Category: Theology

He Paid My Debt – So What?

During this Easter season, we often sing the Elvina Hall hymn “Jesus Paid It All.” The refrain is: Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. Jesus paid our debt through His substitutionary atonement[1] o... Read More »

God is Faithful in the Midst of Life’s Fragility

My wife and colleagues at Southwestern Seminary have asked me this week, “Are you doing OK? You’re acting weird and a little off.” Weird – no; a little off – yes. I’ve been highly introspective this week and overwhelmed with a single thought. Let m... Read More »

Why Ancient People Needed God, Why Modern People Don’t, and Why I Still Do

Imagine living in the ancient world, a world without internet, without computers, without electrical power, without complex machines, without running water—without the conveniences of modern life. Just imagine it—the work required to gather and prepare foo... Read More »

Christianity and the Alluring Beauty of the Divine Dance, Pt. 2

In a previous post, I explored the nature of beauty as understood in the Christian tradition. I contrasted this traditional Christian story regarding the nature of beauty with philosophical naturalism and exclusive humanism, two sides of a now standard story t... Read More »

Christianity and the Alluring Beauty of the Divine Dance, Pt. I

Reflection on the nature of beauty has a rich precedent in the Christian tradition, and for good reason. The Scriptures are replete with judgements about the beauty of objects as diverse as landscapes (Jeremiah 3:19), cities (Psalm 48:2; 50:2), priestly robes ... Read More »

Some Observations about a Prisoned Bible

It was the first day of my Bible Study Methods class … in prison. After passing through all the security checkpoints, I entered a musty room filled with 40 convicted felons in white jump suits, ready to study the Bible. During my first few years at Southwest... Read More »

But I’m no good with languages!

As a Biblical Hebrew teacher, I have heard many reasons why people don’t study languages—or at least do not do so with excellence. Top of the list: I’m no good with languages! This reason betrays several assumptions. These assumptions, however, fall flat... Read More »

Complicated Salvations

Dry dusty roads led into the village. Worshipers gathered. As a missionary guest that day, I preached at that church. Lively music and dancing are typical of African worship. This day was no exception. It came time for an evangelistic invitation. A sub-chief w... Read More »

The Soul Issue

The insightful Enlightenment philosopher Blaise Pascal notes that “the immortality of the soul is something so important to us, something that touches us so profoundly, that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent to knowing the facts of the matter.... Read More »

Strong Advice on Channeling Your Inner Pope

Augustus Hopkins Strong—Baptist theologian, seminary president, and pastor from generations past—stated of those in Christian ministry, “The natural tendency of every minister is to usurp authority and to become a bishop. He has in him an undeveloped pop... Read More »