Posts in Theology

Should Experience Trump Scripture?

By Sean McDowell May. 23, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Church Life, Culture, Marriage and Family, New Testament, Spiritual Formation, Theology

In my recent book The Beauty of Intolerance, my father and I discuss how a new view of tolerance has crept its way into the church. One powerful way this is seen is how an increasing number of Christians approach Scripture.

For instance, in his book God and the Gay Christian, Matthew Vines begins by affirming the final authority of scripture on questions of morality and doctrine.[1] And yet when Vines discovered his own same-sex attraction, his perspective began to change based on his personal experience. Now he has become an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights within the church, and his goal is to lead a movement to convince Christians that they can affirm the full authority of scripture and also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationships ...

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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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What is Theology?

By Erik Thoennes May. 16, 2016 9:00 a.m. Spiritual Formation, Theology

The study of theology is considered by many to be dry, boring, irrelevant, and complicated. But for those who want to know God, the study of theology is indispensable.

The word “theology” comes from two Greek words, theos (“God”) and logos (“word”). The study of theology is an effort to make definitive statements about God and his implications in an accurate, coherent, relevant way, based on God’s self-revelations. Doctrine equips people to fulfill their primary purpose, which is to glorify and delight in God through a deep personal knowledge of him. Meaningful relationship with God is dependent on correct knowledge of him ...

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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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Reflections on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Part Two: The Long Defeat and the Old Testament of Middle-Earth

By Charlie Trimm May. 3, 2016 9:00 a.m. Culture, Theology

This post continues the study of the long defeat of Tolkien by looking at the foundational work for the Lord of the Rings, the Silmarillion. As noted in the previous post, the long defeat was Tolkien’s phrase for the idea that no matter how many times one defeated evil, it continued to (apparently effortlessly) return to full strength. The motif is connected with the elves primarily, who are immortal and experience the long defeat over the long millennia of their lives. Since we are talking about the long defeat, it is good to slow down and look at more history!

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God’s Response to Evil

By Alan Hultberg May. 2, 2016 9:00 a.m. Apologetics, Spiritual Formation, Theology

A while ago, I got a letter from a friend (whom I’ll call “Mary”) struggling with why God allows evil. Some people had told her that God was working through terrible tragedies to produce a greater good (Rom. 8:28). Others had told her that Satan was the cause of evil and that greater faith and use of her authority in Christ would deliver her from difficulties. Mary found little comfort in these well-meaning professions, and in fact was beginning to think that God was either cruel, impotent, or worse, non-existent, a classic case of the problem of evil ...

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