenneth Berding May. 12, 2016 9:00 a.m. New Testament, Theology, Historical Theology

In his classic book on sanctification, Holiness, J.C. Ryle includes a poignant paragraph on the divine and human natures of Christ.

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Three Key Takeaways from "Risen"

By Sean McDowell Feb. 24, 2016 11:25 a.m. Apologetics, Culture, New Testament, Historical Theology

Since the release of The Passion, faith-based films have been coming out from Hollywood at an increased rate. On the one hand, faith-based films are often cheesy and unrealistic. On the other hand, many lose the spirit of the original story and are utterly inaccurate (Noah, anyone?) With a bit of hesitancy, my wife and I went to see Risen last night. All things considered, we were both pleasantly surprised! ...

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Did James, the Brother of Jesus, Die as a Martyr?

By Sean McDowell Feb. 24, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, New Testament, Historical Theology

In my recent book The Fate of the Apostles, I examine the claim that the apostles died as martyrs for their faith. One apostle who often gets overlooked is James, the brother of Jesus. While James wasn’t one of the Twelve, there is good reason to believe he was not a believer of Jesus during his public ministry (Mark 3:20-35; John 7:5), he saw the risen Jesus (1 Cor. 15:7), and became the key leader in the Jerusalem church (Gal. 2:9; Acts 21:17-26) ...

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Was Joseph Smith a Martyr?

By Sean McDowell Dec. 28, 2015 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Historical Theology

In my recent book The Fate of the Apostles, I make the historical case that the apostles were all willing to suffer and die for their belief that they had seen the risen Jesus. This does not prove the truth of their claims, but that they were sincere. But what about Joseph Smith? Didn’t he die as a martyr for his faith? Does that mean he was equally sincere, and hence Mormonism may be true as well?

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