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Theological Matters

Theological Insights from Southwestern

The Lost Virtue of Humility

Humility is very commonly thought of as a matter of self-deprecation. The thought seems to be that the more we put ourselves down, the more humble we are. This has led some philosophers throughout history to deny that humility is even a virtue but is instead more of a vice. However, this popular understanding is decidedly not the biblical notion of humility. The biblical notion of humility has very little to do with how we understand our worth or importance. Our worth is fixed by being created in God’s image. Furthermore, Jesus is the exemplar of living a life of humility (see Phil. 2:3-11). So His humility couldn’t have anything to do with his worth, since he is infinitely worthy. And we don’t ever see Jesus putting himself down. The Christian notion of humility, as exemplified by Jesus, is an attitude of how to relate to others. It has to do with our actions and the ends to which they are directed. More specifically, humility done Christianly is when one is oriented away from self and has God as one’s end. Read More »

Murder or Abortion: What’s the Difference?

CNN reported on a tragic story about a woman whose boyfriend tricked her into taking an abortion-inducing drug after she told him she was pregnant. The boyfriend, John Andrew Welden, is now facing first-degree murder charges for killing the unborn child. Welden told his girlfriend that his father, a doctor, had prescribed her an antibiotic for an infection. In reality, Welden gave her an abortion-inducing drug, and the pregnancy was terminated. Read More »

Seven Summits Worth Climbing in Church History: Carl F. H. Henry

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on B&H Academic Blog and is part of a series of theological biographies by Jason Duesing: Seven Summits Worth Climbing in Church History.

“He is intellectually the most eminent of conservative theologians. I would say he’s been the professor and I’ve been the student.” So said Billy Graham reflecting upon the influence of Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003). Like Philipp Melanchthon to Martin Luther, or Andrew Fuller to William Carey, with the passing of time the figures in history that built the theological infrastructure to support and defend an evangelical movement often fade from popular memory. Graham, Luther, Carey we know, but names like Carl F. H. Henry are not readily in view. Although unknown, Henry is not forgotten. Gregory Alan Thornbury’s latest work is quickly becoming one of the books to read this year. This is a welcomed and needed volume, for the perceptive Thornbury observes, “So it seems as though there may still be enough of us left who believe that Carl Henry, a key to evangelicalism’s past, may in fact be a cipher to its future.” What is it then that made Henry so effective in his day and thus worth reviewing now? Carl Trueman believes that one part of what made Henry remarkable was his “unerring ability to see the big picture, to focus on issues of real substance, and to communicate the significance of these issues to the theological public.” Henry saw this big picture first in his younger days as a journalist. Read More »

boy_home_school

Three Things that We Like about Homeschooling (a Mother’s Day Tribute)

When I tell people about my wife’s job, they are usually very impressed. Their sentiments are usually expressed in statements like “Wow, that is amazing” or “I could never do that.” What does she do? She is a diligent homemaker who homeschools our children. I should add that we have five children (two preschoolers, one elementary age and two middle-schoolers). We do not have the version of preschoolers that sit still for hours quietly looking at books or playing with blocks. We do not have the type of school-aged children that rise early from their beds with no outside prompting but simply due to the day’s academic potential. So, she is motivator, caregiver, educator, disciplinarian, lunchroom worker and mom each day. Her daily routine is tiresome. Her weekly responsibilities are numerous. Her annual task is daunting. I am grateful to her for her heroic efforts for our children’s sake. I am amazed by thousands of other mommy-teachers like her. Besides the fact that there is a level of calling to being a home educator, why does she sacrifice so much of herself and use up so much of her youthful years? Well, we are not idealists. We do not think that by keeping our children home that we are protecting from being exposed to evil influences. Evil flies into our home through a variety of channels, web pages or conversations. It comes inherent in the hearts of the people who live in our house. We do not think that by homeschooling that our children will be the perfect students. They can still find shortcuts in their assignments. They can still “get away with things” even in a class of three. With these realities noted, there are at least three things that we enjoy about homeschooling. Read More »

MinistryofaShepherd

The Ministry of a Shepherd: They Don’t Need to Go Away

Editor’s Note: This is the seventh in a series on the The Ministry of a Shepherd from Ezekiel 34.

Matthew records an account during the ministry of Jesus that took place after the execution of John the Baptist. The Gospel accounts that after Jesus learned of those events, He withdrew to a deserted place alone. The people soon discovered where Jesus was, and a large crowd gathered on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee to spend time with Him. Here, we see the compassion of Jesus who, despite His own personal sorrow, saw that the multitudes were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). He was moved with compassion for them and healed the sick among them. Read More »

Seven Summits Worth Climbing in Church History: William Carey

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on B&H Academic Blog and is part of a series of theological biographies by Jason Duesing: Seven Summits Worth Climbing in Church History

“He keeps the grand end in view.” After arriving in India in September 1796, John Fountain used these words to describe his first impressions of William Carey (1761-1834). A missionary pioneer, organizer, catalyst, survivor, and inspiration, Carey lived 73 full years and changed the modern world. J. H. Kane argues that Carey’s missions tract, An Enquiry, was “a landmark in Christian history and deserves a place alongside Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses.” Carey’s nephew attributed much of Carey’s fruitful longevity to “invincible patience in labour, and uninterrupted constancy.” Carey would not agree with these assessments. In his words, if one were to “give me credit for being a plodder, he will describe me justly. Anything beyond this will be too much. I can plod.” Read More »

Gay in the NBA: Jason Collins and Chris Broussard

The biggest news in professional basketball this week has nothing to do with the NBA playoffs. Instead, the basketball world is talking about Jason Collins’ first-person essay for Sports Illustrated in which announces he is gay. Within a sports-saturated culture, this is big news. Collins opens his article with the following declaration: Read More »