You either love Barth or you hate him. But whatever your view of his work (and life), he is a theological tour de force to be reckoned with, arguably the most prolific and creative theologian of the 20th century.
Whenever I am faced with the decision of whether or not to buy a new book, I employ a tried-and-tested method. I ask myself the following question:
“Is this book a game-changer?”
Notice that I used the present tense. I don’t ask, “was.” I want to spend my hard-earned money on books that changed the direction of study in a particular sub-discipline of biblical studies, and that continue to exert an influence. [Read more…]
Our Logos Mobile Education crew met up with Kevin Vanhoozer near Chicago to discuss a new project he’d been working on: A Reforming Catholic Confession. The 500th year of the Reformation, it turns out, is an appropriate time to pause and examine the Church’s doctrinal identity.
Hear what Dr. Vanhoozer, along with a broad range of collaborating Christian thinkers and leaders, has in mind for this moment in Church history in this video interview from Logos Mobile Education.
The following post is by Edith M. Humphrey, William F. Orr Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
The matter of marriage and ordered sexual relations is found throughout Scriptures, not only in the Old Testament but also in the New. Those who are interested in more foundational papers on the issue of marriage and same-sex temptation and erotic activity may consult the shorter articles reprinted on my webpage at edithhumphrey.net, or the more lengthy article, “Same-sex Eroticism and the Church: Classical Approaches and Responses,” in The Homosexuality Debate: Faith Seeking Understanding, Ed. Catherine Sider Hamilton, Toronto: Anglican Book Centre, 2003, 37-94.
The following paper was presented at a recent Symposium that took place in the Netherlands. The purpose of the symposium was for academic clergy and laity in the Orthodox Church who have a special interest in sexuality to gather together to discuss their research and their concerns. Though we agreed to the “Chatham House Rule,” this rule does not prevent members from making our own views public, which I am happy to do in this time of questioning and concern. Our general topic in the conference was “Pastoral Care in an Age of Sexual Questioning,” and so this paper does not present the Biblical and Traditional foundation for faithful, heterosexual marriage, which I have written on extensively elsewhere, as detailed above. Instead, I make a plea here for sound teaching in the Church as an essential part of our compassion for those experiencing same-sex desire, or asking questions about sexuality and the Church’s stand on these matters. I also probe the shape of the questions that are being asked today, in order to help us think carefully about how we may answer those who are confused or conflicted. As an academic paper, it is lengthy, and contains citations not usually used in a blog: I hope that, despite its genre, it may be of interest to some of my readers.
Coming Back Together: Effectual Calling and Regeneration as Twin Realities (Part 2)
As I discussed in Part 1, Reformed theologians such as Hodge and Berkhof articulated their doctrine of regeneration to guard the larger doctrine of salvation from the encroachment of any synergistic view of conversion. By placing the creative act of the Spirit in regeneration prior to (or, at least, distinct from) the effectual calling and the external Word of the gospel, these theologians could ensure that man could claim no part in his conversion to Christ. Regeneration, an act performed by God alone upon the soul of the sinner, enabled the individual to respond to the gospel by granting him a new disposition inclined to God and Christ. With this new disposition, the individual could now positively respond to the effectual call, thus leading to justification and the other blessings contained in the ordo. This view, however, is problematic. [Read more…]
With and Through the Word: Rethinking Regeneration and Effectual Calling in the Reformed Ordo Salutis, Part 1
In the introduction of his volume on the Puritans, The Quest for Godliness, J. I. Packer observes the natural connection that exists between theology and practical living. Since theology is never neutral but always has an effect—good or bad, positive or negative—it is the responsibility of theologians to consider their work and the kind of influence it will have. And this warning goes for professional and lay theologians alike. Packer writes, “So one who theologises in public, whether formally in the pulpit, the podium or in print, or informally in the armchair, must think hard about the effect his thoughts will have on people—God’s people and other people.”1
This multi-part essay is one attempt to take account of a particular doctrine—the ordo salutis (“the order of salvation”)—and the effect a Reformed articulation of this doctrine has had on both our theology and praxis. [Read more…]
Top References Discussed in Biblical Theologies
An earlier post discussed how systematic theologies use the Bible to discuss the classic topics of systematic theology. We looked at the most frequent references found in contexts discussing the primary topics of systematic theology. It was a popular post at theLAB, and Christianity Today even interacted with us by asking several prominent theologians what they thought about the results.
It’s no surprise that theologians were disappointed at the lack of interaction with the Old Testament. Two commenters, Kevin Vanhoozer and Michael Allen, noted dismay specifically that Exodus 34:6–7 is not included in the top 100 list. My guess is that Vanhoozer and Allen (as well as Craig Keener, John Stackhouse, Michael Bird, William Dyrness, and others) will be pleasantly surprised with the reference data from Biblical theologies. [Read more…]
The doctrine of the Trinity came under intense scrutiny last summer (2016), but it wasn’t from unbelieving philosophers or Jehovah’s Witnesses. A debate raged for the better part of three months amongst evangelical theologians, concentrating within the complementarian camp. This intramural controversy seriously threatened to dissolve the unity of complementarians and evangelicalism as a whole. [Read more…]